Toshiba Called On To Supply Lithium Titanate Battery For 2 MW Energy Storage System In UK

JUN 29 2014 BY MARK KANE 27

Toshiba's SCiB Rechargeable Battery

Toshiba’s SCiB Rechargeable Battery

Toshiba Corporation is introducing its lithium-titanate SCiB batteries for the very first time in the UK. This is not directly related to electric cars, which on the small scale use SCiB (Honda Fit EV and some Mitsubishi MiEVs versions in Japan), but it’s always interesting to watch how this segment is developing.

The Japanese company will supply a 1 MWh system, which will be able to provide 2 MW of power to support grid management at the 11 kV level. Installation (scheduled for September) is near Wolverhampton in the West Midland as part of a project lead by the University of Sheffield.  Operation should begin in November this year.

“Large-scale ESS are increasingly seen as a versatile solution in managing electricity supply. Installed in wind and photovoltaic generation systems, ESS can help to overcome intermittent output and frequency fluctuations, as well as performing peak power buffering, and when connected to the grid they can support grid stability and reinforcement. This role in grid management will be investigated in the UK, in the Grid Connected Energy Storage Research Demonstrator project, led by the University of Sheffield, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), with support from both industrial and academic partners.”

“The ESS will be connected to the 11kV grid at Western Power Distribution’s Willenhall primary substation, near Wolverhampton in the West Midlands. When the project starts operation in November this year, it will allow testing at realistic levels, and allow assessment of both the technical and economic potential of ESS in the grid.”


MINICAB-MiEV VAN 『CD10.5kWh』 with SCiB battery pack

1 MWh is equivalent to ~ 40 Nissan LEAF battery packs or 12 Tesla Model S 85, so this is not as big as one would think. However, it is enough to supply a few hundred households for 30-60 minutes.

While no automaker has decided to use SCiB in higher volume EVs, Toshiba is focusing on energy storage systems reaching already a cumulative level of 40 MW. Over 10,000 charge/discharge cycles capability for SCiB of course predestine this chemistry to energy storage applications.

“Toshiba’s SCiB™ is a highly innovative lithium-titanate based secondary battery, distinguished by its long-life and excellent performance: fast charging and discharging in a wide range of temperature conditions; capability to withstand over 10,000 charge-discharge cycles; and high level reliability and operational safety, particularly in terms of low risk of fire, a danger associated with other lithium-ion batteries. ESS based on Toshiba’s SCiB™ provide an excellent solution where high performance and long life are required, for example in the provision of efficient and effective frequency regulation.”

“Toshiba is promoting battery-based ESS globally as a support for stable power networks, supplying several projects in Japan and around the world, and has already received orders for commercial systems in Italy and Japan, where it has supplied batteries for a 40MW ESS, among the world’s largest.”

“There is a growing global demand for secure, economical and high quality supply of clean electrical power. Toshiba believes that its range of Smart Grid technologies, including ESS based on SCiB™, will assist in meeting that demand, through support for grid stability and utilization of renewable energy generation systems. Toshiba will continue to develop innovative solutions to support the reliable supply of electrical power, and expects to expand its large-scale battery energy storage systems business in the global market.”

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27 Comments on "Toshiba Called On To Supply Lithium Titanate Battery For 2 MW Energy Storage System In UK"

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I thought all the i-MIEV’s, Fits and Outlanders plugins had SCiB batteries?

Outlander and most of MiEVs uses Lithium Energy Japan. Rest of MiEVs and Fit uses SCiB.

The proterra bus uses Li Titanate batteries also. I’m thinking high cycle life is their advantage….as opposed to Tesla’s batteries that are only good for 500 cycles or so.



The cycle life is not very good yard stick, because it does not tell about the real world performance.

E.g. LiFePO4 batteries has typically estimated cycle life of 2000. But if we allow 30 % degradation of capacity, then these batteries last for 5000–7000 cycles in ideal temperatures and currents. And most importantly if have only 90 % cycles and chaging and discharging current is low, then these batteries can last more than 10 000 cycles and there is still plenty of capacity left.

Therefore I think that this 10 000 cycles refers to that there are no deep charges and deep discharges. E.g. Mercedes wanted to avoid too fast cell degradation by having 36 kWh battery in B-Class EV where as it allowed only access for 28 kWh. This was probably for conserving cycle life becuase Mercedes was worrying warranty problems with Tesla battery pack.

