Sungrow Connects China’s Largest Solar Plus Storage Microgrid Project…Plus News from CALMAC & EHT

Dec. 15, 2016
Sungrow connects China’s largest solar microgrid project…Naval school shows power of microgrids with CALMAC system…Enerdynamic Hybrid Technologies completes remote microgrid in northern Ghana.
China’s largest solar plus storage microgrid project up and running in Tibet 

China’s largest solar plus storage microgrid project is now connected to the grid in a high-elevation area of Shuanghu. Located in China’s Tibet province, the microgrid — powered by Sungrow — includes 13 MW of PV inverters, 7 MW of energy storage inverters, and 23.5 MWh of lithium ion batteries.

The microgrid project aims to provide electricity to over 14,000 people in the vicinity. In the past, the region’s harsh wind, low temperatures and high elevation has posed challenges to inverters and other solar components. To battle the climate, Sungrow has implemented preventative measures such as insulated battery containers and cold start capabilities for inverters and their components.

Interestingly, Sungrow’s Shuanghu microgrid also is designed for remote monitoring to allow for unattended operation. The plant will provide over 6.6 million kWh per year to the area, which in the past has been plagued with frequent power shortages.

Naval post graduate school uses CALMAC system to show power of microgrids

The Naval Post Graduate School has successfully demonstrated the power of microgrids, using CALMAC’s IceBank Energy Storage system. The company’s ice-based energy storage technology was implemented into the graduate school’s Integrated Multi-Physics Renewable Energy Laboratory (IMPREL) in Monterey, Calif.

The microgrid project uses a variety of forms of energy storage and a multi-physics approach to enhance the use of on-site sources of renewable energy. CALMAC’s ice-based energy storage system works to provide the microgrid with technology for more flexible use of solar and wind to store cooling.

Using a multi-physics approach, the Naval Post Graduate School contends the energy storage system could work on a much larger scale, as well.

“Applying the multi-physics approach to our microgrid project, over the traditional microgrid approach, allowed for the use of fewer renewable energy sources to meet demand, reducing size, costs and the amount of unused energy,” said Anthony Gannon, assistant professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, at the Naval Postgraduate School.

There are also benefits to using ice-based energy storage. Due to the reliance on the phase change of water between solid and liquid, CALMAC’s technology won’t be impacted by cycling and can completely discharge. This capability prolongs the lifespan of ice-based energy storage tanks, which has been known to exceed 25 years.

The IMPREL approach works to match demand to the supply of electricity created by on-site PV panels and wind turbines, contrary to the traditional power grid where supply is defined by demand. The IMPREL system is designed to work toward independence from the rest of the grid, as energy is either used as it is generated or stored for later use when output declines.

EHT completes remote microgrid system in Northern Ghana

Enerdynamic Hybrid Technologies (EHT) has finished a new remote microgrid, designed for Gariba Lodge, located in Ghana West Africa. The new system uses solar panels and battery storage.

Gariba Lodge is one of the largest local hotel complexes in northern Ghana, and it will now be using renewable energy to power a Policy Training Institute and a retreat for development practitioners, in addition to the hotel’s usual business.

The microgrid completion comes at a good time. There has been a recent increase in local electrical rates, as well as frequent power outages on the main grid. All three hotel buildings will now generate and share power between themselves and on demand, generating over 500 kWh daily.

The smart microgrid energy system works to transfer the power produced to any of the three facilities connected to the microgrid, making the buildings in the system both generators and consumers of power.

John Gamble, EHT CEO, said, “I have spent a number of days over the last weeks at Gariba Lodge meeting with both the private sector and the Ghana governments technical people on how this system works. All people have responded with the same thoughts. This is the best most professional system we have ever seen built in Ghana. We are looking forward to EHT working with us to build many more of these systems over the years to come.”

To check out photos of the new Gariba Lodge microgrid projects, see here. 

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About the Author

Sarah Rubenoff