A multimillion-dollar collaborative research project aimed at establishing whether distributed stored energy can be used to reduce peak- hour energy demand has gone live at the University of British Columbia, and will be showcased on October 21, 2013, at the Corvus Energy & Alpha Technologies sponsored tour.
The first multi-location project of its kind in the world, the UBC “Living Lab” smart micro-grid will provide operational backup power to three facilities integrated with the grid, renewable energy sources and a mega-Watt energy storage capability. The stored-energy project is a joint venture between Alpha Technologies, Corvus Energy, Natural Resources Canada and UBC. Each power station used to provide building backup power is being deployed as part of an integrated network controlled through a remote centralized management system – something not done before in British Columbia. The integration means the power stations can communicate with each other and share power when one is running low.
Energy storage technology used for this project allows us to understand how energy is harnessed, stored and deployed at the university to better meet its massive power requirements, which is anticipated to grow by 40 percent over the next decade. The tour will look at how a smarter grid can help deliver electricity more efficiently, cost-effectively and reliably. With these improvements, electricity grids, already strained to near-capacity, will be able to meet the challenges of the future.
The visit will include a tour through each power station, including:
· The Fred Kaiser Building
· Network Centre of Excellence
· Bioenergy Research and Demonstration
During the tour, attendees will see how one hundred and fifty four AT6500 battery modules (totaling 1MWh, located at the three sites on campus), are supplying backup power directly to specific loads (whole buildings or individual labs) and communicate with the greater grid, allowing energy from the batteries to interact with the grid when requested and coordinated by Alpha Technologies’ Cordex® Controller System.
Participants will learn about smart grid benefits that have been applied to UBC including:
· Better equip UBC’s grid to meet increasing demand
· Help governments, utilities and regional populations avoid the cost and expense of overhauling or building new high-power voltage infrastructure
· Decrease campus brownout, blackouts and surges
· Lower energy costs
· Facilitate real-time troubleshooting
· Make renewable power feasible by ensuring energy can be stored safely and distributed consistently where and when it’s needed
· Maintain global competitiveness and safeguard UBC’s leadership position in clean energy research