Micro-grids: Powering Asia’s growth story

Micro-grids: Powering Asia’s growth story

Erratic power supply has often caused Asia’s economic growth to hit speed bumps. Find out how A*STAR, through Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) and Experimental Power Grid Center (EPGC) – the region’s largest experimental power grid center – can help companies develop next-generation micro-grid technologies.

Micro Grid

On July 2012, 670 million people were left in the dark when three of India’s five power grids collapsed. The source of the outage, the world’s largest to-date, was quickly identified – inadequate energy supplies across the grid forced several states to draw excess electricity to meet demand.

South Asia has one of the highest number of power outages per year. However, energy shortages exist elsewhere. Seven in 10 people in Myanmar and Cambodia still live without electricity . This presents a challenge and opportunity for companies looking at entering the energy market in Asia, where rapid economic growth drives insatiable energy consumption.


Micro-grids bridge power gap

inexhaustible source of energy

As a clean, virtually inexhaustible source of energy, solar energy has been touted as a possible solution for Asia.

Despite its potential, solar energy still remains an intermittent energy source, which fluctuates during heavy cloud cover, rainfall, and disappears at night. Power grids need a stable balance between electricity generation and load demand – an overload or under-supply of energy can threaten grid stability, deteriorate power quality and cause power outages.

Micro-grids can help to bridge this gap in grid stability and resilience. They could be independent island grids that supply power to off-takers from both renewable and conventional (e.g. diesel) energy sources. They can export power to the main grid when there is energy surplus. In times of main grid failure, they can also separate themselves from the main grid to maintain stable power supply.

Micro-grids can also power remote islands that were previously geographically impossible – or too expensive – to link with a main grid. This positions micro-grids as the ideal solution to power up countries that need stable utility-quality electricity to keep up with their fast-paced economic development.


Testing micro-grid solutions in real-time

WEnergy Global, a Singapore-based SME in the renewable energy sector, saw the opportunity of developing a micro-grid to power up the Sabang Underground River Area – a prominent tourist destination in the Philippines’ Palawan Island.

The area is isolated from the main grid in Palawan, which is fully powered by heavy-diesel generators. WEnergy Global is about to commence construction of a hybrid micro-grid worth approximately US$9 million . It has a capacity of 1.4 megawatt-peak (MWp) generated from solar PV power, a 1.2 MW diesel generators, as well as a battery storage system of 2.3 MWh .

In 2013, WEnergy Global partnered with A*STAR’s Experimental Power Grid Center (EPGC), which has strong expertise in micro-grid and intelligent power system design and development, to analyze and refine its micro-grid components and system design through simulations.


“The company also made use of EPGC’s facilities housed on Jurong Island -currently the largest experimental grid facility in this part of the world – to run simulations, analyze grid operations and test the limits of grid stability.”


Unlike smaller lab setups or simulations, the 1-megawatt (MW) experimental grid in EPGC is a fully functional power system, which enables companies to test their solutions and validate their expectations in a real-life environment. The facility also has emulators that can simulate wind or solar conditions in any part of the world, and replicate the behavior and performance of renewable energy sources.

WEnergy Global’s Chief Executive and Founder Mr. Atem R. Ramsundersingh said that EPGC not only had the right expertise in solar power and energy management, but was also willing to negotiate contract and payment terms to suit the compan’s budget and vision.

“This project wouldn’t have been possible from a price-and-profit perspective if I had bought the parts from big companies, which may not be aware of the off-grid challenges in rural Asia, including the interface between regulatory frameworks and deployment of new technologies. It would have been like buying a Rolls Royce when all I needed was an e-bicycle,” he said.

Meanwhile, WEnergy Global secured a second contract for a hybrid power plant on two Palawan islands that are worth USD 15 million. WEnergy Global has also developed a portfolio of such micro-grid and hybrid projects worth USD 250 million which will be executed in the coming years.


