An aquaponic nursery in Hawaii has is using solar PV, battery storage and an energy management system to operate independently of the utility grid, Microgrid Knowledge reports.
EnSync Energy Systems says its energy management system has been operating continuously for four months, enabling Mari’s Garden to store power from its solar system and discharge it at a later time.
Mari’s Garden is using EnSync’s energy management system with 25 kW of solar panels and 40 Aquion battery stacks for a total of 25 kW, 92 kWh of energy storage.
Mari's Garden faces high energy consumption due to aquaponics on site that combine growing plants hydroponically with growing fish through aquaculture. Because the facility is located in Hawaii, they are faced with expensive electricity and vulnerability to power outages. The company sought out renewable energy generation that could seamlessly connect with energy storage, and supported their goal of being off-grid with sustainable, reliable power for their facility.
"Agricultural settings such as Mari's Garden are particularly mindful of electricity rates, and require reliable, sustainable power to meet their demands," Nick Dizon, the Hawaii-based project developer and owner of NIDON Clean Energy, said in a statement.
To address those needs, NIDON combined EnSync power controls, particularly its inverter technology, with Aquion Energy's lithium hybrid battery.
While EnSync managment systems are compatible with a variety of battery technologies, ensuring power duration for over 16 hours was critical in this installation, "so the solution included EnSync's advanced energy management system integrated with the Aquion Energy salt water battery," Dan Nordloh, vice president at EnSync, said in a release.
Longer duration batteries, particularly flow battery technologies, are moving closer to mass adoption as a result of technological advances. While Hawaii's high electricity prices make solar-storage systems like the one at Mari's Garden especially appealing there, falling costs and increasing familiarity with energy storage could make similar solutions viable for customers on the mainland soon.
Correction: An earlier version of this post referred to the batteries at Mari's Garden as flow batteries. While EnSync does manufacture flow batteries, the ones in use at the aquaculture facility are hybrid lithium batteries.