Aquion Energy, developer and manufacturer of Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI) batteries and energy storage systems, and Ideal Power Inc., a developer of innovative power conversion technologies, were big factors in the installation of a state-of-the-art microgrid at Stone Edge Farm, a 16-acre organic winery and farm in Sonoma, Calif. The energy storage project is designed to provide a range of benefits, from integrating renewables to reducing overall energy costs, proving the broad possibilities of microgrid architectures.
The solar PV + storage installation is part of the farm’s innovative microgrid and is designed to provide energy for a number of buildings on the site, including the primary residence, offices and workshops. During daylight hours, solar PV provides energy for the buildings and charges the batteries. During nighttime hours and periods of cloud cover, the batteries provide energy for building loads.
The system consists of 14 25-kWh Aquion M-Line Battery Modules providing approximately 350 kWh of energy storage capacity, connected to a 32 kW solar array using Ideal Power’s 30 kW multi-port power conversion system. The Ideal Power multi-port system architecture enables the direct DC-level connection of solar PV and energy storage in one compact, highly efficient, transformerless package, eliminating the complexities and redundancies of older, AC-coupled systems. Aquion’s safe and environmentally friendly battery technology is a unique saltwater chemistry made from abundant, nontoxic materials. The batteries are designed for daily deep cycling in long duration (4+ hour charge/discharge) applications, making them ideal for solar installations.
The microgrid project, developed by Wooster Engineering Specialties, a general engineering contractor, provides solar self-consumption, peak shaving and load shifting services to Stone Edge Farm for energy self-sufficiency and to reduce its carbon footprint. The grid-tied microgrid is capable of islanding and operating autonomously, and is also generating sufficient energy that Stone Edge Farm is able to sell a substantial amount of the energy produced back to local utility PG&E.
“The Stone Edge Farm project is an excellent example of how long-duration advanced batteries plus solar PV can enable on-site renewable energy generation and maximize solar self-consumption. Our clean and sustainable batteries are a natural fit to help the farm meet its zero carbon emissions goal. We’re proud to be part of the Stone Edge project and their cutting-edge efforts to leverage clean energy technologies in support of their business and the planet,” said Scott Pearson, CEO of Aquion Energy.
“Microgrids utilizing renewable energy and energy storage technologies will be a crucial part of the global energy infrastructure moving forward,” commented Dan Brdar, CEO of Ideal Power. “This project will provide an important model for the development of microgrids in the future. We’re proud that our power conversion system was selected as part of this Aquion project to help lay the foundation for new energy applications.”
Ideal Power and Aquion previously announced a technology partnership in which they tested Ideal Power’s power conversion systems alongside Aquion’s AHI™ batteries to ensure seamless interoperability and optimal performance for a range of applications. This project is the first commercial deployment of the two companies’ technologies alongside one another for an energy storage application.
— Solar Builder magazine