Test-bed for smart grid infrastructure

Other companies such as Narada Asia Pacific are working on developing smart grid solutions which can support new applications such as electric vehicle charging.


“This is not surprising, given that the global cumulative smart grid market is expected to surpass $400 billion worldwide by 2020. “


Southeast Asian countries are expected to invest $13.6 billion in smart grid infrastructure between 2014 and 2024.

Narada Asia Pacific approached A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) in 2014, to explore how it could develop an integrated micro-grid system that combines solar photovoltaic energy generation with its REXC lead-carbon batteries. They eventually partnered on a joint-venture project, the Residential Photovoltaic Energy Storage System (PV ESS), together with the Singapore Housing Development Board & (HDB) and Singapore Power.

A complete micro-grid system was set up on the rooftops of selected HDB flats in Ang Mo Kio. Solar PV panels generated electricity for the flats, while Narada’s REXC lead-carbon battery served as a backup power source that supplied power and regulated electricity conversion and flow to the grid.

According to Narada’s director, Mr. Peter Ng, this joint-venture allowed the company to access I2R’s solutions in advanced energy data analytics, complex system modelling and optimization technologies. I2R also helped to bring in partners like HDB and Singapore Power, providing test-bedding opportunities in actual scenarios.

The project has since sparked business opportunities for Narada locally and regionally, and provided a deployable solution that can be replicated in other Asian countries where stable utility grids are crucial to economic growth.


Micro-grid: A game-changer for renewable energy

Micro Grids

With increased energy demand across the region and high environmental costs associated with fossil fuel usage, investing in micro-grid innovation is a viable route for companies to tap the vast potential of renewable energy.

Companies looking to harness the potential of micro-grids can approach EPGC or the recently launched A*STAR Industrial Smart Grid Consortium. Under the Consortium, companies can work bilaterally with A*STAR to leverage the technological capabilities of its research institutes to conduct research and development.

(Article credit : A*STAR)


A Leader in Commercialization of Energy Storage Application

On August 30th, 2016, a large-scale Battery Energy Storage System (1st Phase: 1.5MW/12MWh) which was designed and constructed by Narada Power for a Chinese silicon industry company has successfully been put into service. It is the first commercialized Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in China.


In this project, Narada has been acted as an EPC to provide overall design, procurement, construction and system integration service, and the project is finally put into service after 8 months construction and commissioning. Narada has also been engaged to provide a series of services including electricity consumption management, operation and maintenance afterwards. The completion of this project marked that Narada has the leading position in commercialization of energy storage power station, especially in Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).


The 1st commercialized BESS in China. Designed and constructed by Narada Power
(1st Phase Completed: 1.5MW/12MWh)

The Energy Storage System (ESS) is one of the key technologies applies to Smart Grid, Distributed Generation, Renewable Energy Integration, Micro-grid, as well as development of Electric Vehicles. In large-scale renewable power generation, ESS is applied to peak-shaving to smooth the variable and intermittent power output; In the side of “behind-the-meter”, ESS can be used to improve reliability of electricity provision by shifting peak demand to off-peak period, which has changed the mode of traditional power system, and it has efficiently decreased the peak capacity of generators and increased the utilization of generators; In the side of Transmission and Distribution lines, ESS has largely improved the acceptance ability of renewables integration, and it has facilitated the renewables development and utilization intensively.


Being the leader in Energy Storage industry, Narada has made a quantum leap in Lithium Ion technology, Advanced Lead Carbon technology, BESS solution innovation and marketing development. Narada products and solutions have been widely applied to demonstration and commercialized projects in both domestic and oversea markets, and their reliability and economic feasibility have been fully verified.


By the end of 2016, Narada has already completed and contracted BESS for over 800MWh totally, and mainly applying to peak-shaving for enterprise application, frequency regulation for utility-scale, as well as renewable energy integration. Projects are deployed in many different markets, i.e. China, India, Canada, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, etc.


