Use the correct fuse for Energy Storage (ES) Applications

Energy Storage Fuse

Don’t use a standard DC Fuse or PV Fuse for DC Battery Energy Storage (ES)

Battery Energy Storage applications are becoming very common from small UPS installations in server rooms to Distributed Energy Storage Systems up to grid-scale, battery-based energy storage systems capable of supporting multi-MW systems.

Advantage of Battery Energy Storage:

  • Absorbing and discharging power.
  • Responding within milliseconds.
  • Easily scaled for right-sized deployment.

Battery Energy Storage can enable MW alternative energy generation systems to supply critical grid stability services, mitigating the intermittency of typical installations and can lower the cost to operate alternative energy generation systems.

Battery Energy Storage also allows for Flexible-Peaking-Capacity. This not only pertains to enhancing the grid for reliability, but for buildings, campuses, and enterprises applications; back-up power can be as important as reducing demand charges for peak or seasonal power rates. Lastly, these systems can provide fast-response frequency regulation and load balancing to the grid.

With all of these advantages Battery Energy Storage has some very difficult protection challenges that are not immediately apparent.  If not done correctly catastrophic damage can occur to your installation. And to add insult to injury, you may have purchased expensive protection that may not only be inappropriate for the application but in some cases dangerous.

Why not just use an AC fuse de-rated for DC applications or standard DC fuse?

DC operating voltages narrow your selection of fuses

Many Grid-Scale, battery-based energy storage systems operate at 1000 to 1500VDC and most fuses in the market are designed for AC applications. Suppliers will apply a de-rating factor to these AC Fuses which may allow for implementation in DC systems; however most of these AC fuses, even with a de-rating applied, cannot be readily used in DC-based circuits.

Ability to interrupt high fault currents

When switching over from mains to battery operation, discharge currents result, which require faster-acting and more specific fuse elements. ES applications typically necessitate short circuit currents beyond the capabilities of standard DC fuses. For example, these applications can see Short Circuit Currents of greater than 200kA with an L/R of less than 3 ms. Note that a typical gPV DC class fuse (Photo-voltaic) with a URPV UL 2579 approval only has a rated breaking capacity of 30 kA at L/R of 3ms. These fuses are unable to interrupt the fault current before system damage occurs.

Other unique attributes

There are other design considerations unique to Battery Energy Storage in addition to operating voltage and operating current to evaluate, these are:

  • Rated voltage present at the end of the specified discharge duration.
  • Ambient temperature.
  • Discharge duration and/or charging/discharging frequency.

Let’s get started to properly protect ES systems!

To meet the protection needs of Battery Energy Storage, we offer fuses for direct currents of: 80 VDC, 440 VDC, 550 VDC, 720 VDC, 1000 VDC and 1500 VDC, and rated currents up to 2500 amps. These are designed specifically for ES applications.

We can assist in sizing the appropriate fuse for your Battery ES applications. Supply as much of the below information as possible and sent to

  • Charge / discharge cycle time; load profile.
  • What is the L/R of the system?
  • Is there a peak current (let-through) current requirement?
  • Steady state current.
  • Available short circuit current.
  • DC voltage of the batteries in the charged state and minimum voltage.
  • Nominal operating voltage.
  • Ambient temperature.
  • Environmental conditions.
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Critical Power Expo with something HOT!

Hill Tech at Critical Power Expo

Hill Tech will be at Critical Power Expo, co-located with The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Tech Expo in Novi, Michigan, USA at the Suburban Collection Showplace on September 12-14, 2017.

See us at the following booths:

See us to discuss Heating element options to improve battery performance. We can provide lightweight solutions that extend battery life by adding just the right amount of heat to maintain constant operating temperatures. These are custom-engineered match the battery cell for the voltage and thermal properties needed. Custom heating elements minimize component weight and cost while supporting effective operation. If needed options are available for integrated sensors.

Heater options

Heaters are available in Kapton® or polyimide, silicone rubber, or polyester

Heaters are available in Kapton® or polyimide, silicone rubber, or polyester.

Power electronics for Charging inverters and converter need robust DC link and AC filter capacitors. Stop by and see how we can help.

Film Capacitors

High Frequency Resonant Film Capacitors


-> Show a Hill Tech representative the below for a FREE for a complementary mini bottle of hot sauce.

Yes! I want a free mini bottle of hot Sauce.

Please see a Hill Tech representative at the show for a complementary mini bottle of hot sauce.

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Hill Tech at Solar Power – Checkout these interesting Las Vegas facts

Hill Tech at Solar Power International

Hill Tech will be at Energy Storage, co-located with Solar Power International in Las Vegas, NV at Mandalay Bay Convention Center on September 10-13, 2017.

See us at the following booths:

  • SIBA Fuses LLC. Booth #1546
  • HVR Advanced Power Components Inc. Booth #961

Las Vegas “details” you might not know…. While at the Mandalay Bay and Las Vegas see if you notice the following:

1. Do you notice a tropical sweet aroma that fills the air in the Mirage and Mandalay Bay, or the perfume smell in the Venetian. Our understanding is they pump this scent through the air system. Apparently a company called Aroma Systems Inc. manufactures the device which provides this sensory experience for the guests of these resorts, their website mentions their client list.

