San Diego zoo debuts energy storage

It converts sunlight into energy, charges electric vehicles and delivers access power to the grid. And it keeps your car cool while you go feed the elephants. The newly unveiled parking lot at San Diego zoo has solar canopies that can produce up to 90kW of electricity, five car-charging stations and the possibility to deliver energy to the grid. Best of all, it has two lithium-polymer storage units, with a total capacity of 100kW.

According to an article on the KPBS site, the energy storage element is a first for this type of project. And the installation has so impressed the University of California in San Diego that it is considering building a similar power hub on campus.

US military vehicles go electric

It is not just tree-huggers who are embracing electric vehicles: the US Army has several in the pipeline. This means opportunities for energy storage companies, such as Saft, which has just been awarded USD$1.3 million from weapons manufacturer BAE Systems.

The funding is for the continued development of a Lithium-ion energy storage system for the US Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle programme. Saft, which is designing and building ultra-high-power cells for the vehicle’s hybrid electric drive system, has already completed the demo battery system including hardware and software, says the company.

Wind farm gives up on storage after fire

Hawaiian Electric Co. has said it will replace its 15MW battery system, which was used to help stabilise the wind energy output for its grid, with a Dynamic Volt-Amp Reactive voltage regulation device, made by American Superconductor, at its Oahu North Shore site.

In August, a fire destroyed the Kahuku Wind Farm’s original energy storage system warehouse and caused damage that will cost US$8 million to rectify, reports Pacific Business News. Moreover, the work will not be completed for some time, meaning that the wind farm will be offline until late 2013.

VYCON to install $3.6m flywheel on metro

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has awarded VYCON a contract worth $3.6 million to install a Wayside Energy Storage Substation (WESS) at the Los Angeles Metro Red Line Westlake/MacArthur Park station. The WESS will use VYCON’s REGEN clean-energy flywheel systems to capture and store part of the energy normally lost by the trains through braking.

The energy will then be available to trains in acceleration in a clean, instantaneous form, says the company.

Electric vehicles for military energy storage

Southwest Research Institute is a member of a team recently awarded a $7 million contract from the US Army Corps of Engineers to demonstrate the use of electric vehicles plus generators and solar arrays to supply emergency power. The program, called the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security, is intended to make military installations more energy efficient and secure.

Scandline ferry gets marine battery pack

Corvus Energy will provide ferry company Scandline with a 2.7MWh power pack consisting of an AT6500 advanced lithium polymer battery system for an existing diesel electric ferry, reports MarineLink.com. The batteries will last for more than 10 years, says Corvus, and can be charged in 30 minutes by renewable, shore or generator power.

Saft breaks into wind with lithium-ion battery

Advanced battery manufacturer Saft will be supplying two Intensium Max 20E lithium-ion battery containers as part of the High Wind and Storage Project near the City of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada. Commissioned by Cowessess First Nation to design, produce and install the complete battery-based energy storage system, the project is Saft’s first foray into wind power in North America.

Each of the two Li-ion units includes a 400kW power conditioning system for use in conjunction with a 800kW turbine, and Saft’s complete system has been designed to smooth output and provide up to 400 kWh peak-shaving capability.