Besides of the first commercialized BESS mentioned above, Narada is now working on the largest BESS for industrial park in China, with total 15MW/120MWh installation capacity, that helps to save around 32.4 million RMB annually in power consumption for the industrial park. On the other hand, Narada also provides storage system of frequency regulation for both solar farm in Canada and Indian national grid.


In the future, on the basis of continuous reduction of cost per kWh, Narada will keep carrying forward the novel business model “Investment + Operation” in BESS commercialization, and Narada will contribute to sustainable development of energy for the whole world by continuous innovation, technology improvement, platform construction for Energy Internet, and commercialization of smart energy.


Narada Attended 2016 Future of Energy APAC Summit

Recently, the 2016 Future of Energy APAC Summit, organized by Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, was convened on the future of energy, covering three themes: trade, technology, and the transition to a lower-carbon energy system over two days of discussion, debate, and discovery in Shanghai. More than 400 representives from international organizations, government agencies, universities, research institutes and enterprises, participated in this pageant.


2016 Future of Energy APAC Summit was held in Shanghai.

In the same period, the summit set up 8 main forums-“Future Energy Outlook”, “Asia Energy Interconnection”, “Chinese Energy Transformation”, “Profit Model of PV Solar Enterprises”, “Auto Industry Outlook”, “Financing of Asia Renewable Energy “, “PV Innovation – Frontline Green Revolution” “Energy Storage and Battery “, as well as 9 sub-forums; and also held a number of sharing sessions, released the research reports.

blob.pngPanel Discussion

On the second day of the summit, the organizer invited industry experts and related manufacturers to participate in round-table discussions on energy storage and battery-related issues. Mr. Wu Hanqing, General Manager of Overseas Market and EPC Engineering Division, was invited to participate in the discussion. Attendees discussed about the present status and future policy outlook of Chinese energy storage industry and the current energy storage technologies, such as lead carbon battery technology, lithium battery technology.


Mr.WuHanqing, GM of Narada Overseas, participate in the thematic roundtable discussion.

Mr.Wu Hanqing, General Manager of Overseas and EPC Engineering Division,shared Narada’s progress in the commercial application of energy storage and talked about the main business opportunities in global energy storage market, such as peak regulation, home Energy storage, industrial and commercial energy storage, renewable energy connected-grid, reducing abandoned air and discarded light, micro-grid and etc.In addition to the existing subsidies mechanism for household/commercial energy solutions, Mr.Wu also shared more economic benefits and business models, which attracted the attention and praise from the audience.


Mr. Wu spoke at the sub-forum on Energy Storage & Batteries.

The Future Energy Summit was founded by Bloomberg in 2008 and has ever been held in New York, London and Shanghai. 2016 Future of Energy APAC Summit aims to promote the “Global Energy Internet” concept at a higher level and a wider range of dissemination, seize the opportunities of “the Belt and Road Initiative” to promote interconnection of regional internet in Asia as well as global infrastructure, which are fit for Narada’s vision of “building energy Internet platform”. In the future, Narada will make full use of opportunities to promote energy Internet solutions at home and abroad to provide comprehensive solutions and operation services for the Global Smart Energy.


Narada was awarded in Australian Annual Energy Storage Summit

With support of the Victoria Government, the Australian Clean Energy Council and Australian Power Grid Companies, the 7th Australian Energy Conference was inaugurated in Melbourne Pullman Hotel on October 11th, 2016.


As the most influential summit of the energy storage industry in Australia, the two-days conference brought together more than 200 energy storage distributors, integrators, battery manufacturers, inverter manufacturers, as well as Australian local governments, power grid companies, associations and research institutions and the media from Australia and China.


Mr. Wu addressed a speech on Lead-Carbon Systems

Mr. Wu Hanqing, General Manager of Narada Overseas Division, gave a thematic presentation on lead-carbon storage system. He gave a comprehensive introduction to the research and development of Narada lead carbon battery, the achievements of technological innovation, and the recognition of international advanced lead-acid battery association. Narada creates a brand new business model of “investment plus operations” with the cost-effective lead-carbon systems in the energy storage industry, leading the development trend of the industry.

