By John Engel
A hybrid solar-plus-storage microgrid will replace some of the power generated by diesel in a remote community above the Arctic Circle in Alaska.
The microgrid features a 225kW solar array and a 250 kW/384 kWh lithium-ion battery system that serve the energy needs for Shungnak, a village of fewer than 300 people.
Blue Planet Energy developed the microgrid using its lithium iron phosphate battery system, Blue Ion LX. The battery cabinets are deployed in 32 kWh increments. AVEC said earlier that without some kind of energy storage, installing a 224kW solar array on the small Shungnak-Kobuk grid would not be very efficient. Community loads in the summer average 125 kW with peaks up to 200 kW.
The Blue Ion LX is temperature rated for storage and discharge at -4°F, and requires a minimum 32°F temperature to charge. Lithium iron phosphate batteries tend to be cheaper, safer, and have a longer cycle life than alternative lithium-ion technologies.