Jun 14th, 2013
Maxwell Technologies and Soitec join forces to demonstrate benefits of integrating energy storage with CPV technology
Maxwell Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: MXWL) and Soitec (Euronext, Paris), announced that they will collaborate on a California Energy Commission funded, two-phase program to demonstrate the cost and efficiency benefits of combining an energy storage system with Soitec’s Concentrix™ CPV technology.
- California Energy Commission to Fund Design and Installation at two Sites
Maxwell has been awarded a $1.39 million contract by the California Energy Commission’s Research and Development program to fund design and integration of an ultracapacitor-based energy storage system with Soitec’s CPV system located on the campus of UC San Diego—one of the nation’s greenest universities— and a second commercial scale system at Soitec’s solar power plant in Southern California. The integrated systems will also take advantage of other technology advances, including solar forecasting and predictive energy control, to maximize the benefit of incorporating ultracapacitor energy storage.
The project started in June 2013 and will run through November 2015. Independent evaluation of the performance of the integrated systems will be performed by BEW Engineering under a sub-contract with Maxwell.
Ultracapacitors are energy storage devices that charge rapidly from any electrical energy source and discharge their stored energy on demand. In combination with a photovoltaic system, their function will be to act as a standby reservoir of electrical energy to mitigate the variability of solar energy generation.
This “firming” of the output of a utility scale commercial CPV system is intended to reduce demand on the electric grid to fill in short-term solar “valleys” to maintain a facility’s electricity output. In addition to reducing the variability of a solar power plant, integrated ultracapacitor-CPV systems will benefit public utility customers by reducing investment in utility generation capacity to meet transient peak power demand.
Unlike batteries, which produce and store energy by means of a chemical reaction, Maxwell’s ultracapacitor products store energy in an electric field. This electrostatic energy storage mechanism enables ultracapacitors to charge and discharge in as little as fractions of a second, perform consistently over a broad temperature range (-40 to +65C), and operate reliably for up to one million or more charge/discharge cycles.
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