Finnish company to supply heat pumps for China’s largest battery energy storage project

Finnish energy and environmental technology company Oilon has been selected by Dalian Henliu Energy Storage Power Station Company Ltd to provide heat pumps for a battery energy storage farm in Dalian, North-eastern China.

The heat pumps will be used to cool the batteries being installed at what is claimed to be the largest battery energy storage farm in China and one of the largest in the world.

Once complete and online in 2021, the battery farm will have peak power capacity of 200MW and an electricity storage capacity of 800MWh.

The Dalian battery farm consists of large vanadium redox flow batteries. The energy storage capability is based on ion reactions of the electrolyte solution flowing inside the batteries. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, vanadium batteries are free of fire safety issues and are also long-lived. They can be charged more than 20,000 times without reducing the storage capacity, and they allow charging and discharging at the same time.

The project will serve as a fast-reacting reserve capacity for wind power. In practice, this means that electricity from the batteries can be extracted when there is no wind. Adding this kind of flexibility to the grid will help integrate more wind energy.

The battery farm will also curtail the peaking power requirements in the area by about eight percent. In China, peaking power is typically produced with fossil fuels, hence, reducing it is an efficient way to cut CO2 emissions.

The eight containerized ChillHeat P-series heat pumps to be provided by Oilon will feed their waste heat into the city’s district heating network.

The waste heat will be used by Dalian Thermal Group, the local district heating company.

Ville Pekkola, CEO of Oilon China, said: “It is exciting to be involved in this giant project that will reduce local CO2 emissions and help to integrate more renewable energy. We expect strong growth in China and international heat-pump markets.

“China’s largest battery farm is a great example of how China’s government is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2060. Battery farms bring much-needed flexibility to the Chinese power grid where the capacity of variable wind and solar energy is growing rapidly. Storing electricity is key to increasing clean energy overall. Similar battery farms will be needed everywhere. This means an immense potential for heat pumps.”

The Dalian battery farm is a demonstration project approved by the Chinese government to test the functionality of vanadium batteries connected to the power grid. 

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