ESTCP 2016 Project-of-the-Year Award for Energy and Water

The Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest single consumer of energy in the United States. It operates over 500,000 buildings and structures with diverse inventory encompassing barracks, commissaries, data centers, office buildings, laboratories, and aircraft maintenance depots. A majority of these bases are largely dependent on a commercial power grid that is vulnerable to disruption from cyber-attacks, aging infrastructure, weather-related events and direct attack. In an effort to reduce energy costs, increase security and improve energy resiliency, DoD has adopted the following energy strategy for fixed installations:

  • Reduce the demand for traditional energy through conservation and energy efficiency
  • Expand the supply of renewable energy and other forms of distributed energy
  • Improve the energy resilience of installations
  • Leverage advanced technology for energy resource efficiencies and increase security advancing control systems cybersecurity capabilities, tools, knowledge and skills

In line with the above strategy, ESTCP funded Mr. Ryan Faries from Raytheon and his team to demonstrate that microgrids with low cost, large-scale energy storage systems (ESS) have potential to enhance energy security on military installations by facilitating integration of more renewable energy and reducing single-point-of-failure vulnerabilities associated with tradition electric service and back-up generators. This project was conducted at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar.

The project involves integrating the advanced Zn/Br Battery and Intelligent Power and Energy Management (IPEM) microgrid control technologies with the infrastructure at MCAS Miramar to provide energy security, islanding capability, and reduced costs. The demonstration connects MCAS Miramar’s Department of Public Works building to the ESS and solar photovoltaic (PV) system, enabling the building to receive power while disconnected, or "islanded", from the grid.

The goal of the project is to peak shave and island the building circuit for 72 hours under controlled loads. The islanding duration is directly related to 3 main factors: battery energy capacity, PV system generation (solar resource), and load reduction. For demonstrating the islanding capability, the project simulated commercial power grid interruption and powered the building by PV and storage. The monitoring and control system controlled the ESS and collected the power usage data and the data was then analyzed to determine if building loads were met during operational day scenarios.

The project successfully demonstrated the microgrid controller’s ability to integrate and control the ESS, PV system and facility loads while connected to and islanded from the grid.  The technology was able to manually increase and decrease the building load by more than 50% during islanding and the ESS was able to store energy during off peak time and discharge about 100kW of energy during peak time for close to 3 hrs.  While the demonstration did not meet the success criteria for the islanding duration, the system was able to power the DPW building from the PV array and ESS alone for over 5 hours and at its peak output, the PV array provided over 75% of the power to the facility. Additional details about the demonstration and results can be found in the project’s Final Report which is available on the project webpage.

For this outstanding work, Mr. Faries and his project team received the 2016 ESTCP Project-of-the-Year Award for Energy and Water for their project titled Zinc Bromide Flow Battery Installation for Islanding and Backup Power.

Project Team

  • Ryan Faries, Raytheon
  • Primus Power Team
  • Bob Riel, Dynalectric
  • Mick Wasco, MCAS Miramar
  • Bob Butt, NREL
  • Dave Altman, Raytheon
  • Scott Baron, Raytheon
  • Jimmy Cail, Raytheon
  • Tsz Yip, Raytheon