Winds power load balancing: Ultracapacitors help

Winds of change are blowing for clean technology energy storage methods to help balance renewable energy sources coming online. Ultracapacitors can help balance the grid as more wind power comes online.

07/28/2011


Wind power is increasing as traditional energy markets are influenced by regional instabilities and, with recent events in Japan, nuclear power seems less attractive politically in many areas. The wind turbine market also is taking advantage of rapid technology advances. [See article on direct-drive wind turbines.] Manufacturers once struggled to cost-effectively capture consistent wind-generated power, but a shift in energy storage practices has resolved that problem. Ultracapacitors are replacing battery-driven energy storage systems and introducing new efficiencies in the wind turbine market, helping to balance the electricity grid. 

While the rotor blades of a turbine can be adjusted to respond to current conditions, this changeability creates waste in battery-powered systems, which are sized to meet the highest possible power demands. Batteries also struggle under moments of high peak power and perform poorly in low temperatures. With short life spans, batteries force maintenance crews to frequently swap out components under potentially dangerous conditions. 

Ultracapacitors resolve those problems because they:

Have a long life span. Batteries last 2 to 4 years, but ultracapacitor life span is more than 10 years. 

Can withstand extreme temperatures. They operate optimally at a temperature range between -40 C and 65 C, whereas batteries function best at -20 C to 40 C.  

Have impressive cycling capability. A battery can offer only 10,000 to 50,000 cycles compared to an ultracap’s million-plus.

Are dropping in cost. The cost of ultracaps has decreased by 99% in the last 10 years. During the same period of time, battery price fell by only 30% to 40%.

For the above reasons, new wind turbine installations will favor ultracapacitors to control blade pitch, ensure optimum positioning, and capture wind speed for better performance and safety.

Brendan Andrews is vice president of sales and marketing at Ioxus Inc. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineeringhttp://www.controleng.com 

www.ioxus.com

- Posted by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
World-class manufacturing: A recipe for success: Finding the right mix for a salad dressing line; 2015 Salary Survey: Manufacturing slump dims enthusiasm
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
click me