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East Penn's new smart grid demonstration facility is powered by lead carbon UltraBatteries.
East Penn Launches Smart Grid Demo Facility Featuring Lead Carbon UltraBatteries
East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc., and its subsidiary Ecoult recently launched a smart grid demonstration facility in Lyon Station, PA, that utilizes lead carbon Deka UltraBatteries® as the main power source. The state-of-the-art energy storage facility is the second U.S. Department of Energy Smart Grid Demonstration Program to be launched using UltraBattery technology, a unique energy storage system that was supported in its early development by the ALABC.
The facility will provide three megawatts of continuous frequency regulation services to the grid of PJM (Pennsylvania-Jersey-Maryland) Interconnection, the largest East Regional Transmission Organization/Independent System Operator in the U.S. The new system will also be used for peak demand management services to the local utility, Met-Ed (a FirstEnergy Company).
Regulation services are necessary so that the grid can maintain a constant frequency, providing fine tuning in real time to match supply and demand. With renewable portfolio standards coming into effect, the large scale integration of intermittent wind and solar generation introduces more variability in power generation, resulting in an increasing need for regulation services.
Supported by a U.S. DOE grant of US $2.2 million, the East Penn/Ecoult energy storage system is one of 16 similar projects using a variety of storage technologies selected by the U.S. DOE under its Smart Grid Storage Demonstration Program. East Penn and Ecoult, along with Public Service Co. of New Mexico, are also responsible for the successful launch of the first project that integrates a solar plant in Albuquerque, NM, with UltraBattery technology.
Highlighted in previous issues of Keeping Pace, the UltraBattery is a new class of advanced lead-acid technology that provides exceptional sustainability at high-rate pulse charge/discharge and partial state-of-charge duty. The UltraBattery features a unique design whereby part of the negative plate forms a carbon-lead dioxide ultra-capacitor with the positive plate to enable an optimal balance of energy storage, quick charge acceptance, power discharge, and battery longevity. This technology was pioneered by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia, supported in early development by the ALABC, and extensively tested by Sandia National Laboratories to verify its enhanced cycle life and reliability.
According to East Penn CEO Sally Miksiewicz, the new facility in Lyon Station is intended to demonstrate the ability of UltraBattery technology to enhance the reliability and efficiency of the electrical grid. “This project,” she said, “will be a leading model in the implementation of this technology enabling a smarter grid on a much a broader scale."
Lead-Acid Batteries Not Going Without a Fight
Washington Post automotive columnist Warren Brown recently visited the East Penn grid demonstration facility in Lyon Station, PA, following its unveiling (see above), and wrote a column about his experience and the potential of the UltraBattery. While the column starts as an analysis of the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover he drove to Lyon Station, Brown speculates on the future of such vehicles and suggests that advanced technologies, like the UltraBattery, could eventually have an impact on the automotive market.
Doug Mohney of Green Data Center News recently supported Brown’s column, and suggested that the UltraBattery could “hang with” lithium battery technology because of its cost advantages and recyclability. His article also provides a brief background on UltraBattery technology and references the Sandia research that supports its viability in utility applications.

The Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium
1822 NC Highway 54E, Suite 120, Durham, North Carolina 27713 USA
Tel: 919-361-4647 | Fax: 919-361-1957 |

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