Cycle life is an important variable and you have to take it into account when you design the system

I think if you are going to use more cycles and use a small battery then Li Titanate is the ticket…..but I don’t know for sure

It has to be a different chemistry than for the S. (which is just sized overly large to fix the cycle problem.

I’m not sure where the system optimizes ….but as cheaper batteries come on line then bigger is better…and before that happens you use smaller batteries

I doubt Mercedes decision to restrict access to battery capacity has anything to do with doubts about longevity of Tesla’s chemistry. Tesla seems to have plenty of faith in it and so far its batteries appear to hold up great.

I think the larger battery was needed because of the battery’s relatively low powerdensity.

Seems to me Mercedes wasn’t interested in making waves with class leading range (this is compliance car from company that promotes hydrogen as the future)so it opted to silently offer optional extra range, maybe to make it more competitive against BMW’s i3.

You really can’t deal with people having a different opinion to yours, can you?

You prefer to make libellous accusations that Honda, and its highly qualified engineers, are ‘hydrogen hoaxers’.

Just out of interest, have you qualifications in car engineering, battery chemistry, or fuel cell chemistry to underpin your sweeping and libellous pronouncements?

I thought not.

Someone who had some idea of the subject and its complexity would not simply mount a hobby horse as you do.

This reply to Chris O should have appeared lower down the thread, where he accuses Honda of committing a hoax.

That is because they disagree with his notions about hydrogen, so it is impossible for anyone to honestly hold a different opinion.

Hate makes blind…

FYI I have no preference as to what power the electric cars which we will use, nor do I think it possible at this stage to pick winners.
Hence I am the neutral, and you are the guy who is peddling fake certainty as to how things will pan out, but what gets my goat is that you also go to straight character assassination and libel.

Have you any evidence at all that Honda supports FCEV and hydrogen for any other reason than that they, whatever you may conclude differently, think this the best option?

I thought not, so stick to argument, not mud slinging.

BTW if you had any qualifications in the subjects you make absolute pronouncements on, no doubt you would have enumerated them.

You haven’t, and are just slinging mud against organisations which have a different opinion to you.

For someone who claims he is neutral you sure have a curious tendency to start foaming at the mouth every time someone even hints at not being a particularly big hydrogen believer. Do you really think you can bully people in suppressing their critical attitude towards the hydrogen lobby?

Get a grip on yourself Davemart, you are not doing your beloved hydrogen cause any good with your antics. The way you get downrated like a common troll over at ABG should be an indication for you that you need to check your tone at least, if not your message.

LOL, talk about hydrogen hoaxers and invariably one comes crawling out of the woodwork these days trying to bully you into stop being critical about this technology.

In light of the invariably arrogant and aggressive tone of these Mujahedeen of hydrogen one’s got to love the irony of that “can’t deal with people having a different opinion to yours” remark though.

There is nothing aggressive then about proclaiming Honda as ‘hydrogen hoaxers?’

Do you read what you write?

No? I don’t blame you for that at least.

Good idea.

I don’t think dropping a qualification as “hydrogen hoax” is particularly aggressive considering the problems with this technology.

What is bizarrely aggressive is the way you keep verbally attacking anyone who shows a critical attitude towards this technology.

Try to behave Davemart, people should be able to venture opinions without suffering maniacal verbal attacks from some overzealous hydrogen fan.

Allegedly Toshiba’s SCiB batteries have a very long cycle life even when repeatedly fast charged:

I say allegedly because they are also supposed to have great low temperature performance, but apparently the Honda Fit loses lots of range in cold weather.

Any car will lose more energy in colder weather due to higher air and rolling resistant. Plus usually there’s extra heating load too. Not sure why people have the idea that range should be the same in all temperature conditions.

Li-Titanate batteries can have a cycle life above 5,000 cycles, which is more than enough for a 10 year calendar life.

You still have to run the numbers, but it wouldn’t surprise me that in stationary applications, the cost of replacing the unit every 3-5 years (1000-1500 cycles) using traditional Li-Ion cells is higher than replacing once every 10-12 years with Li-Ti. You’re paying 2-3x the mobilization costs for the replacement work, shipping, etc.

I don’t think the numbers work out as well in mobile applications – where weight and practicality are more important (does your EV’s battery need to last 20 years? not really given the rate at which batteries are improving).

