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How is EV infrastructure expansion creating demand for reliable energy storage?

Energy storage plays a crucial role in building a more sustainable and electrified world. One big driver for energy storage is the expansion of electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. This expansion is crucial for several reasons. EVs help improve air quality since they produce zero tailpipe emissions, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping steer the world towards a low-carbon future. However, to continue to see the benefits of EVs, the world will need more energy storage solutions to ensure there is enough power on site to support the charging requirements.  

Charging Infrastructure Trends

Currently, most EV charging is done at home, but publicly accessible charging points are increasingly necessary to scale the adoption of EVs. This is especially true of urban areas, which can present more limitations for home charging. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2023, the number of public and private EV charging ports nearly doubled from 87,352 to 161,562. There are two kinds of EV chargers: slow and fast. Many home EV charging stations use slow charging technology where cars can be plugged in overnight. Fast charging, on the other hand, can charge an EV to full capacity in an hour or less. Publicly accessible fast chargers therefore enable drivers to take more trips further away from home, which encourages the adoption of EVs.  

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The Role of Energy Storage 

Energy storage allows efficient utilization of renewable energy sources for EV charging, reducing strain on the grid during the peak of charging times. Renewable energy cannot be produced on demand the same way that nonrenewable power that uses sources like coal can. However, to be truly carbon neutral, EVs need to be charged with renewable energy. Many EV charging stations are powered by solar power coupled with energy storage that allows installations to generate power from the sun and store it for use when drivers are ready to fuel up.  

Energy storage systems also support the stabilization of the grid by managing fluctuations in EV charging demand. Spikes in charging from drivers needing to charge up all at the same time can create stress on the grid—bringing energy storage into the equation helps regulate this demand. The process of storing energy helps to ensure more reliable charging when issues arise such as grid disruptions or power outages.  

Potential For Growth 

According to a report from the Edison Electric Institute, the U.S. is expected to have 17 million EVs on the road by 2030. This predicted growth highlights the need for a robust charging infrastructure supported by energy storage solutions.  

Last-mile delivery, for instance the final phase of delivering a package to a residence, is another area where we may begin to see growth in the EV industry. Last-mile delivery is often the most fuel costly part of delivery. Moving forward, logistics and last mile fleet vehicles may start taking advantage of solar-powered EV charging at local fleet stations. In the future, we can expect to see delivery companies partner with electrical vehicle manufacturers to get them closer to their sustainability goals and improve operational efficiency.   

Prepare for the Future with nVent Solutions 

nVent solutions protect, connect and cool energy storage systems. nVent’s range of products help enhance performance, safety and reliability of utility-scale energy storage systems. We provide solutions to make interconnections easier for installers on the low-voltage side of the transformer. 

Our energy storage solutions help reduce the footprint of energy storage installations through efficient liquid cooling that helps enable greater density of batteries and power within enclosures. Our ability to customize solutions, provide industry expertise and iterate on the systems we have developed in other industries, such as industrial automation and data center solutions, positions us well to be a critical player in the energy storage industry. 

More power density will generate more heat, and much like we have deployed liquid cooling in data centers for rising chip density, liquid cooling will also play a larger role in battery storage installations. To better manage battery temperatures, our chillers provide cooled fluid to manifolds which distribute fluid directly to battery modules through customized hoses and fittings. 

With increasing electricity requirements, more batteries are also required, making our space saving, low smoke and halogen free power connections well-suited for battery energy storage sites. In addition our lightning protection, grounding and surge protection solutions drive improved facility safety. Overall, we are focused on developing new battery connection and protection systems that include physical protection and architecture including cooling, power connections, leak detection, enclosures and lightning and surge protection. Our expertise with digital design tools and remote monitoring and controls in other verticals will also help us bring new innovations and insights to this growing field.  


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