Jordan A. Davis

Renewable Energy Surpasses Coal for Electricity Generation in the U.S. in 2019

The end of May brought some surprising news for the renewable energy industry. Of course, this news is in reference to renewable energy sources surpassing coal consumption in 2019 for the first time since before 1885, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

This development is the result of expanded renewable energy options like wind and solar along with the steady decline in the amount of coal being used for the generation of electricity.

renewable-energy-surpasses-coal

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Jordan A. Davis

How Energy Storage Can Mitigate Power Outages

Disaster preparation rarely seems like an urgent priority until it is too late. Power outages can strike quickly and with little warning, leading to lost time and massive repair expenses for facilities that haven’t adequately prepared. Fortunately, most of these losses are completely preventable by investing in battery backup power. Simply by putting these solutions into place, storms and outages become far easier to weather.

The Cost of a Power Outage

A short power outage may seem like a mundane occurrence, but just a few minutes of downtime can be disastrous. Even brief interruptions can lead to substantial productivity losses in attempting to get a facility back online, and sudden power failures can even destroy sensitive, expensive equipment. Power outages cost the U.S. tens of billions of dollars each year with 67% from power outages that are less than five minutes. Read more

Jordan A. Davis

How to Help Pass the Energy Storage Tax Credit

Congressional leaders are currently reviewing a policy on whether to pass a stand-alone tax credit for energy storage. That means the time is now to mobilize and ensure the success of this bill.

According to the Energy Storage Association, your best course of action to encourage the passing of this policy is to reach out to your member of Congress and they recommend using this contact tool to do so: https://democracy.io/

The ESA has also written up a user-friendly template that you can personalize with your company’s information. Here’s a copy of that template:

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Jordan A. Davis

What Are Demand Charges?

When it comes to electricity bills, most commercial and industrial customers simply accept the charges and put a plan in place to accommodate them. However, by understanding the breakdown of their energy usage, many businesses will have the opportunity to generate substantial savings.

According to a recent report from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), utility demand charges can account for between 30 and 70 percent of a commercial and industrial customer’s electricity bill.

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Jordan A. Davis

Energy Storage 101: What is a Microgrid?

One of the primary drivers of innovation in the energy storage industry is the demand for independence and resiliency. Overreliance on the existing power grid poses a substantial risk to the industrial, commercial, residential and governmental sectors.

In the event of a widespread power grid outage, those without energy storage systems can face costly and long-term system outages.

Microgrids capitalize on our growing knowledge of renewable energy to present a solution to this problem, allowing these sectors to sustain an autonomous power supply when they would otherwise lack access to electricity.

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Jordan A. Davis

Determining the True Value of Solar & Battery Backup Power

There’s no denying that energy storage is gaining momentum in the public consciousness. It continues to weave in and out of all types of discussion–whether it be political, environmental, technological or economical. And as mass blackouts and power outages pop up more and more, it has become clear that the traditional electric grid is in desperate need of strengthening and diversity. 

We wrote recently about a series of outages in California that impacted hundreds of thousands of customers–a situation that could’ve been entirely avoided with the adoption of energy storage. 

As arguments about how to modernize the grid unfold, energy storage has become the front-runner as a potentially viable solution to that problem. And not only creating grid resiliency but also offering opportunities for job creation, cost savings, safety and reliability. Furthermore, energy storage boasts environmental benefits by alleviating dependence on fossil fuels in favor of renewables such as wind and solar. 

With all of the above said, the next logical question is: “Sure, that sounds great, but what is the true value of the supposed resilience that energy storage will provide?”

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Jordan A. Davis

Reverse DC-Coupled PV+Storage

In 2018, Dynapower deployed the first DC-DC converter in a DC-coupled PV+S (PV + storage) configuration at an existing utility-scale PV+S installation.

Since then, the innovative solar-plus-storage solution has gained traction due to the ability of DC-coupled PV+S to increase PV energy capture and decrease the costs as compared to AC-coupled energy storage solutions.

Recent reports from IHS Markit and Wood Mackenzie (GTM) forecast DC-Coupled PV+S will be the standard hybrid PV+S topology by 2023 because of its economic advantages over AC-coupled solar plus storage solutions.

Dynapower is currently delivering two DC-coupled PV+S configurations for our customers. Each has specific use case advantages. We work closely with our customers to determine which DC-coupled configuration is best suited for the customer’s application. Here we examine each.

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Jordan A. Davis

SMA and Dynapower Collaborate on DC-DC Converter

We recently collaborated with SMA on a 500-kW DC-DC converter for use with an SMA inverter for utility-scale solar+storage projects. We displayed the integrated system and our own Chris Larsen—Director of Business Development at Dynapower—discussed the system alongside SMA’s Energy Storage Product Manger Tim Stocker at Solar Power International for an interview with our good friends at Solar Power World.

The SMA DC-coupled PV central inverter includes connection points for up to six DC converters. Dynapower worked with SMA extensively on this inverter to ensure the solution is as streamlined and as effective of a product as possible.

The DC-DC converter marries up to the SMA Sunny Central Inverter and can be put in parallel with other units to help developers size their storage package appropriately to match their solar array.

This air-cooled system has the capability of both operating as a current source device but also can operate as a voltage source device where it’s actually emulating the PV array, as Larsen points out in the video.

This 500-kW DC-DC converter boasts bi-directional functionality so you have the flexibility to not only charge from solar but also from the grid. The unit also boasts many different use cases for the DC-coupled energy storage market such as clip loss capturing and time shifting.

Check out the video to learn more from Chris and Tim.

Jordan A. Davis

How Energy Storage Can Transform Grid Resiliency

Mass blackouts and power outages have been plaguing hundreds of thousands of Californians in the past week. The outages are a result of one of the state’s largest utility companies–Pacific Gas & Electric–shutting off power to avoid potential wildfires. 

This has sparked quite a debate among the public and media. PG&E has received criticism from officials that they are putting corporate profits over public good and safety. 

“Californians should not pay the price for decades of PG&E’s greed and neglect,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Twitter. “PG&E must be held to account.”

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Jordan A. Davis

Dynapower’s Black Start Technology for Microgrids

Islanded operation, or operation in the the absence of grid connection, is a primary application of energy storage systems. In the case of a microgrid, the ability to island enables energy storage to provide backup power, increasing resilience and reliability of the microgrid.

In the event a microgrid were to be de-energized due to a grid outage, or enter a “black out” state, Dynapower has developed a simple and reliable approach to black starting or “restarting” the microgid’s energy storage inverters.

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