What are the different types of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS)?

There are different types of Battery Energy Storage Systems(BESS) depending on the type of batteries being used.

One of the major factors in deciding which battery type to use will be its energy density. Energy density is the amount of energy that can be contained in the battery in comparison to its weight and size.

Also important is the cycle life of the battery. This is determined by how many times the battery can be charged and discharged before it loses performance all together.


This is the most common type of battery used in a BESS. They have high energy density, are efficient and they have a long cycle life. There are different types of lithium batteries e.g. lithium iron phosphate, lithium cobalt oxide and lithium manganese oxide, and these have different life span maximums of ten, seven and 30 years respectively. These batteries are favoured for microgrids and electric vehicles.


This battery type is cheaper than lithium-ion, however, they are less efficient and have a shorter lifespan. They are safe and reliable, but the point on which these batteries shine is that 80% of the components are recyclable. This is the type of battery found in a petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle.


A new option on the market, flow batteries store energy in an electrolyte solution contained in external tanks. They have a longer lifespan than both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, at more than 20 years, and are easily adjustable to scaling up by adding more tanks, although they do have complex technology.


As the name implies, these batteries use liquid sodium and sulfur as the active materials within them. They have high energy density and are capable of delivering large amounts of energy in short periods. They have a high operating temperature, which can be problematic, and are best suited to stationary applications.


This type of battery is still an emerging technology but a highly promising one. They use solid electrolytes which offer high energy density. They have improved safety, and they charge faster than lithium-ion batteries, making them the one to watch for future BESS applications.