Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Storage Systems

© Fraunhofer ISE

Commercial and Industrial (C&I) storage systems are used for the energy management of industrial and commercial enterprises and are sized according to individual need (capacities in the range from 20 kWh up to several MWh) . Due to their comparatively high capacity and performance, they also can provide system services – in particular, a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles without requiring a cost-intensive and lengthy grid expansion. These storage systems ensure a reliable and secure energy supply, and in combination with a PV system, they can even replace a dedicated conventional fossil-fuel power plant. They are also economically attractive as they help to avoid expensive peak loads (peak shaving) and can accommodate variable electricity tariffs. In combination with photovoltaic electricity generated for self-use, commercial storage can help increase the solar self-sufficiency of the business. 

Stability and Reliability

C&I storage has been used in critical infrastructures as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) during power failures for decades. Hospitals, data centers and industry are now becoming increasingly interested in the multi-use application of this type of storage, in which self-consumption, peak shaving and charging infrastructure come into play in addition to security of supply. 

R&D Services

Our services for commercial and industrial enterprises as well as for project developers, system integrators and system manufacturers comprise:

  • development of optimized battery systems
  • development of highly efficient and functional power electronics
  • development of intelligent energy management systems
  • business model development including modeling and forecasting of PV and load profiles
  • holistic quality assurance

Quick-Facts:C&I- Storage

  • Installed capacity and expansion demand
    • Installed capacity in Germany (2021): approx. 170 MWh1
    • Total storage demand in Germany by 2030: 104 GWh, by 2045: 180 GWh, of which C&I storage can cover a significant share 
  • Technologies:
    • Lithium-ion batteries 
    • Redox-flow batteries 
    • High temperature batteries (sodium-sulfur batteries and sodium-nickel-chloride batteries)
    • Combination of different battery technologies (hybrid storage systems) 
    • UPS: Lead-acid still dominant. Lithium-ion batteries growing stronger 
    • Future Technologies: e.g. zinc-ion batteries
  • Advantages:
    • Economical
      Reduction of grid usage fees and electricity costs (peak shaving), use of variable electricity tariffs (energy arbitrage), reactive power compensation, prevention of grid expansion, use of own electricity in combination with decentralized RE. 
    • Ecological
      Increase self-consumption of renewable energy (PV) and solar coverage rate, reduce CO2 footprint, reduce grid expansion needs at distribution grid level.

[1]Figgener, J., “The development of battery storage systems in Germany: A market review (status 2022)”

Selected Research Projects


Planning and Implementation of an Innovative Energy Concept for a Development and Test Center for Batteries


Methods and Analyses to Determine the Impact of Decentralized Prosumers and Energy Storage on Germany’s Power Generation and Electricity Grid


Data-driven design and operational management of decentralized electrical storage systems in manufacturing SMEs


Assessment of the Technical and Systemic Fit of Battery Technologies for Battery-relevant Applications

Further Information on this Research Topic:


Battery System Technology for C&I-Storage


Applied Storage Systems


Center for Electrical Energy Storage


Center for Power Electronics and Sustainable Grids