The solar plus storage must flow

Date: Dec 18, 2018

Ideal Energy has installed a single-axis tracker, 1.1 MW DC solar plant with NexTracker’s largest flow battery project to date: a 35 unit, 350 kW / 1.1 MWh Avalon Battery vanadium flow system.

Flow batteries have a few key advantages over lithium ion technology. The most important may be that they don’t degrade, and some are projecting that the path toward financially viable energy storage must go through flow batteries.

Ideal Energy has installed a 1.1 MWdc solar power plant for the Maharishi University of Management in Iowa. The system brings the university’s renewable energy energy share to 43%, including a 12.5 kW roof mount solar system, another 42 kW ground mounted PV plant and a 10 kW wind turbine.

The new solar facility includes NEXTracker’s largest DC connected vanadium flow battery installed to date. The plant has its own website, and a really nice pdf download showing off the details.

The five-acre system is powered by 3,150 REC Twinpeak 2S 350W solar modules (pdf) – part number REC350TP2S72, totaling 1.05 kWac / 1.1 kWdc. The 35 inverters are manufactured by Ideal Power, which provided its Stabiliti 30C3 (pdf) bidirectional inverter, which allows the energy storage to charge from either the grid, or the on-site solar. NEXTracker supplied its NX Horizon, single-axis trackers, and the flow battery, model Avalon AFB 2.10, is manufactured by Avalon Battery.

The solar field is composed of 35 unique rows of 90 solar modules, one inverter and one flow battery. The site’s topography necessitated a two part layout – one with a “standard” slope of up to 5%, and a “high” slope section between 6% and 15%.

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