World-first home battery performance guide submitted to Standards Australia

A two-year, industry-wide bid to develop performance standards for residential and small-scale commercial battery energy storage systems in Australia has reached a key milestone after a draft document was submitted to national standards body Standards Australia.

The draft Australian Battery Performance Standard (ABPS) was put together by a consortium led by international testing and certification house DNV GL, and including the CSIRO, Deakin University, and the Smart Energy Council.

Co-funded by ARENA and the Victorian government, the project set about to both define standardised performance testing protocols, and to give consumers a trusted and accessible reference point for comparing different battery technologies.

The standard – which also had input from a range of industry stakeholders including Sonnen, RedT Energy, Redflow, ABB, AGL, Tesla, Century Yuasa and LG Chem – shows how to measure the performance of stationary, solar-connected battery systems with nominal power of no more than 100kW and rated capacity between 1kWh and 200kWh.

As Nishad Mendis, the Australian Battery Performance Standard project leader at DNV GL explained on One Step Off The Grid last month[1], these are properties such as maximum and sustained power, voltage range, response time and efficiency – all typical metrics in battery testing, but not always reported by manufacturers or, indeed, measured in the same manner.

The whole process, which kicked off in 2018, has been an enormous undertaking and promises to deliver a key resource for consumers and the industry, in Australia and abroad.

As Mendis noted, the slow uptake of home battery storage in Australia – relative to the break-neck speed of rooftop solar adoption – can in part be put down to the difficulty customers face in choosing the right system for their needs.

As DNV GL noted in its press release, no such documentation as the draft Battery Performance Standard exists anywhere in the world right now. So as well as being a big deal for the nascent Australian battery market, the standard could also become a global standard once it is in effect.

That said, the tests used for the guide were formulated to be relevant to Australian conditions, including particular climates and solar PV production patterns.

DNV GL also said the consortium would also be publishing an interim best practice guide which could be adopted until the standard had been approved and cleared for adoption by Standards Australia – a sometimes-lengthy process, as was demonstrated by the saga of Australia’s controversial battery safety standard[2].

“The adoption of this standard will help the consumers’ dilemma of choosing the energy storage system best suited to their needs, and empower them to play their part in moving towards a cleaner future,” DNV GL’s executive VP for the Asia-Pacific region Nicolas Renon said.

“Energy storage is shaping up to be an important feature of our rapidly evolving energy system,” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller.

“As rooftop solar penetration continues to increase, and more people look to store their solar energy during the day and minimise what they consume from the grid in the evening, it is important that consumers are informed about how well batteries perform over their lifetime to aid their investment decision.”

For an in-depth look at the makings and goals of the Battery Performance Guide, read Nishad Mendis, here: Confused by the home battery market? This should help[3]

To learn more about the project, please visit[4]

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