The Virtual Battery
The EnPot technology has the potential to make the aluminium smelting industry not only more competitive, but also more responsive to the wider community and environment around it, especially as nations try to increase the percentage of power generated from renewable sources.
The flexibility EnPot offers smelter operators can allow the aluminium industry to be part of the solution of accommodating increased intermittency.
TRIMET Aluminium SE, is a family-owned aluminium trading business and Germany’s largest aluminium producer. TRIMET's trial installation of EnPot in their Essen smelter has demonstrated how TRIMET plans to use their smelters as an integral part of the German national grid.
Dr. Martin Iffert, CEO of TRIMET Aluminium SE, believes that the EnPot technology can be used like a virtual battery to buffer demand against supply in Germany, as the country seeks to increase its use of renewable power generation under the Energiewende programme.
“TRIMET’s trials of the EnPot technology indicate that by being able to dynamically increase or decrease our energy use by 25%, TRIMET could in fact become the energy bridge buffering supply and demand in Germany,” he says.
“This would effectively enable TRIMET to become a significant part of Germany’s energy storage capacity. Our goal is to use our smelters to give Germany a virtual battery capacity of 12GWh, which would be approximately 25% of Germany’s current pump hydro storage capacity,” Dr. Iffert says.