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East Penn's Advanced Batteries Play Key Role in Solar Energy Storage Project

October 31, 2011

East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc., and its subsidiary Ecoult, announces the launch of Public Service Co. of New Mexico’s (PNM) Prosperity Energy Storage Project in Albuquerque, NM. This project integrates an Advanced VRLA (Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid) and UltraBattery® energy storage solution with a separately installed 500 kW solar plant. Its purpose is to provide simultaneous voltage smoothing for consistent energy levels and peak shifting to deliver energy when it’s needed the most.

East Penn, through its subsidiary Ecoult, is bringing these breakthrough technologies to market as complete energy storage solutions and modules ready for custom integration. Ecoult engineered and integrated the energy storage system, and developed the Smart Grid platform that controls both the batteries and the power conversion system.

“This is an exciting time to be in the energy storage business. Advanced lead-acid batteries can play a major role in solar and wind systems, smart grid technology, and other applications as well. The energy landscape is evolving, and we’re well positioned to change with it,” stated Sally Miksiewicz, CEO of East Penn.

This project was achieved with the collaboration of many key partners, lead by PNM and including the Department of Energy Smart Grid Storage Demonstration Program, the University of New Mexico, Northern New Mexico College, Sandia National Laboratories, and Electric Power Research Institute. Ecoult also worked with a number of US manufacturers who supplied critical components of the project including S&C Electric Company that provided a Purewave™ PCS for power conversion and grid integration, Sea Box, Inc.’s contract services for assembly of containerized components, Peterson Panel’s power panels, and KTR Associates’ interconnection design.

John Wood, CEO of Ecoult stated, “We thank our partner US manufacturers for their dedication in bringing this project online in less than a year, PNM for hosting the demonstration, and the US DOE for financially supporting the project.  Together this team is demonstrating the multiple Smart Grid benefits of electrical energy storage, and its role in the electric grid of the future.”

This is the first of 16 Smart Grid energy storage demonstrations funded from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 to go live. Additionally, East Penn with Ecoult is commissioning a second site partially supported with ARRA funding, located at its Lyon Station, PA manufacturing campus.  This will be a 3MW site and will provide continuous voltage smoothing using the UltraBattery®. It will serve a secondary application of 1 MWh for demand management for 1 to 4 hours.

Advanced VRLA batteries feature a design enhancement to East Penn’s Deka Unigy VRLA battery technology that has been proven as an industry leading product for telecommunication and data center applications. This enhancement protects the battery from accelerated deterioration while performing multiple cycles in Partial State of Charge (PSOC) applications.

The UltraBattery® combines the advantages of the Advanced VRLA with the advantages of an asymmetric supercapacitor. This enables the optimal balance of an energy storing lead-acid battery with a quick charge acceptance, power discharge, and longevity of a capacitor, which is critical for High-Rate PSOC applications. 

Both advanced types of VRLA batteries are virtually 100% recyclable and made in the United States.

The information gained from these advanced battery projects will be a key component in furthering its integration into the commercial marketplace for wide spectrum of potential applications. Advanced VRLA and UltraBattery’s® current ability to serve the grid, renewable energy, and HEVs has the potential to have immediate impacts on cost effective energy conservation and clean energy generation. Ecoult’s energy storage solutions are further proof of these implementations in action.

East Penn is a leading manufacturer of high quality lead-acid batteries and accessories for the telecommunications, UPS, automotive, commercial, marine, and motive power markets. The company’s quality and environmental systems for its entire 520-acre complex have been certified to ISO 9001:2008, ISO/TS 16949:2009, and ISO 14001:2004 requirements. For more information contact East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc., Lyon Station, PA 19536 or visit the company web site at www.dekabatteries.com.

Ecoult, a subsidiary of East Penn, is a leading supplier of energy storage solutions based on advanced lead-acid batteries including the hybrid energy storage device UltraBattery®. Ecoult provides complete Energy Storage Solutions & Modules that are ready for custom integration and are utilized to provide cost effective, long life solutions for power conditioning and energy storage applications for wind and solar farms, grid ancillary services, and remote area power systems. Visit the company web site at www.ecoult.com for more information.

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