Manufacturer Reports

Energy Storage Is Combined with Large On-Campus Wind Turbine

Thermal Storage Tanks Make More Efficient Use of the Variable Supply of Wind Energy

September 23, 2013
FAIR LAWN, N.J. — CALMAC, a leader in energy storage systems, has announced the installation of its IceBank® energy storage tanks at the Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) in Ireland. CALMAC’s tanks are being used to successfully store energy from a large on-campus wind turbine in the form of ice, which is then used the next day to cool students and faculty in the historical and architecturally protected PJ Carroll building. In 2012 alone, the wind turbine equipped with energy storage was able to produce 1,440 MWh, 79 percent of which was consumed by the university and the remaining sold back to the grid.

Originally built in the late 1960s as a cigarette factory, the 191,000-square-foot PJ Carroll Building is considered one of the finest examples of Miesien architecture in Europe. Approximately 118,000 square feet of the facility were remodeled in 2010 as part of a college expansion project, which included the incorporation of CALMAC’s IceBank energy storage technology. The tanks provide a solution for making more efficient use of the variable supply of wind energy and capitalizing on previously underutilized wind turbine power generation, while protecting the architectural integrity of the structure. Today, the “urban turbine” is generating 40 percent of the campus’ electrical energy requirements.

“The installation went without any problems. The start up and testing was also quite smooth,” said Christian Maas, building services technical officer at DkIT. “Capturing excess wind energy by using CALMAC’s IceBank tanks has really helped to maximize the use of renewable energy on campus.”

With the assistance of CALMAC in conjunction with UK Distributor LTi Applied Systems Technology Ltd, DkIT has smoothed its electricity grid demand profile by shifting a portion of the PJ Carroll Building’s demand from on-peak to off-peak times, allowing more renewable wind energy to be used on site. In 2012, the building was named one of nine in the European Union to receive a Royal Institute of British Architects award for architectural excellence. With 64,000 square feet of the facility yet to be occupied, the benefits of energy storage will continue to increase over the next couple of years. According to energy modeling calculations, energy storage working in tandem with the wind turbine could provide 96 percent of the electrical load for the entire PJ Carroll Building.

“Fossil fuels have a major and obvious advantage over renewable energy alternatives and it’s the fact that they are a form of stored energy,” said Mark MacCracken, CEO of CALMAC. “If the power generated by wind doesn’t perfectly match demand, which it rarely does, then it is either being wasted or needs to be supplemented. Energy storage evens the playing field and makes the large scale incorporation of clean energy more viable. The installation at DkIT demonstrates the vital link between energy storage and renewables.”

For more information, visit www.calmac.com.

Publication date: 9/23/2013

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