Northern Power Rolls Out Energy Storage Suite
Northern Power Systems Corp., a Vermont-based provider of distributed energy power systems, is now offering a suite of megawatt-scale energy storage solutions that incorporate various battery types and capabilities, depending on the application and end user need.
The company has already begun integrating batteries from three suppliers: UniEnergy Technologies is a vanadium-redox flow battery supplier. Flow batteries are known for their long duration and maintenance-free operating life. They are designed for shifting energy demand or storing and delivering renewable energy. Eos Energy Storage offers a zinc hybrid cathode battery that is particularly well suited to daily solar PV energy time shifting. Samsung SDI manufactures and supplies high-performance lithium-ion batteries for a variety of applications and charge-discharge requirements.
Northern Power’s energy storage systems incorporate batteries from these suppliers, along with the company’s FlexPhase power conversion platform, controls, battery management hardware and ancillary systems.
The company is currently working on multiple projects using the different battery technologies: These include a 1 MW/4 MWh system in Washington state with flow batteries from UniEnergy Technologies and a 1 MW/4 MWh system using Eos batteries, being installed at an existing location with more than 5 MW of wind and solar capacity in Brazil.
“For over 40 years, our company has supplied wind power, microgrid and power-conversion systems across all seven continents,” states Ciel Caldwell, Northern Power’s president and chief operating officer. “With our deep know-how and proven expertise in the energy industry, storage systems are a natural complement to our turnkey solution offerings.”
AWEA Unveils Interactive Map Tool
Using a new map tool released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), anyone can now easily view the location of every utility-scale wind project and wind-related manufacturing facility in the U.S.
With the very first American Wind Week in full swing, AWEA says it released the map to help people visualize the growth of America’s largest source of renewable energy capacity.
“Wind power has become a vital part of the U.S. economy, drawing billions of dollars in capital investment to rural communities each year and supporting over 100,000 U.S. jobs across all 50 states,” says John Hensley, deputy director of industry data and analysis for AWEA. “I’m pleased this new map tool helps Americans visualize how world-class U.S. wind resources are being put to work in all parts of the country.”
A time-lapse feature built into the map shows the progress of wind power development across the country. Starting from 1981 in the passes of California, where the first modern wind energy projects were completed, users can see the story of American wind power unfold across heartland states such as Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma and Kansas and eventually to the first U.S. offshore wind project completed off Rhode Island last year.
The map also features markers for the more than 500 wind-related manufacturing facilities in the U.S. today. These factories support 25,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs across 41 states, notes AWEA.
The association says its new map uses only a small percentage of the full wind project and manufacturing data available to AWEA members through Market Database Pro, a comprehensive, interactive database of all online, under-construction and advanced-development wind projects, as well as all active wind-related manufacturing facilities.
For more information, check out AWEA’s website at awea.org.
New Grout Technology Suited For Offshore Wind
Tracerco, part of London-based Johnson Matthey PLC, has launched a new product that the company says enables offshore operators in the oil and gas and offshore wind markets to ensure the quality and strength of grout during installation.
According to Tracerco, the technology is able to provide quick and accurate grout density profiling. Real-time monitoring enables the measurement of grout density to be taken as it is pumped into the pile annuli; this allows offshore operators to determine that the density of the grout is as specified in the design – in turn, ensuring a secure foundation.
“Tracerco’s unique grout monitoring system ensures that accurate grout data profiles can be quickly obtained,” states Kim Thye Lee, strategic support manager. “Highly reliable density measurements remove the need to over-pump the grout volume, saving on raw material costs and reducing the time taken during cleanup. This, combined with live data recording and robust analysis, ensures that grout pumping can be optimized with a full traceable record of activity.”
The system can be interfaced with any type of remotely operated vehicle and can also be deployed using a diver.
Sentient Science Grabs Millions In Funding
Buffalo, N.Y.-based Sentient Science has announced that Toronto-based growth equity firm Georgian Partners will fund $22.5 million in a Series B, growth-stage investment in the company, which currently monitors and provides life-extension actions for 20,000 wind turbines across 200 projects globally, as well as simulates 440,000 bearings and 100,000 gears within its DigitalClone Live software.
According to Sentient Science, the capital funds will be used to provide new technical, security and software capabilities within DigitalClone Live, which is now expanding to operators and suppliers in aerospace and rail.
Hiring plans include an additional 70 employees, including a chief financial officer, vice president of software, software developers, and sales and marketing staff, in the offices located in the U.S., Europe and China.
“We incentivize our employees with pre-IPO stock options, so we’re very strategic in who we bring in as partners. We’re very excited and proud to be working with Georgian Partners, who is another important partner on our journey to IPO,” comments Ward Thomas, CEO and president of Sentient Science.
“Ward and his impressive team at Sentient Science have a unique technology and business model that lowers the cost of energy through supply-and-demand integration,” says Simon Chong, managing partner at Georgian Partners. “Their DigitalClone Live software fits perfectly with our thesis area for artificial intelligence, and we look forward to working with Sentient to expand technical capabilities and added value within the core applications.”
This is Sentient Science’s third round of funding since its inception in 2001. Previously, the U.S. federal government awarded more than $30 million in Small Business Innovative Research grants for the development of science-based software.
3M Partnership Features Use Of Drones
In an effort to reduce wind turbine downtime that can affect annual energy production, 3M recently announced an agreement with Camp Six Labs – a provider of drone-based infrastructure maintenance – to apply 3M products to wind turbine blades by using soon-to-be-developed Camp Six robotic applicators.
Camp Six will use small industrial robots mounted on drones to conduct routine wind turbine maintenance. During maintenance or upgrade work, the federally certified pilots will secure a safe flight perimeter and position the blades. After the unmanned aircraft are flown into position, the specialized robots will conduct repairs and improvements with 3M products – e.g., 3M Wind Protection Tapes, fillers, adhesives and coatings.
“3M’s wide range of technologies and products offer improved performance and protection against weathering and harsh environments and are used to build and maintain wind turbines around the world,” says Santhosh Chandrabalan, global business manager for 3M Electrical Markets. “Drone application technology offers an exciting and innovative way to provide O&M services for wind turbines.”
According to the companies, the new offering will also reduce potential workplace risk to technicians.