Advance Power project
Kodiak Brown Bear Center
We first got involved with the Kodiak Brown Bear center when they were looking at upgrading their power system. KBBC is located on an island in the middle of a lake, in the middle of Kodiak Island, Alaska. It is approximately an hour pontoon plane ride from Kodiak. The only supply routes are boat or plane. The logistics of bringing supplies to the site was daunting.
After discussions with the principles involved we soon realized that KBBC was planning on building another large building on site. A big great room with meeting hall and the potential of continually upgrading with more buildings in the future. The issue was that their existing system was sorely inadequate even before these upgrades were contemplated. They had two Schneider 6kw inverters, Rolls batteries, all on a 48 vdc nominal system. During meal times the load was so extensive that the system would potentially crash do to voltage drop of the lead acid batteries. Even with the generator running and the inverters being on assist, this system would crash. A common problem with 48 vdc nominal systems of 20 kW or higher. We limit 48 vdc nominal lead acid and Li systems to 20 kw. Anything above that, we go to 240 vdc or 512 vdc nominal. The rational is simple. Current, conductors, switch gear and for lead acid batteries, voltage drop. 20 kW @ 48 vdc nominal is over 416 amps. 20 kW at 240 vdc is 83.3 amps. At 512 vdc it is only 39 amps.
Once representatives of the KBBC came to visit us and saw firsthand the difference between Li systems vs. lead acid, they realized that lead acid batteries could not perform to their requirements. They mentioned that we have already removed all the hair dryers and coffee pots out of all the cabins. Our rule of thumb with lead acid systems is once a system uses more than 20% of stored power, the system will experience voltage drops that will affect inverter performance. When we showed them that our Li systems can be loaded down with a 50% load and it dropped by .02 vdc they were amazed. Plus these systems are over 98% efficient. Charge/discharge tests we have done with our 252 AH cells showed us the we could remove 250 AH and replenish it with 251 AH and the system was full. Plus our Li chargers are also very efficient and clean. The power they produce is power supply quality and the efficiency is again, over 98%.
They initially planned to stay 48 vdc, add another inverter and replace the 1000 AH lead acid battery bank with newer bigger bank. However, as we discussed their situation, their future growth potential, it became more and more evident that 48 vdc would be their weak link.
Those were the basis for their decision to go with Lipo4, 240 vdc energy storage system and a 30 kW, Ametek inverter. We are the only company in the world that utilizes Ametek inverters for primary power systems. Ametek inverters are industrial grade, beyond heavy duty. They are primarily used as nuclear power plant and refinery backup control systems around the world. Almost every nuclear power plant in the world utilizes these inverters. They are designed for a 30 year life, with routine maintenance and periodic swap out of critical components.
KBBC had an existing PV system, that we were able to rewire to accommodate the 240 vdc nominal Li system. We control the PV charging with the Li system BMS. We also installed two VAWT for additional power production. Plus multiple AC chargers for the Li system off generators. They have two small diesel generators that supply power for the AC chargers based on Li system voltage. The 30 kW inverter has static power loses of approx. 1 kW. This might sound like a lot, but actually for a system like this it is marginal. Efficiency is very important, but it takes a back seat to reliability. It is imperative that systems like this function/work or what’s the point? Especially as logistically isolated as this system is.
This system is designed for their future needs, a bit overkill right now, but they are rapidly approaching the need for all this power. The future will include adding more solar panels and removing the two small generators for one larger generator.
We assembled most of the components here at our warehouse in Redwood Valley, CA. Once completed we disassembled it and put it into a shipping container with other equipment needed for the install. The VAWT were shipped from Asia. Another logistical challenge. Not to mention customs, freight, insurance etc.. Once the equipment got to Anchorage or Kodiak, it either had to be transported by boat (large, heavy equipment like turbine towers, turbines etc.) with the closest drop off being one mountain and valley away or a puddle jumper single engine plane. We also had to utilize a helicopter to fly many of these components on site. We completed the install in less than two weeks, for the most part, only three of us and very limited equipment.
See below for image galleries of the systems we installed in this project.
Two 10kW VAWT
240 vDC Lipo4 Energy Storage
In and around the KBBC
For enquiries please send an email to the address below we will route you to the best and closest associate.
6331 N State Street
Redwood Valley, CA 95470
Se habla Español
10am-2pm Saturday and Sunday
843 N. Market St.
Redding, CA 96003
Ph. (530) 226-0701
Fax (530) 226-0704
Saturday and Sunday by appointment only
Call Greg at (530) 510-6538View Associate Page
San Joaquin County
Africa & South America
New Sun Road
1301 South 46th Street
Richmond Field Station
Richmond, CA 94804