Sweet aroma of resistors and PV fuses in normal operation

Calm is in the air when you are using the right components


2. In the Chinese culture, the number four is considered bad luck. High-rollers from China are very important to the gambling industry in Vegas. With this in mind, many of the resorts tower floors do not label any of the floors that start with the number four. For example the elevators count 38, 39, 50, 51, 52…

Luck PV fuse and resistors

Your always lucky when using resistors and fuses from Hill Tech








Stop by and see us and let us know if you observed the above Las Vegas peculiarities.

-> Show a Hill Tech representative this image for a FREE for a complementary mini bottle of hot sauce.

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Hill Tech Office LED Conversion

Hill Technical Sales is pleased to announce the completion of an LED retrofit of its main office in Arlington Heights Illinois. Hill Technical Sales, a provider of OEM components for Power, Thermal Management and the Imaging Industry (founded in 1966) was looking for a lighting solution to both reduce energy costs and improve light levels for its office and data center.

Hill Tech took advantage of new LED lighting to increase the light levels and provide a more pleasing working environment by:

  • An improved and appropriate light distribution pattern.
  • Better color temperature and CRI, which increases the ability of the human eye to render color.
  • The removal of the offensive “buzzing” of the old magnetic ballasts.

All this was accomplished while at the same time achieving our primary goal of decreasing energy costs. These energy cost reductions are in both the lighting electricity used and electricity needed for the air-conditioning, because of the wasted heat produced by the old inefficient magnetic ballasts. When the ballasts were removed during the retrofit, they were so hot you could almost “cook an egg on them” one employee commented.
Although the new energy efficient lights will save Hill Technical Sales substantial money on its annual energy bills, another reduction in cost comes from improved maintenance. The facility was still using the old 4 ft. T12 40-Watt Fluorescent tubes which needed to be replaced approximately once per year. Another saving is in the reduction of recurring labor required to replace the ballasts and cracking Bi-Pin Fluorescent Lamp Sockets, to keep the facility lighting in good working order.  Also not to be over-looked is the recycling costs of the failed Fluorescent tubes.

LEDs are a bonus in terms of maintenance savings as they last many more times as long as virtually all conventional lighting solutions (100,000 operating hours or more for LEDs). Total savings on energy and maintenance were estimated to reduce this cost by 25% per year.

The project entailed the one-for-one replacement of 20 existing troffer lights composed of four T12 40-Watt 4 ft. linear Fluorescent tubes each, and eight 50 wall halogen display lamps. Both lighting types were replaced by a superior LED designed for the particular application.

Hill Technical Sales President, Andrew Hill, stated “It’s a virtual no-brainer for us to take advantage of the long-standing and apparent performance improvements of LED lighting”. Below is an image of the project before and after the LED retrofit. Notice there is no perceivable illumination difference; however the colors now appear slightly brighter and sharper:

Step By Step LED retrofit - Hill Tech Sales

Hill Technical Sales is pleased to announce the completion of an LED retrofit of its main office in Arlington Heights Illinois.

Take a look at how the installation proceeded step by step at: LED Lighting Retrofit

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How it works – Ceramic composition resistors

Parts of a Ceramic composition resistors

Ceramic composition resistors are similar in concept to the familiar carbon composition resistor

Ceramic composition resistors are similar in concept to the familiar carbon composition resistor. Both types comprise a solid body of resistive material, and dissipate energy uniformly throughout the component. This is known as a “bulk” material construction.

In film or wirewound types, the resistive material is only a small fraction of the total mass of the component. Bulk construction concentrates most of the component mass into the resistive element. Bulk resistors are inherently non-inductive, and offer high energy density. This bestows the capacity for high peak power, and high reliability in pulsed or surge-prone duty.

Carbon composition resistors have long been recognized for their advantages in pulsed duty, requiring combinations of high peak power or high voltage with low inductance. This is why “carbon comps” have often been the choice for snubbers and inrush limiting applications.

The Ceramic resistor difference is the resistive material, where a high-temperature, electrically conductive ceramic replaces the resin-bonded carbon particles of the earlier type. Since the ceramic dissipates heat more rapidly, higher average power can be tolerated. The high temperature capability of the ceramic allows much more energy density than carbon composition, which means smaller or fewer parts, with resulting better reliability and lowered cost. Ceramic resistor resistors also exhibit better stability under extremes of voltage and temperature. Like other “bulk” resistors, they are non-inductive. This makes them ideal for high frequency applications.

The simple construction, consisting mainly of the conductive ceramic material with bonded metal contacts, is highly reliable. Selection of the proper material from among several options allows the properties to be controlled and tailored to the application. A wide variety of geometries are easily produced, meeting requirements from Hundreds of Joules to Mega Joules.

By Hill Tech
Courtesy of HVR Advanced Power
Location- Arlington Heights IL

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