Oilon to deliver industrial heat pumps to the largest battery farm in China

Oilon supplies heat pumps to China's largest battery park

Oilon’s equipment will cool down the battery farm’s batteries and feed the waste heat to the local district heating network.

Oilon will deliver industrial heat pumps to a battery farm located in the city of Dalian in North-Eastern China. Once complete, the battery farm will serve as a large store for electricity. Construction is currently underway, with an expected completion date of 2022. The equipment supplied by Oilon will cool down the farm’s batteries and transfer their waste heat to the city’s district heating network.

“It’s exciting to participate in a huge project like this, especially as it will cut down on the local CO2 emissions and help integrate more renewable energy into the power grid. We expect strong growth in China and in the international heat pump market,” says Ville Pekkola, General Manager, Oilon China.

Once completed, the battery farm will be the largest one in China and one of the largest in the world. The farm’s capacity will be 200 megawatts and storage capacity 800 megawatt hours. It will act as a highly responsive operating reserve for the rapidly increasing number of wind turbines in the region. In practical terms, the batteries will feed electricity to the grid when there is no wind. Thanks to the flexibility provided by the batteries, more wind turbines can be integrated into the power grid.

Furthermore, the battery farm will reduce the peak capacity required within the Dalian region by around 8 per cent. Traditionally, this peak capacity has been produced using fossil fuels, which means that using batteries is an effective way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Oilon will provide Dalian Henliu Energy Storage Power Station Company Ltd. with a system that includes eight Oilon ChillHeat high-temperature heat pumps installed in containers. The system will provide cooling for the farm’s vanadium flow batteries. At the same time, the heat pumps will produce district heating, which will be sold to Dalian Thermal Group, a local district heating company.

This delivery is set to follow the first stage of construction, where Oilon was selected as the equipment supplier based on a variety of tests. The two key criteria for the contract were heat pump performance and reliability. When used for combined heating and cooling, the system will have a coefficient of performance (COPtot) of 10.

Oilon’s high temperature heat pumps are used in a wide range of different facilities and applications around the world. Thanks to their ability to produce temperatures up to 120 °C, they are well suited for district heating.

“The largest battery farm in China is a good example of the Chinese government’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality in 2060. The amount of highly variable wind and solar power is increasing rapidly within the Chinese power grid. Battery farms will provide much-needed flexibility. For China, power storage is the key to quickly increasing the nation’s clean energy production. Similar battery farms will be eventually required everywhere. This represents massive potential in the heat pump market”, Pekkola says.

The battery farm consists of large vanadium redox flow batteries. The batteries store electricity by utilizing ion reactions within an electrolyte solution that flows inside tanks. Compared to lithium ion batteries, vanadium batteries are fire safe and have a longer useful life. The batteries can withstand more than 20,000 recharge cycles without loss of capacity, and they can be charged and discharged at the same time. In recent years, vanadium batteries have become increasingly popular in grid-connected battery farms around the world. The Dalian battery farm is a national demonstration project approved by the Chinese government. Its purpose is to test the use of vanadium flow batteries in power grids.