Our trials

South East Queensland has one of the highest penetrations of solar PV systems in the world. This looks set to increase as more and more customers embrace renewable energy alternatives for their homes and businesses.

Given its high solar PV penetration, Queensland has been earmarked as one of the primary target markets by key players in the battery energy storage systems (BESS) market.

As the uptake of BESS increases, Energex’s systems and processes will evolve to efficiently integrate these new customer technologies into the network.

Over the next two years we are conducting BESS trials at a number of our Energex facilities to explore the effects of BESS on peak demand and power quality. This is part of our commitment to integrate renewable energy into South East Queensland’s network and to provide our customers more choice and control over their energy use.

About the trials

The battery trials will be conducted in two parts:

  1. A pilot demonstration of residential and commercial BESS installations at different sites, including the initial site at our EsiTrain facility at Rocklea. We have installed three systems at our EsiTrain Centre at Rocklea as part of the first phase of the Battery Trials. These include Sunverge, Tesla, Reposit and Solar Edge and Redback systems.
  2. A Market Based Trial in conjunction with BESS manufacturers which will run for three years. The Market Based Trial has now commenced with 15 internal stakeholders in the Energex Network Distribution Area. The trial aims to evaluate demand response from customer owned BESS during times of peak demand and high solar export.

Purpose of the trials

The two key purposes for the BESS trials include:

  1. To provide insights into how customers configure and use battery systems. The more we can understand this, the better placed Energex will be to enable the connection of BESS to the network, thereby providing our customers with choice in their energy consumption decisions.
  2. To explore the possibility of accessing and remotely controlling BESS at certain peak times – much as we do with hot water and air conditioners now. Done effectively we can reduce expenditure on the network, saving money for our customers and improving the efficiency of our network into the future.

The trial sites

Pilot demonstration sites

We have installed three systems at our EsiTrain Centre at Rocklea as part of the first phase of the Battery Trials. These include Sunverge, Tesla, Reposit and Solar Edge and Redback systems, which will be used to test control of BESS using the Energex AFLC system.

Market Based Battery Trial

Our Market Based Battery Trial has reached a major milestone with battery installations now complete at 9 of the 15 trial homes. Installations of the remaining systems will be completed by December 2016.

During the trial, we will evaluate demand response from customer owned BESS that are compliant with the newly developed Australian Standard AS/NZS 4755.3.5. Five different standard compliant BESS are being installed as part of the trial; these include a mix of AC and DC coupled systems. All the BESS in the trial are lithium-ion batteries.

Trial reports

Trials of battery energy storage systems (BESS) are occurring across Australia. We are partnering with multiple manufacturers to investigate coordination of standardised demand response from customer BESS using Australian Standard AS/NZS 4755.

The three year Market Based Battery Trial commenced in September 2016 and, as the trial progresses, we are sharing insights with BESS manufacturers, installers and key industry bodies.

Installation integrity

The installation of the 15 batteries provided a range of learnings and insights.  These learnings were identified through independent auditor inspections of the batteries and observations made during the installation process.

We contracted the Clean Energy Council (CEC) to undertake compliance inspections of 15 BESS installations. The objectives of the audits were to ensure compliance with relevant Australian Standards, industry guidelines, and network regulations, and share findings with key BESS industry stakeholders.

Non-compliance was identified at all sites, across a mix of brands and configurations. A safety risk was also identified on one system. All BESS installations in the trial were undertaken by CEC accredited installers, highlighting the need for improvements in installation practices.

Read the Energex report on the Trial (PDF 5.3 mb), including practical learnings and tips for BESS installers.

Read the CEC Inspections Summary report (PDF 696.3 kb), highlighting learnings from the BESS installations.

Preliminary findings

Early analysis of batteries installed has already provided invaluable information on how customers use BESS and how their energy load profiles have changed. Energex wants to share the preliminary results from its residential battery trials to stimulate discussion and seek feedback on areas for further investigation.

Read the Preliminary Findings Report (PDF 5.3 mb) to learn about our preliminary results. Your feedback could help shape the trials. Specifically we would like feedback around 3 key questions:

  • How customers use BESS and how these new customer load profiles will impact the network?
  • Can the coordination of standardised demand response from BESS enable more customers to connect solar PV and batteries to the network?
  • Should an incentive be offered to customers who install BESS for the services it provides? And if so, what network benefits should this incentive be based on?

Feedback is due by Friday 22 December 2017

Please email feedback to batterytrials@energex.com.au

Email us for more information about the battery trials.