He said, as one of China’s outstanding energy storage enterprises, Narada must take up the responsibility to create a global green environment, inspire every energy storage user by the high-performance long-life low-cost products and solutions as well as meticulous service, and spread ideas of environmental protection farther and longer.

blob.png Panel Discussion

The theme of Day Two conference was “Case and Application”. Under the guidance of Owen LOCK, speakers from famous energy storage enterprises around the world shared their successful experiences and application cases.

During round-table discussion session, abundant topics and more intense discussions made the site atmosphere particularly warm. Mr. Wu expound Narada’s cognition and prospects for the Australian energy storage market from the perspective of a battery manufacturer, and express Narada’s future strategic direction and the main initiatives of household energy storage market.


Narada participated in the pannel discussion on site


Subsequently, the forum organizers specifically awarded the industry forerunners in the Australian energy storage market, to express their efforts in this year. Narada, with outstanding performance in Australia’s household energy storage market, ultimately won the most important title – “The Best Energy Storage System Supplier”, which also reflects Narada’s influence and appeals in Australian household energy storage users’ mind.


Narada was awarded The Best Energy Storage System Supplier”

This award marks Narada’s important status in the overseas emerging industries markets and higher acceptance and recognition by our professional-grade users. Narada will take this opportunity to make the greatest contribution to the sustainable development of the global energy storage industry!


China announced nearly 600MW of energy storage in Q3 2016

China’s deployment of energy storage looks set to continue an upward trajectory, with almost 600MW in the pipeline as of the third quarter this year.

According to figures released by the China Energy Storage Alliance (CNESA), 14 new projects were announced in Q3 2016 totalling 587MW. This includes projects that are in planning stages, under construction and that have gone online in the quarter. This appears to represent a significant boost to the sector, and is a vast 586% increase on the same period of last year. Up until the beginning of the quarter, CNESA found, 170.6MW of energy storage was in operation in the country.

The bulk of this large figure is contributed by a single project, a touted 400MW supercapacitor storage station with storage duration of four hours in Guazhou County, in the northern Gansu province, a couple of hundred kilometres south of the border with Mongolia. This project will be used to demonstrate the use of storage in preventing wind power capacity curtailment on a microgrid. The project, by Shidai Jiahua Co, requires US$680 million in investment and has an expected payback time of 16 to 18 years.

There was also a 160MW local government project in Inner Mongolia, another microgrid to be used for renewables integration. The local authority of Xilin Gol, one of Inner Mongolia’s 12 sub-divided regions, is keen to trial retail sales of electricity from independent suppliers and this project represents a major step forward in this regard.

While these two huge projects are in northwestern regions of China, Jiangsu in the east will get some significant new projects including a 1.5MW/12MWh project from partners including battery maker Narada Power, inverter maker Sungrow and project developer GCL Power, which is an arm of one of China’s biggest PV groups, GCL Poly. Narada Power was also involved in a 15MW/120MWh project in Jiangsu’s Wuxi City Xingzhou Industrial Park.

Overall, renewables integration appears to be the biggest application driver for energy storage in China, as seen in the diagram below. While big announcements were plentiful, only 1.5MW of storage actually came online in Q3, which was nonetheless a 50% increase on the same period of 2015.

China announced nearly 600MW of energy storage in Q3 2016Image: CNESA.

Regional reforms, big factories and major investments

CNESA also reported that there have been several rounds of regional-level reforms including the establishment of electricity trading centres, the approval of various reform plans by the National Energy Administration and the start of development of power trading markets in various regions.

There was also major news in terms of production centres for energy storage technologies with Sungrow’s partnership with Samsung SDI expected to reach 100MWh production capacity this year and 500MWh next year. GCL Integrators is also building a large facility, a 500MWh battery factory. GCL is investing US$13 million in that plant.

