Energy storage products unveiled by Johnson Controls for buildings with rooftop renewable energy source

New buildings, commercial but also some high-end residential buildings are now coming up with their solar or wind energy setups driven mainly by local policy requirements. In Kolkata, the municipal authority in New Town region had made it mandatory for all commercial and residential high-rises to install solar rooftop systems to meet at least 2% of the buildings’ electrical load requirement way back in 2013. In some of India’s states like Karnataka, new houses are not approved unless rooftop solar panels for heating of water have been incorporated. Cities like Surat are planning to incentivize installation of solar systems by providing subsidies.

With solar photo-voltaic systems becoming more affordable, building owners may start thinking of not only setting up systems to comply with policy requirements, but also reduce dependence on grids. This will bring about a transformational change where buildings do not just use renewable energy for backup power but also try to give back to the grid additional power generated or use it for reducing load on grid during peak hours. In India market potential for rooftop SPV is 124 GW as per MNRE.

Rooftop solar systems for all major buildings, railway and metro stations, schools, hospitals and even residential complexes are a common vision of all cities in India participating in the smart cities program. The energy generated from this plants need to be stored effectively at moderate cost with minimum foot-print to make it viable for such uses.

Johnson Controls Inc. unveiled in 2nd half of last year new products which use lithium-ion batteries that they manufacture for hybrid vehicles and incorporated them into storage systems that use controls and software from the company’s building efficiency business.

The world’s largest commercial building—Merchandise Mart in Chicago, Illinois—is already leveraging Johnson Controls’ energy storage solution. The expanded platform will provide the storage capabilities enabling the Mart to participate in advanced fast response programs that adjust demand to changing conditions on the electric grid. Such active load management strategies, when coupled with the distributed energy management system, can reduce a facility’s annual expenditure for electricity by as much as 35 percent. The Merchandise Mart covers 4.2 million square feet and hosts almost 25,000 people per day and is the world’s largest LEED EB certified building

Currently, there are two models – L1000 in-building or the L2000 modular containerized distributed energy storage system. The L1000 In-Building Distributed Energy Storage System is more suited for buildings as it has all the benefits of advanced battery technology yet in a small, flexible footprint making it possible to install the unit in the electrical room of the building connected to the grid. The system output can be configured based upon customer needs from 50kW up to 250kW. The system can also be configured to provide short-term electrical backup to the facility while a generator is ramping up. The system can be seamlessly integrated into Metasys® Building Automation System for local monitoring and control and can also be monitored from remote locations allowing building owners to monitor multiple buildings together.

Reference Links:

  3. – Article on sizing of energy storage systems for buildings and facilities


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