US Defense Innovators Working on Battery Microgrid for ‘Brutal Arctic Conditions’

US Defense Innovators Working on Battery Microgrid for ‘Brutal Arctic Conditions’

A collaboration between the Department of Defense and other government agencies is developing a microgrid battery system to withstand harsh, cold weather conditions.

The DOD’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) said earlier this month that they need a high-performance power solution, combining batteries and generators, for use in the Arctic.

The armed forces already rely on microgrids for their power supply. One of the clear benefits of such a system is the benefit of batteries that can reduce the frequency and amount of refueling that takes place, which also means they’re logistically challenging and expensive.

A new initiative seeks to develop a microgrid continuously providing power in temperatures of -51 degrees Centigrade—the DIU press release highlights “non-standard” battery solutions as a potential option.

The Department of Defense is developing a prototype mobile microgrid unit with high energy output and power rating. This mobile unit can be scaled efficiently and flexibly, providing flexibility to meet particular needs.

The Department of Industrial Unions (DIU) operates in conjunction with the North America Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), US North Command (US NORTHCOM), and various other Air Force and Army offices. They also work with organizations like the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Engineering Research and Development Corporation, National Security Innovation Association, and MITRE Corporation.

HDT Global, a company specializing in engineering solutions for extreme environments for military, government, and commercial-industrial (C&I) entities, has been hired to develop an energy-efficient microgrid.

In October, NORAD, US NORTHCOM, and DIU picked 13 solutions for testing and analysis.

The Arctic Grid Energy Solutions (AGES) project aligns with the US National Strategy for the Arctic. This project aims to enhance US capabilities to defend its interests.

“The AGES system is a microgrid composed of a battery and generators. It was designed for the tough conditions of the Arctic, has been battle-tested countless times, and can be scaled up or down easily.”

One of Saft’s Arctic BESS projects, at Colville Lake, Canada. Image: Saft.

One of Saft’s Arctic BESS projects is at Colville Lake, Canada. Image: Saft.

The AGES system, or Automated Generator Equipped with Synchronous Machine, can provide reliable and efficient power supporting Arctic businesses. This includes radar stations, communication nodes, and base camps.

Officials are expecting the prototype to be tested in the fall of 2023 and transition to using it biennially for Arctic Edge exercises in 2024. NORAD and USNORTHCOM Allen McMillan said.

In March, Saft was awarded a contract for what has been claimed to be the most extensive battery energy storage system (BESS) within the Arctic Circle.

Saft, a power storage specialist, will provide Longyearbyen with an array of renewable energy storage solutions. The town selected Saft for having experience with microgrids and renewable energy storage solutions like the 1MWh system built for Cordova, Alaska.

To know more about Improving grid reliability and resilience using smart technology and automation, check this: Grid Resilience & Asset Management – Prospero Events Group

Source: Energy Storage News

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