HNEI is involved in a number of projects wherein battery storage systems (BESSs) are used in support of utility grids. These include such systems already installed on Hawaii Island and Oahu, with a system soon to be installed on Molokai.
With the increasing numbers of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems being installed on all islands, the intermittent nature of such systems creates the possibility of instability for the grid. Through use of BESSs, grids are able to overcome fluctuations in power frequency at the transmission level. Moreover, the Oahu BESS is designed to see how neighborhood voltages at the circuit level can be kept constant.
HNEI is also conducting research to see how battery life can be maximized.