Battery Storage Careers Are Accelerating the Energy Transition

A banner showing the connection between solar battery storage technology evolving and demand for related careers.

With a battery storage career, you can play an integral role in the transition to a clean and renewable energy economy. The term “battery storage” or BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) is a device deployed to store the energy generated by renewables, like solar and wind. This battery is then transported to the location of need where it allows for energy consumption.

Presently, the most prevalent storage technology is the lithium-ion battery. You will find this battery commonly inside electric vehicles, mobile phones, and laptops.

Importance and Benefits of Battery Energy Storage

  • Battery energy storage systems make sure that residential and commercial properties are powered by green energy, even in the absence of wind or sun.
  • For instance, the largest offshore wind turbine infrastructure can be found in the UK. However, much of its total energy output is lost upon generation. Battery energy storage technology can minimize loss and maximize the infrastructure's true potential.
  • Reduces carbon footprint by replacing fossil fuel and coal with renewable energy.
  • When mixed with other low-carbon energy sources, battery storage technology can reduce the electricity bill at home.

How Battery Storage System Works

First, do not confuse battery storage systems with the batteries you use for your everyday electronics like alarm clocks and television remotes. These storage systems have a more complex and advanced purpose. Renewable energy like wind or solar can charge a battery storage system with electricity.

Utility-scale battery storage systems, similar to home storage systems, use artificial intelligence technology. By using algorithms and computerized systems for control, this smart technology can coordinate the release of energy. Should the power be released into the grid? Or, should it be stored? The technology makes this decision based on demand. As a result, it can keep costs down for both homeowners and utility companies while maintaining the supply of power.

Battery Energy Storage in Renewables

Emphasis on environmental safety and reduction in carbon emissions is fueling the demand for renewable energy sources. The biggest area of concern with green energy is not the production of power, but storage. Ample sunlight can be found in locations near the equator. In the US, states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas get the most sunlight throughout the year. When it comes to wind activity, the north central US feels the most gusts throughout the year. This includes states like Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. It is not very difficult to harness renewable energy. But where do you save it to transport to households and offices? Battery energy storage systems help in that regard.

The qualities of an efficient battery storage system are longevity, safety, capacity, fast charging and discharging. Lithium-ion batteries are most commonly used for several reasons, such as their high energy density. There are also lead-acid batteries, which are cheaper but not as cost-effective as Li-ion. They also require regular maintenance.

However, new technologies in the area of storage are developing. Here is a brief overview of some of these technologies:

Gravity Mechanical Energy Storage

This system relies on the same mechanics as lifting concrete blocks up on a tower. When there is a need for energy, the system lowers the concrete blocks. This generates electricity using the pull of gravity.

Air Compressed Energy Storage

You can usually find these systems in large chambers. Surplus power is used in the compression of air. Then that compressed air is stored. Whenever there is a requirement of energy, the system releases all the compressed air. This air passes through a turbine and generates electricity.

Flow Batteries

These batteries run on chemical energy. Flow batteries are more or less rechargeable fuel cells. The chemical energy is derived from a reaction between two chemicals that are mixed in liquids. A membrane separates both the chemicals.

Battery Storage Jobs

Given the rising popularity of renewable energy, there are some important battery storage jobs available in the market. One of the most common job profiles in the field of energy storage is the Energy Storage Engineer.

Energy Storage Engineer Job Profile

This is the most common type of occupation within the battery storage sector. The responsibilities for this role typically include –

  • Providing support to the management team.
  • In addition, an energy storage engineer offers planning for product and technical support.
  • Maintain supervision over the EPC (Engineering, procurement and construction) storage assignments.
  • Prepare and manage budgets.
  • Cover various issues like health and safety, design reviews, and quality control.

In terms of work environment, most engineers need to function at the project sites as well as in the corporate offices. For those candidates who like to learn and move around, this is an excellent position to explore.

Grid Operator

This is another occupation to pursue in battery energy storage. Their main responsibilities include the following:

  • Delivering power to businesses, consumers and factories in a reliable and consistent manner.
  • Tracking operations using a set of computerized consoles from inside a control center.
  • Ensuring that all grid systems are functioning at max potential.
  • Using new simulations to practice dealing with new situations.
  • Anticipating and mitigating problematic situations which could hinder power supply and cause losses to the power plant.
  • Responding quickly and restoring power conditions in case of a system failure.

Skills Required for Battery Energy Storage

To start your career in battery energy storage, you need certain skills and expertise. This is why many universities across the world offer courses designed specifically for the purpose.

Taking the right course on energy storage can be the deciding factor when looking for your ideal job.

In essence, a good course should give you the following skills to work in battery energy storage.

Skills for Energy Storage

  • Staying up-to-date with the most recent innovations in the field of energy storage technology.
  • Understanding the difference and relationship between off-grid systems and grid-connected systems.
  • Evaluation of the pricing and costs of all available options.
  • Knowing the types of energy storage and their key attributes.
  • Understanding architecture and sizing of off-grid systems.
  • Knowing the operational traits related to energy storage.
  • Understanding how to integrate the storage energy into the electrical grid.
  • Understanding the applications of battery energy storage.
  • Preparing for any developments in the future related to energy storage.

Courses in energy storage come in various forms. You can choose a short crash course, like this online course offered by Stanford University, or go for a proper Master’s degree.

If you choose to go for a Master’s in Energy Storage, you need certain qualifications. A bachelor degree is compulsory in a related tech course, like a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) or a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng. or BE).

Jobs in battery energy storage systems are waiting for you.

Contact a consultant today.

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