Imergy Power Systems has installed a 30 kilowatt, 120 kilowatt-hour ESP30 vanadium flow battery at Global Academy of Technology (GAT) College in Bangalore, India. Timothy Hennessy, President & Chief Operating Officer at Imergy Power, generously answered some questions about the project for CleanTechnica.
Why is the Imergy energy storage system located at GAT College?
GAT jointly with SunEdison have a solar research and testing center set-up in their premises. As part of this initiative, SunEdison has implemented rooftop solar and conducts various tests. By implementing the IMERGY storage solution in the premises, GAT is able to store the energy produced by the PV panels during the day and use it during the non-solar time, thus eliminating the diesel generator run to provide clean power when needed.
How did Imergy begin the relationship with GAT?
Imergy has a strategic partnership with SunEdison and in the process got associated with GAT in implementing the storage solution.
What were GAT’s energy storage needs, and how did Imergy work with GAT to establish that its energy storage tech would be a good fit?
GAT is using diesel generators to provide power backup at its premises during grid outages. On an average, GAT uses 700 gallons of diesel fuel and was looking at eliminating the usage of the polluting DG power, and when IMERGY and SunEdison proposed the clean way of storing the solar energy produced on the premises, decided to adopt the same and the economic benefits were realized.
What are the main benefits GAT will receive from using an Imergy energy storage system?
Provide clean and green energy at the premises, eliminate the diesel run, save on the operational costs, and finally, help the engineering students in the college to understand the technology and help create the knowledge base and use the skill sets and the technology to implement rural microgrids to light up the off-grid villages and provide energy security to the country.
What is the payback period for the system?
It’s more than a payback, it’s a reduction in diesel consumption. The long-duration battery (four hours at nominal power) will reduce the need for GAT College to run diesel-fueled generators when there are power outages at night. In 2014, GAT College purchased 700 gallons (2,940 liters) of diesel fuel with its 180KVA backup diesel generator. It’s tied to PV, which is more cost-effective than running diesel. It’s not driven as a pure payback, though it is saving money. It’s reducing energy bills on a long-term basis, but it’s also for education, and for training and for testing. Students can actually see how the system works together.
What is the size of GATs solar power system, and does the Imergy storage system store all of its excess electricity?
The solar size is about 150 kW peak and the storage is a 120 kWh energy storage system dimensioned. It does store all of the excess electricity.
How long did it take to install the Imergy system?
It took them less than one week.
For installations, does Imergy send support staff to implement them?
Yes, we have our own team in India that installed it and commissioned it.
Will the college students study the solar power and energy storage system while they are in attendance there?
Yes. GAT College faculty and students will use the new batteries to study how vanadium flow batteries operate and work in conjunction with PV solar power systems. Faculty and students will study how rural microgrids can use energy storage to optimize PV solar power system production, and how a PV solar power system and vanadium flow battery perform under grid outage conditions.
Is India a target market for future growth?
Yes. India is one of the large markets that is being addressed by Imergy. India has large potential for rural microgrids as a huge population is still unconnected to grid power. There is a great thrust by the Indian government to implement renewable energy and a target of 100 GW is set to be achieved by 2022. There is also a large amount of diesel generators used to produce backup power during the power outages, and so a huge market exists for behind the meter applications for commercial and industrial segments, too. It is estimated that the storage market in India is over 15,000 MWh in the medium term.
Image Credit: Imergy Power
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