Darrell Proctor, Power Magazine
Immersed in technology.The Immersion Center at the Bubolz nature preserve was built from a shipping container. It houses the electrical control center, electrolyzer and other key components that run and contribute to the clean energy microgrid and it also serves as a conference room and learning lab for students and businesses. Courtesy: Faith Technologies Inc.
Providing power for a nature preserve required not just progressive technology, but also the innovative approach needed to embrace the facility’s educational and environmental missions.
Interest in ensuring reliable power, and controlling energy costs, has led to a rise in distributed power generation. A variety of technologies are available to generate electricity at or near where it will be used, including solar panels, wind turbines, combined heat and power systems, and emergency backup generators fueled by natural gas, gasoline, or diesel.
Advances in microgrid technology have allowed more facilities to generate their own power, which is either islanded or connected to the larger grid. Industrial complexes, military bases, college campuses, and other facilities are taking advantage of the value of generating their own electricity, along with the resilience it offers.
Many projects are worthy of recognition for POWER magazine’s first Distributed Energy Award, in advance of POWER’s inaugural Distributed Energy Conference in Golden, Colorado, in October. Our editors chose one that combines several technologies, including solar, a fuel cell, microturbine, battery storage system, and natural gas generator. The project takes advantage of cloud-connected, software-as-a-service (SaaS) optimization, allowing the system to create different permutations to increase the efficiency of the energy resources available at any given time.