Batteries, Energy Storage, News, On-Site Power, Renewables

Solar-battery hybrid microgrid bound for EPRI, Navy testing, deployment

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has selected a Vermont firm to design and build two transportable microgrid battery energy storage systems (BESS) for the U.S. Navy.

Northern Reliability Inc. won the $2 million contract to deliver the two BESS projects. Once built, the microgrid systems will go through testing at Port Hueneme Naval Base and then testing and operational use at a Naval Surface Warfare Center-Port Hueneme division data center in southern California.

The NRI microgrid sets will use solar energy and the BESS combined with Navy on-site power to provide emergency backup electricity to critical Naval functions.

Both are 250kW, 4-hour lithium-ion based systems contained in transportable shipping containers. Additionally, both are fitted with Navy-approved supplemental fire protection components and incorporate an innovative lithium-ion battery cell off-gas detection device which is integrated with the fire protection/suppression system.

“Microgrids installed for backup power on military and non-military sites are currently customized according to each site, which result in costly and, at times, lengthy design and installation time periods. There is a need to demonstrate a standardized microgrid configuration consisting of distributed energy resources (DER) easily adaptable to a wide variety of electrical and non-electrical siting requirements,” said Robert Schainker, one of EPRI’s senior technical executives and a principle investigator for EPRI’s military sited microgrid projects. “Working with NRI and its containerized BESS gives us the opportunity to install, operate, and evaluate a standardized microgrid that aims to provide reliability and resiliency while reducing GHG emissions.”

NRI’s BESS systems will be delivered to Port Hueneme Naval Base in early 2020 for testing to better understand the real-world performance, capital costs, and maintenance costs of such battery subsystems when integrated into a ‘seamless’ backup electric power microgrid. After testing the microgrid with its BESS, the system will be moved and reconnected to support the data center as part of the tests of the system’s transportability.

Data obtained on the costs, performance, and benefits of the overall microgrid project will help support future commercial deployments of microgrids for military and non-military applications.

— — — — —

Distributed energy, energy storage and microgrids are each content tracks being offered at DistribuTECH in the Summit. DistribuTECH will be Jan. 28-30 in San Antonio, Texas.