NAS Batteries back in the race soon ?

The biggest battery storage system in the world…

Tohoku Electric Power Co. Inc. set up a sodium sulfur (NAS) storage system at its Noshiro fossil-fuel-burning power plant. The system comprises forty 2 MW NaS batteries from NGK Insulators Ltd. able to continuously supply 80 MW for six hours. When it will be operational, it will be the biggest battery storage system in the world.

The system aims to prevent blackout in summer, thanks to load leveling (the batteries are charged during the night when the load is low and discharged in the afternoon during peak load hours). Tohoku EPCo is indeed unable to supply enough power because of the damage caused by the earthquake of March 11, 2011 (the one with the tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster).

…soon

It was expected to be running in January 2012, but because of the fire incident that occurred on September 21, 2011, the commissioning is postponed to April.

This announcement looks innocent, but it tells us that it seems that NGK is close to solve the problems raised by the fire incident.

Gauthier Dupont
Dupont Energy Consulting GmbH

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NGK Insulators fights back

The show must go on

Today, NGK Insulators Ltd. posted on their website a press release that details their strategy to fight back against the NAS (sodium-sulfur) battery fire incident that occurred on September 21, 2011.

First, the good news. They aim to resume the production of NAS batteries in mid-2012. At the same time, they will introduce new safety measures to currently installed batteries and restart their operations. NGK plans to further upgrade NAS batteries so as to provide an additional margin of safety.

Historical losses

The bad news. NGK has estimated the total cost of expenses expected to arise from the fire incident. ¥60 billion! It will be booked as an extraordinary loss.

Next step

Now, NGK should as soon as possible communicate the causes of the incident.

We wish NGK a speedy and full recovery.

Gauthier Dupont
Dupont Energy Consulting GmbH