Calmac brings energy storage to Irish university

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Energy storage firm Calmac, installed its IceBank energy storage tanks at the Dundalk Institute of Technology in Ireland.

Calmac’s tanks are being used to successfully store energy from the first-ever large commercial on-campus wind turbine in the form of ice, which is then used the next day to cool students and faculty in the historical and architecturally protected PJ Carroll building.

In 2012 alone, the wind turbine equipped with energy storage was able to produce 1,440 MWh, 79 percent of which was consumed by the university and the remaining sold back to the grid.

Originally built in the late 1960s as a cigarette factory, the 191,000-square-foot PJ Carroll Building is considered one of the finest examples of Miesien architecture in Europe. About 118,000-square-feet of the facility were remodeled in 2010 as part of a college expansion project, which included the incorporation of Calmac’s IceBank energy storage technology.

The tanks make more efficient use of the variable supply of wind energy and capitalizing on previously underused wind turbine power generation, while protecting the architectural integrity of the structure.

With the assistance of Calmac in conjunction with their UK Distributor LTi Applied Systems Technology Ltd, DkIT has smoothed its electricity grid demand profile by shifting a portion of the PJ Carroll Building’s demand from on-peak to off-peak times, allowing more renewable wind energy to be used on site. In 2012, the building was named one of nine in the European Union to receive a Royal Institute of British Architects award for architectural excellence.

With 64,000 square-feet of the facility yet to be occupied, the benefits of energy storage will continue to increase over the next couple of years. According to energy modeling calculations, energy storage working in tandem with the wind turbine could provide 96 percent of the electrical load for the entire PJ Carroll Building.

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