Erigo Technologies taps EaglePicher technology for microgrid energy storage for defense applications


JOPLIN, Mo., 11 Jan. 2014. Engineers at Erigo Technologies LLC in Enfield, N.H., needed an energy storage technology for their work on the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). They found their solution at EaglePicher Technologies LLC (EPT), a producer of specialty batteries and energy storage solutions, in Joplin, Mo.

Erigo won a contract, funded under the Department of Defense Rapid Innovation Fund and awarded by the U.S. Corp of Engineers on behalf of the U.S. Northern Command, to deliver a power electronics system with multiple battery types and sophisticated control systems to address the frequency, duty cycle, and storage needs of the conventional and renewable power sources that make up many DOD microgrids.

Related: Army eyes lightweight universal battery charger for platoon-level use in remote locations

Erigo engineers opted to base the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on EPT’s patented PowerPyramid hybrid energy storage system technology. PowerPyramid, given the power sources and load characteristics of the microgrid environment, can be tailored to quickly and smoothly compensate for load imbalances and power source interruptions, officials say.

“This is a significant contract award for EaglePicher,” says Dave Lucero, EPT’s director of alternative/grid energy storage. “Not only will it validate our scalable approach for smart microgrid applications, it provides a flexible solution for operations at DOD bases that struggle with electrical power disruptions.”

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The team will deliver a three-tiered, 300 kW/386 kWh PowerPyramid grid-tied energy storage system capable of providing grid stabilization, microgrid support, and on-command power response. The three-tiered hybrid battery system was selected as the best configuration to demonstrate the functionality of the hybrid PowerPyramid system. The three tiers of batteries included in the 386 kWh BESS system will be Li-Ion, lead-acid, and nickel-iron to deliver an appropriate balance of rapidly available energy and total power. The system is designed to be modular so any number of additional tiers could be added to the system at a later date.

The BESS will undergo testing and evaluation at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy System Integration Facility (ESIF), on the campus of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) in Golden, Colo. At the completion of testing, NREL will assist USNORTHCOM in putting the system into service at a to-be-determined military base. 

Related: Navy chooses thermal batteries from EaglePicher to extend life of HARM anti-radar missiles

EPT’s patented PowerPyramid technology leverages complimentary benefits of diverse energy storage technologies; and, by integrating multiple diverse energy storage technologies into a single system, it can deliver the performance and cycle life of a high-cost energy storage technology at a significantly lower cost, officials say. 

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