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Ideal Power supplies power converters to PV-plus-storage projects in California, Texas

Ideal Power also has a supply agreement with NEXTracker. Pictured is NEXTracker's FusionPlus integrated PV-plus-storage solution.

Ideal Power, the US company best known for its power conversion systems for energy storage, has announced two recent project orders totalling 1.6MW in northern Texas and in California.

Just over 1MW of the company’s 30kW Stabiliti power conversion systems will be integrated into six solar-plus-storage systems at a California municipal school district. The 35 separate Stabiliti units will be installed with PV and battery energy storage at six installations.

The systems will provide services typical to commercial battery storage installations in the US - lowering energy costs and offering energy resilience in the face of outages and other disruptions to stability of power supply.

A significant operating expense for schools, with the US DoE (Department of Energy) quoted as recording US$6 billion spent on energy at educational facilities each year, energy costs in this case will be cut by helping the schools optimise their time-of-use of electricity and reduce demand charges, the premium charged for power drawn from the grid at peak times.

The systems would also provide critical load support, Ideal Power CEO Dan Brdar said.

“In addition to reducing energy costs, solar-plus-storage systems can provide critical load support to keep government buildings, universities, schools and hospitals up and running in the event of grid outages due to rolling blackouts, brownouts or severe weather events.

“Critical load support is normally accomplished using diesel generators that may harm the environment due to emissions, require regular maintenance and expensive refueling, and can damage sensitive equipment when bringing the facility back online after a power outage. Stabiliti enables renewable energy as the school’s high-quality backup power source, dramatically reducing generator runtime and fuel use.”

Stability power converters are available as either a two-port AC-DC system for energy storage, or a “versatile” multi-port AC-DC-DC system to enable the direct integration of PV and energy storage. The units’ technology is the next generation of Ideal Power’s Power Packet Switching Architecture (PPSA)

Ideal Power is supplier of conversion systems to a number of energy storage providers, especially in the residential and commercial and industrial (C&I) space. It supplies Sharp for its SmartStorage systems, inverter maker KACO and most recently for PV tracker firm provider NEXTracker on an integrated all-in-one solution using flow batteries.

A quick win in Texas: C&I system will pay back in under seven years

Meanwhile, in another project Ideal Power will be supplying Stabiliti power conversion units to help a public sector information technology services provider to ‘grid-proof’ its power supply with a low carbon PV-plus-storage solution.

Tyler Technologies in North Texas manages information and data for local government encompassing schools, the legal system, police forces and more. Tyler has contracted solar developer W Energies Solar One to install two 150kW solar PV arrays, each coupled with 300kWh of energy storage at two of the information tech provider’s campus buildings.

The customer wanted low cost, environmentally-friendly electricity, Ideal Power said, while also needing to be backed up and resilient in the event of grid power outages and other disruptions. The two PV-plus-storage systems use five Ideal Power Stabiliti multi-port devices each, the version of the converter which enables bi-directional flow of electricity from solar, storage and the microgrid or grid.

“According to our analysis, we believe that our systems combined with Ideal Power’s power conversion technologies can offer payback in less than seven years, making it a compelling solution for renewable electricity that can withstand power outages,” W Energies Solar One director of operations Matthew Rater said.