China solar giant moves into global utility battery market, with big plans for Australia




China solar giant Trina is making its move into the booming global big battery market, with the global unveil of its new 2MW/4MWh grid-scale Elementa 2 energy storage system, at All-Energy Australia in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Trina Storage, already well established in China with manufacturing capabilities currently at about 12GWh a year, says the world-first unveil of the new big battery coincides with a push into the Australian market, where it says it is already building up a “huge pipeline” of potential big battery projects.

So far, the storage business has made four gigawatt-hours of shipments of its lithium iron phosphate batteries, mostly within China – including one 400MW/800MWh battery energy storage system (BESS). It has also supplied the batteries for a 50MW/200MWh grid-scale BESS in the UK.

Edison Zhou, Trina Solar head of Australia, says the company hopes to have a large-scale battery project using the Elementa battery packs underway in Australia by the end of next year.

“The rapid growth of solar in Australia means industry players are thinking of new ways to meet the growing need for flexibility,” Zhou says.

“Energy storage is a flexible solution that can provide a reliable and efficient operation of the electricity system.”

“We are quite confident that with the customer pool and the reputation we have built [in Australia] over the last probably 12 years already, the Trina name in this market, we are quite confident to start up the product here,” adds Todd Li, president of Trina Solar Asia Pacific.

TrinaStorage says its vertically integrated production line includes the Trinacells (picture above), which use “leading technology” of self-produced cyclic cells that can achieve zero degradation in the first year. The company also manufactures its own battery racks and cabinets.

The batteries are compatible with a number of power conversion system technologies and include a thermal management system and liquid cooling so the batteries can operate at optimal temperature range.

Elementa also includes fire suppression and uses real-time data monitoring of key performance parameters, such as voltage and temperature, to optimise performance and fire safety in line with all applicable Australian codes.

Li says battery storage is not something new for Trina – it already supplies batteries for the residential and commercial sectors in China and some other parts of the world, like Japan. These products, too, will be coming to Australia in the next year or two.

“In Japan …almost like 5,000-6,000 residential storage systems have already been distributed in the market. So it’s not something new for us.”




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