A lot of manufacturing plants go solar. Not too many, but some, use wind. But rarely if ever do we see something like what just went in at the Advanced Glass Industries (AGI) plant in Rochester, N.Y.: A combination of wind, solar and considerable storage capacity.
The system was installed by WindTamer, which is also based in the Rochester area. The company calls it the “Power on Demand” energy storage and power management system. The idea is to be able to switch seamlessly between a range of sources to have energy at the ready during peak periods, thus smoothing power demand on the grid and potentially lowering electricity costs to the customer.
This is WindTamer’s first installation of such a comprehensive system, and the wind aspect of it is especially interesting. WindTamer doesn’t just grab another manufacturer’s wind turbine off the shelf; it has come up with its own unique design. The turbine has a closed housing and is augmented with a diffuser that the company says increases efficiency, allowing the turbine to produce power at lower wind speeds. Because of this, the turbine creates more energy and doesn’t have to be installed so far off the ground, the company says. Last year, we wrote about how the U.S. Army was testing a mobile WindTamer system that uses this style of turbine.
At AGI, a supplier of precision machined and molded optical glass blanks, the Power on Demand system includes the largest of the WindTamer turbines, the 8.0, which has a maximum output of 4.8 kilowatts (kW). The system also includes 3 kW of solar energy capacity, 182 kilowatt hours of usable energy storage and more than 100 kW of power distribution capability.