In terms of significant investments in energy storage reported on by CNESA, Shanghai Electric Power has committed to investing US$870 million in the next three years on 100 to 200 energy storage projects in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. The company will make an even bigger investment in Hubei province, central China, putting in US$4.3 billion for more than 1,000 storage projects over the next five years. Meanwhile lithium-ion battery maker Zhuhai Yinlong Co. was purchased by appliances manufacturer Gree for US$1.8 billion.

Interview by CCTV finance channel at Narada 3

Interview by CCTV finance channel at Narada

A few days ago, trading time from CCTV finance channel has made an interview in Narada, and they entered into the production basement of lithium battery for filming on a production process of Lithium Iron Phosphate and ternary lithium battery, also for exploration into current status and prospect. Narada president Mr. Chen. Bo and board secretary Mrs. Wang Yingjiao have accepted the interview.







The lithium industry has been developed so fast in this year, attracted a lot of investment and attention. As long as attention increased in this industry, trading time from CCTV finance channel has made a deep interview in many sections of lithium production, such as raw material provision, manufacturing process, supply chain…etc.

The undersecretary arrives at Narada

Survey of Narada by the undersecretary of China Ministry of Science and Technology

On 14th July, the undersecretary of China Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr. Wang Zhigang has visited Narada for survey and investigation, together with other important leaders of Zhejiang province, accompanied by the president of Narada power source, Mr. Chen Bo through the full itinerary guides.

The undersecretary arrives at Narada                                                                   ▲The undersecretary arrives at Narada

Undersecretary Wang has visited the product exhibition center, national technology center as well as PV-storage integrated microgrid station at Narada, deeply impressed by many cutting-edge innovations here, such as advanced lead-carbon battery, high power lithium ion battery, fuel-cell, pioneered high-temperature battery for energy conservation, smart control center of micro-grid, brand-new business model for energy storage…etc.

Undersecretary Wang appreciated very much about the business model of “investment + operation” initially invented by Narada in storage industry, which provided energy solution at customers’ side and contributed a lot to global commercialization for energy storage.

President Chen. Bo reported to undersecretary Wang about development status and self-innovations of Narada in the new energy field as well as the scientific R&D achievements in three major fields of telecom, motive power and energy storage, aroused great invest from the visiting group.

Visit on exhibition center of Narada                                                                       ▲Visit on exhibition center of Narada

It is also highly recognized by undersecretary Wang that Narada is now striving to become a leader of the systematic solution for motive power of an electrical vehicle, energy storage of smart micro-grid, back-up power of global information technology.

Undersecretary Wang fully approved the achievement of Narada in innovation, development and encouraged Narada to continue investment in order to develop a good model for National high-technology.

He also emphasized that science and technology is a key factor of transformation and upgrading in industry, and innovation is important to improve industry chain.

Visit on Narada integrated storage station for micro-grid

                                                    ▲Visit on Narada integrated storage station for micro-grid

The visit of Undersecretary Wang greatly inspired the confidence of Narada in process of industrial transformation and upgrading, as well as technology innovation in future. Narada will for sure increase investment on scientific innovation continuously, so as to explore a comprehensive solution for smart energy, and to promote the industry of new energy.


Narada received the Green Product Certification Award from SGBC

Narada received a Green product certification award with SGBP Rating of “Very Good” for HTB, REXC and ICS series from SGBC Singapore Green Building Council on 1st June 2016 during Narada partner and appreciation dinner.

The Singapore Green Building Product (SGBP) labelling scheme is widely recognised for it’s holistic and comprehensive approach towards sustainability criteria, drafted by professionals and experts put together by the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) for the industry, by the industry. This grounded methodology enables building products to be impartially evaluated for their relevant, noteworthy qualities, benchmarked against similar products in its category. As a direct result of this emphasis on industrial applicability,the SGBP labelling scheme is recognised under the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark Scheme, allowing certified products to accrue additional points that count towards a project’s eventual rating.





