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Hydroelectric-solar-lithium-ion microgrid marks successful first year at Patagonia National Park

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 10:34 -- Paul Crompton

A “run-of-the-river” hydroelectric power station, photovoltaic installation, and lithium-ion battery storage system have been successfully used to deliver power to facilities in the Patagonia National Park.

The project uses two lithium-ion battery storage units with a combined capacity of 144kWh— from German firm Tesvolt— coupled to two hydraulic turbines and a solar system, both with AC coupling, to achieve a total output of 115kWp.

The power requirements of the park’s facilities were previously provided by diesel generators.

Patagonian installation company SyR Energía planned and executed the project.

Gonzalo Rodriguez (pictured), engineer at SyR Energía, said: “Combining run-of-the-river hydroelectric power and a photovoltaic installation is technically very demanding.

“In winter and spring, the Patagonian rivers are swollen by heavy rainfall and snowmelt from the Andes. The two micro-turbines convert the energy from the water into electricity. 

“In summer, the water level in the rivers drops significantly and the required electricity is then supplied by the photovoltaic installation. Excess electricity is temporarily stored in the battery storage systems.

“This has paid off. The installation has now been running without no problems at all for exactly one year.”

The park is being ‘rewilded’— after decades of heavy overgrazing and desertification— by Tompkins Conservation, a foundation created by the founder of North Face, Douglas Tompkins, and his wife Kristine, previously CEO of clothing company Patagonia. 

Together they have helped create and extend 15 national parks in Chile and Argentina and eventually worked with both governments to protect more than 14 million hectares of land.

Tompkins Conservation purchased the area in 2004 and has since donated the park to the Chilean state, where it is maintained by the Chilean National Forestry Corporation (CONAF).

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Eos Energy Storage to deploy zinc battery in microgrid applications in Africa

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 11:25 -- Paul Crompton

Eos Energy Storage is set to deploy its Aurora EnergyBlock™ zinc battery energy storage system (BESS) into rural microgrid development in Nigeria.

The project is part of a wider scheme to inform utilities and energy providers of the best storage technologies for rural locations and environments in Africa.

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US tests show VRFB potential can replace lithium-ion in microgrid applications

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 11:38 -- Paul Crompton

US energy storage firm Ameresco has completed the initial phase of a three-stage investigation into how flow batteries can support, and possibly replace, diesel generators in microgrid applications.

Phase one of the project—conducted in partnership with consultancy firm 2ndPath Energy—evaluated vanadium-redox flow (VRF) battery technology with the aim of offering feedback to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the wider industry.

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Rolls-Royce eyes the microgrid market with majority share in ESS firm

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 14:43 -- Paul Crompton

Luxury car brand Rolls-Royce has upped its interest in German lithium-ion energy storage firm Quinous as turns its focus on the microgrid market.

The firm, which owns German industrial concern Rolls-Royce Power Systems, now holds a 73.1% majority stake in the Berlin-based storage specialist, the companies announced on 15 January.

Image: Andreas Schell (right), CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems Division, and Steffen Heinrich co-founder and co-managing director of Qinous

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Australia frees up AUD50M for studies into microgrid deployment

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 13:10 -- Paul Crompton

An AUD50 million ($34 million) cash pot has been released by the Australian government to fund feasibility studies into how microgrids can replace, upgrade or supplement existing power supplies.

The ‘Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund’ (the program) will provide up to AUD50 million by the end of 2024. 

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Redflow storage sures up electric supply for Thai village

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Ban Pha Dan

Australia-based Redflow has provided a hybrid battery system coupled with solar energy generation to create a microgrid that will provide a reliable power supply in a remote village in Thailand.

The energy storage system is made up of 10 Redflow ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries— which provide 10kWh apiece— and three lithium batteries. The ZBM2 batteries will provide power to the Ban Pha Dan community school, town hall, and temple, while the lithium batteries will supply energy for individual homes.

Ban Pha Dan is in Lamphun province and is surrounded by a wildlife reserve where power pylons are not permitted, meaning that the village has lacked access to electricity in the past.

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Battery system at heart of microgrid in Micronesia

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Palau, Micronesia

The government of the Pacific Ocean island nation of Palau has signed an agreement to install a battery system at the heart of a solar and storage microgrid.

The agreement with Engie Electro Power Systems (Engie EPS) will see the creation of the 100-megawatt ‘Armonia’ microgrid— comprising 45 megawatt-hours of battery storage and a 35MW solar photovoltaic project to be integrated with existing diesel generating facilities.

Engie EPS general manager and CEO, Carlalberto Guglielminotti, claimed the microgrid “would not be just one of the largest storage-enabled solar projects in world, but a pioneering showcase for the whole global energy sector”.

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Go Electric’s second military BESS project

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 10:47 -- News Editor
Go Electric’s second military BESS project

Indiana-based energy equipment and solution provider Go Electric Inc. has won a $1.7 million contact to supply a 1MW/1MWh lithium-ion grid-tied battery energy storage system (BESS) to a military depot in Tooele, Utah.

The contract is awarded by Perini Management Services, Inc. (PMSI), designing and constructing management services to US military, will interconnect Go Electric’s BESS to the Tooele Army Depot’s (TEAD) existing 46kV line, its self-sufficient microgrid, which providing the TEAD with energy security and resiliency.

 

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US laboratory testbed to use ViZn 128kW flow battery system

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 16:27 -- Paul Crompton
US laboratory testbed to use ViZn 128kW flow battery system

US firm ViZn Energy Systems is to deliver a 128kW/ 320kWh redox flow battery system for use in a US laboratory’s microgrid research, development and demonstration testbed.

The order for the system, based on its zinc-iron chemistry, was received from Idaho National Laboratory (INL), part of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) complex of national laboratories.

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