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Alpha Technologies/Corvus Energy/University of British Columbia - “Living Lab” Program: Developing an Energy Management System (EMS) for a Network of Alpha Distributed Energy Resources (DERs)


At the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada (UBC), every building needs an emergency power source. At 3 campus locations, UBC researchers, staff and industry partners, Alpha Technologies and Corvus Energy, are engaged in a multimillion dollar research collaboration on Smart Grid and Energy Management. The aim is to develop an Energy Storage System (ESS) that uses batteries, power management strategies and system modelling to demonstrate that stored energy can be used to reduce energy flow from the grid during peak demand periods. The ESS becomes part of The University's "Living Lab Initiative" - combining the talents and knowledge of its researchers and operators, with the expertise of some of the world's most innovative power solutions companies.

For these ESS's, Alpha has contributed 450kVA of backup-power supplies (Alpha AMPS80 High Performance Modular AC Power Systems). These systems will be supported by Corvus lithium-ion batteries, providing 1 MWh of energy storage and managed via a centralized monitoring and control system. The ESS is comprised of 3 energy nodes distributed across the University's campus.

1For the Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility:
AMPS225 and AMPS80 systems and 48 lithium-ion battery modules (312 kWh) ensure a safe, controlled shut down of the facility. The battery modules provide over an hour of emergency backup power.
2For the Networks of Centres of Excellence:
AMPS80 system and 64 lithium-ion battery modules (416 kWh) ensure the quality and continuity of power supplied to specific laboratory equipment. The battery modules provide up to four hours of emergency backup power.
3For the Fred Kaiser Building Alpha Lab:
AMPS80 system and 42 lithium-ion battery modules (273 kWh), provide one hour of emergency backup power, provide a platform for DC power applications research, and provide eighteen hours of Grid Tied Inverter.

The AMPS systems and batteries ensure the quality and continuity of power supplied to specific laboratory equipment.

The ESS also provides a foundation for further research, development and demonstration of innovations addressing peak shaving, power quality stabilization, integration of renewable energy sources (for example, wind and solar) and system-wide management.

Alpha's goals for the Living Lab:

  • To provide back-up to UBC's critical loads using Alpha modular power systems (AMPS) UPS's
  • To develop a Distributed Energy Resource (DER) using AMPS (UPS) systems
  • To develop an Alpha Energy Management System (EMS) to control the power in the Distributed Energy Resources (DER's)
  • To demonstrate peak shaving using the installed AMPS systems

For more information on the project, contact: Victor Goncalves, Alpha Technologies Chief Technology Officer (604-436-5900).

Financial and/or equipment support provided by:

naturalresources Corvus Energy alpha tech logo UBC-logo
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