From 24th to 26th May 2016, The CIBF 2016 was held in Shenzhen (The 6th China International Energy Storage Conference and the International conference on the Frontier of Advanced Batteries). Chief president Mr. Chen Bo offered a speech with theme of Exploration of Narada power in commercialization of energy storage, that received a quite positive feedback.


President Chen.Bo at the conference

In his comprehensive presentation, Mr. Chen. Bo has analyzed the potential value and opportunity from global market of energy storage in multiple perspectives, and reflected the current situation of storage commercialization from the viewpoint of five challenges, at last he presented system solution of Narada energy storage in detail, as well as outstanding performance in the process of Narada storage commercialization.

In this conference, Narada is awarded with two important prizes: “The most impactful enterprise of energy storage in China 2016” and “The best solution provider of system integration for energy storage in China 2016” thanks to Narada’s innovation ability, market competence and brand influence in energy storage field.







The best solution provider of system integration                          ▲The most impactful enterprise of energy storage

The “Investment + Operation” commercial model of energy storage, invented by Narada, can realize smart management of power, charging at valley hour and discharging at peak hour, which will not only save electricity bill for clients, but also can predict power generation and loads consumption, as well as energy dispatch that can actively balance loads, as a result, the energy management can be precisely optimized, while the service of “storage+” will be added more value.



The prize of most impactful person of China storage 2016 for Mr. Chen.Bo

As the leading global provider of storage solution and service, the storage systems made from Narada lead-carbon and lithium, have been operated smoothly more than 5 years, whose security and reliability has been well approved, that means, it is already provided with economical efficiency for commercial popularization at user-sides.


The prize of excellent specialist of storage for Narada Chief engineer Mr. Wu

These rewards are actually a full confirmation for Narada continuous endeavor and investment and on R&D in energy storage filed. In future, Narada will always support the new energy industry of China to grow and develop fast and steadily by means of more green products and solutions with high reliability, high quality and high efficiency!


Innovative Products Solutions

Many countries such as India and Pakistan have an average temperature of 30-35°C during the hot season. Inside the telecom cabinet, the temperature is even higher and climb over 50 °C. You may already know it, for every 10°C increase in temperature, the battery life will be cut by two.

Due to the nature and construction of the lead acid battery, it cannot withstand that kind of environment, this is why telecom sites have to be equipped with air-conditioner.

Not only does it increase your capital expenses (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX) by spending thousands of dollars per year and per site in maintenance & electricity fees, it will also increase the energy used and thus increase your CO2 emissions. Reduction of Energy Consumption and increase of Energy Efficiency is one of the most important keys for Telecom Operators.

High temperature battery solutions

Slave mode with external energy management system (EMS)

HESS itself is a kind of energy container;

  1. HESS starts being discharged or charged by the instruction of an external energy management system (EMS);
  2. HESS itself only monitors and protects itself from being over discharged or over charged.

HESS energy charging is activated once the system has detected by power meter that there is a surplus of energy being uploaded to the grid, while the HESS hasn’t been fully charged;

  1. HESS energy discharging is activated once the system has detected by power meter that there is additional electricity request from the grid, while the HESS hasn’t been fully discharged.

High temperature battery solutions

Vodafone Italy outdoor telecom base station

  Vodafone Italy outdoor telecom base station

Turkey indoor telecom base station

  Turkey indoor telecom base station

Saudi Arabia outdoor telecom base station

   Saudi Arabia outdoor telecom base stationSaudi Arabia outdoor telecom base station 2

Data center battery solutions

China Telecom data center

  China Telecom data center

The People’s Bank of China headquarter data center

  The People’s Bank of China headquarter data centerThe People’s Bank of China headquarter data center 1

South Africa Johannesburg international airport data center

  South Africa Johannesburg international airport data center

IBM India data center

  IBM India data center

AirTel New Delhi data center

AirTel New Delhi data centerAirTel New Delhi data center 1

Wasu data center in Hangzhou

  Wasu data center in Hangzhou