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Battery Storage Applications in the Petrochemical Industry

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  • Create Date October 11, 2021
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Battery Storage Applications in the Petrochemical Industry

Battery Storage Applications in the Petrochemical Industry: With increased research, usage, and production, the cost of battery storage technology has significantly decreased in recent years, to the point where real economic benefit can sometimes result. This paper begins by providing a primer on battery storage which includes a discussion of common battery technologies as well as a number of battery energy storage systems (BESS) grid applications. Next, a discussion of process uptime within a petrochemical facility will help show the importance of electrical grid reliability and how BESS might help provide critical grid stability. Finally, a theoretical case study where a BESS is installed for spinning reserve will be presented showing the economic viability of this emerging technology.

The petrochemical industry is unique when it comes to evaluating costs of electrical power reliability and infrastructure. Electric utilities evaluate project financials in terms of their rate base (for which they are guaranteed a rate of return), energy (kW-hr) and demand (kW) charges. The petrochemical industry instead evaluates project financials based on the petroleum or natural gas product being produced. With electric utilities, electricity is the end-product, while in the petrochemical industry electricity is a means to the end-product.

The most significant factor contributing to this additional economic benefit for petrochemical facilities is process reliability. In upstream, midstream, and downstream facilities, process uptime and reliability are paramount to long-term profitability.

A major component of process up-time is electrical reliability, especially at facilities where the electrical grid is either weak or islanded altogether. The initiative to increase electrical reliability at petrochemical facilities is not a new one. Engineering solutions such as relaying coordination, communications-based tripping, high-resistance grounding, emergency buses in switchgear, automatic transfer schemes (ATS), backup generators, uninterruptable power supplies (UPSs), and more have all contributed to safer and more reliable electrical systems throughout the industry.

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Battery Storage Applications in the Petrochemical Industry.pdf