U.S. Army Uses Big Battery In Microgrid Test

We recently covered Sunverge’s choice to employ an 8.2 kilowatt hour battery as part of its up-coming micro-grid demonstration. Now we learn that Eaton Corporation, as part of a contract with the U.S. Army, will be using a 500 kilowatt hour battery from ZBB Energy for a micro-grid application to be installed at the Army’s base at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Unlike the Lithium Iron Phosphate battery used in the Sunverge application, Eaton’s system will use a Zinc Bromide flow battery which battery maker ZBB claims is  ”constructed from environmentally-friendly materials that provide for long service life and advanced performance when compared with traditional chemical batteries.”  The company also claims that this type of battery suffers no loss of performance from repeated cycling, can operate in a wide range of temperatures and has a life expectancy of approximately 20 years. Because the battery is made from environmentally friendly materials, it can be fully recovered at the end of its service life.

ZBB 500 kWH battery

image via ZBB Energy

The demonstration at Ft. Sill is led by the U.S. Army Engineer R&D center and the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory. According to the statement, this Department of Defense micro-grid development project will be used to create standards for the U.S. Army’s effort on the Energy Surety Micro-Grid Program.

These research efforts will focus on evaluating  micro-grid technologies to provide off-grid, islanded power to specified areas at Ft. Sill. While not specifically mentioned in the source materials, projects like this often target using clean energy, such as solar panels, as the power source.

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