NuPower’s principals have been involved in multiple facets of the renewable energy market including solar, fuel cell, co-gen and microgrid technologies. Currently NuPower is focusing its development efforts on combined heat & power applications, fuel cells and district energy. All of these technologies increase energy efficiency, improve end user economics and reduce carbon emissions.
Combined Heat & Power (CHP) is an efficient and clean approach to generating electric power and useful thermal energy from a single fuel source. Instead of purchasing electricity from the distribution grid and burning fuel in an on-site furnace or boiler to produce thermal energy, an industrial or commercial facility can use CHP to provide both energy services in one energy-efficient step.
Where technically feasible and economically viable, NuPower will develop and install CHP systems for host end users. The enhanced efficiency of these systems demand consideration in those applications where both thermal and electrical output can be utilized.
District Energy (DE) is a generic term for district heating and cooling. DE is the opposite of individual heating and cooling in the sense that heat or cooling is produced centrally and distributed through pipes to multiple individual consumers. The fundamental idea of DE is to efficiently use fuel, heat and cooling sources while reducing overall emissions. Often the waste heat would have been otherwise released into the environment. The modern DE system utilizes low temperature heat (below 210 degrees F) significantly reducing capital and operating costs relative to the antiquated steam systems prevalent in the United States. This efficient local network of insulated piping is able to extend over long distances due to the lower temperature and provides for a cost efficient and reliable method of heat and cooling. NuPower works with well-known technology partners to plan and develop the installation of DE systems for cities, municipalities and institutions.
Fuel Cells are electrochemical devices that combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, with water and heat as its by-product. Fuel cell applications continue to evolve, providing direct and back-up power benefits for institutions and large industrial and commercial applications. Significant weather induced grid disruptions highlight the benefits of fuel cells. While the installed cost per KW is higher than large-scale conventional power plants, by utilizing various state and federal supports, fuel cells can be cost competitive. When feasible, integrating a fuel cell in a CHP application can be highly economical and energy efficient.
Battery Storage is a key challenge for the energy industry. Maintaining stable frequency and a consistent power supply on the grid is a critical challenge for the operators of electricity grids around the world.
NuPower is currently co-developing four energy storage facilities within the ISO-New England service area. These systems, of approximately 19 MW’s each, can react within mili-seconds to provide power as needed to the grid. These energy storage systems charge or discharge in response to a changes in grid frequency, maintaining the grid within pre-set limits.
To one extent or another, every region has a significant amount of renewable energy (RE) fueled generation capacity. A growing number of states in the United States have a “renewables portfolio standard” (RPS) which requires that a specific portion of all generation be fueled by RE.
As use of RE generation increases, there is a commensurate need for electric resources that can address the unique characteristics of renewable energy generation – primarily the variability of its output. Energy storage is well-positioned to play a significant role in that regard in the modern electric grid. Three key challenges that storage can address include accommodating RE generation’s:
The temporal (time-related) mismatch between generation and demand,
Uncertainty regarding weather forecasts, and
Undesirable electrical effects on the electrical grid caused by some RE generation.
In addition to the four projects underway, Nupower is reviewing other potential battery storage opportunities.