Wave of - green' energy overpowers HECO's systems
When Hawaiian Electric Co. raised a red flag last week, cautioning that its Big Island and Maui electric grids cannot take in more renewable-energy sources, it highlighted a paradox facing the 119-year-old electric utility: how to incorporate increasing amounts of "green" energy from often finicky natural resources into its aging grids without ...
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#1 Mar 7, 2010
Hawaii is an interesting test for alternative power sources. Since the islands are not interconnected grids, when there is a surge, it has to go somewhere on the island. Over the years there have been several systems designed and tested for alternative power storage and smoothing. Beacon Power has been selling flywheel technology for power storage to some of the power utilities. A123 has been contracted to build a utility sized lithium ion battery for alternative energy storage for Southern California Edison. A New York power utility has installed NaS batteries for power storage and smoothing. There are also flow batteries like the VRB type developed in Australia in the 1980's, one company Pdenergy will gladly build a system for power storage. What's neat about the flow batteries, is that you use two storage tanks of differing ions to make the power, they can be used just like a battery, charged on surges and discharged on sags. If you run out of storage, a second set of tanks can be brought online to keep power up.
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