I am going to guess titanate has low w/kg characteristics, for stationary storage. Economies in this format may be being exploited, over the idea that its cell life would provide any premium in automotive use.

CA’s storage mandate was curiously written as 1.3GW, not 1.3GWh. To discharge at 2MW, for a 1MW battery, may show a trend in the name plate capacity required. The more I read, the more I think the first grid batteries will really be intended for short transitions and downspikes, not “backup”.

“2MW, for a 1MWh” correction

I think any type of battery back up system for something as big as a power grid like on a state level. Such as a back up system big enough for say 20,000 or 500,000 homes should be pumped hydro. Pumped hydro is were you have to lakes next to one another linked by a pump station and a set of hydro turbines. When power is cheap the pump station takes power in from the grid and converts it to stored power by moving it to the upper lake. When the price of power is expensive then the dam opens up and turns the water into power to sell on the open market.

I had a idea that Virginia Power could build a bass load solar power system using pumped hydro. What they could do is build a 500 mega watt to 1000 megawatt solar power station anywhere in the state of Virginia. The power from the solar panels would be sent to one of their existing pumped hydro projects in Bath County Virginia. Then during the night the pumped hydro could let out some power when the sun goes down on the solar station.

According to Toshiba, though their SCiB batteries have lower (gravimetric and volumetric) energy density than other Li-ion batteries (when calculated on nominal capacity), the higher proportion of available capacity (on nominal capacity) (which is due to the ability to charge and discharge the battery to, respectively, almost full and almost empty without compromising battery life) means that, when calculated in terms of available capacity, their energy densities are comparable to (or anyway, not much lower than) that of other Li-ion batteries. And, of course, available capacity is what matters (in terms of range, or for any application). Even better situation when calculating the weight/size of the battery pack in relation to the range, because of the greater ability (according to Toshiba) of the SCiB to recover energy through regenerative braking. And still better situation when you consider the weight/size of the pack and other components needed in relation to the pack (cooling/heating system,…) in relation to the range, since SCiB don’t typically need (in most environments) any cooling or heating systems, being able to operate without problems or losses at a very wide range of temperatures (about -20 to +50 °C, if I remember correctly). Price per unit of range… Read more »

Funny how you come to write “their” in place of “they’re” without realizing…
(Very common, on the net)

I agree with your analysis. I too thought this chemistry was very promising once but it was largely never heard of again for EV purposes. It’s properties should definitely make it very suitable for PHEVs if maybe less so for BEVs, because of low energy density.

OTOH: Fit EV is still one of the best cars in its class and would have been great if Honda had seen fit to exploit its battery’s excellent fastcharge capabilities but alas, this is just a compliance car from a hydrogen hoaxer that no doubt isn’t interested in confusing people about the need for hydrogen.

My hunch would be that SCiB’s lack of EV applications is a combination of low energy density and relatively high cost, combined with a sneaking suspicion that unduly long battery life doesn’t fit planned obsolescence strategies. Not a problem for Fit EV since Honda plans to toss them in the shredder as soon as they have served their compliance purposes.

Yep. I was so suprised to hear that the Outlander didn’t use SCiB. I thought it was an obvious choice for an automaker already using them.
Anyway… Let’s be happy with the ability of the Outlander to fast charge, though a bit “less fast”…

Also for me: low energy density and/or price are the problem (though Honda – or maybe Mitsubishi, can’t remember – said they chose them because of being cheaper).

Yes, combination of “eternal” electric motor and “eternal” battery tends to lead to an “eternal” EV. Not that appealing for an automaker (especially with minimum spare parts use all along…).
Only, I’m confident Tesla would have utilized them if they were… “Fit”. (ah ah)

To be exact: the “energy density per mile of range” mentioned in the last lines of my (long) comment doesn’t mean anything as such…
I just meant “energy density (gravimetric and volumetric” modified to take into consideration the higher “miles per kWh” the SciB battery gives in virtue of better capabilities in recovering energy through regenerative braking.

Temperature range correction for the SCiB: no problem fast-charging even at -30°C (-22°F).
Better than others even above 40°C (104°F).

Those battery are fine with full cycle charge without degradation.
Since Leaf battery only use .83% of their spectrum, that would mean you have to get probably 50 Leaf pack to equal this energy storage/buffer system.
Ain’t that right?