Scientists are hoping the technology, which is going on a trial run in Leighton Buzzard, Befordshire, will transform the electricity grid in the UK, and give a boost to the renewable energy sector.
The ability to effectively store energy would allow wind and solar power stations to offset dips in supply.
The test is likely to provide an indicator of whether the new technology can live up to its much-hyped potential.
New ways of capturing energy to be tested
During the trial of the energy storage technology, new ways of capturing electricity to be released over prolonged periods will be tested out. It is hoped this will even out the highs and lows of supply and demand that are currently problematic for the electricity grid.
Key to this process is discovering new means of storing power generated from wind and solar energy
Scientists have long struggled to adapt storage technology from small devices such as batteries and laptops to much larger pieces of equipment needed to deal with the supply and demand of the national grid.
One of the biggest batteries ever constructed
Three companies, S&C Electric Europe, Samsung SDI and Younicos, are hoping to launch one of the biggest batteries that has ever been constructed. Using lithium manganese technology, the £18.7 million project is to be the centrepiece of the energy storage experiment.
The six megawatt capacity battery will take in and release energy in order to meet the grid’s demands. Definitive results are not expected until 2016.
The three companies have garnered financial support for the project to the tune of £13.2 million of taxpayers’ money.
Andrew Jones, managing director at S&C Electric Europe, explained that Leighton Buzzard was chosen as the location for the test due to its good grid connections, capacity for the installation of a gigantic battery and infrastructure for the trial.