Hitachi Unveils All-in-One Container Energy Storage System

by Zachary Shahan

Hitachi, a large, Tokyo-based global electronics company, has unveiled an energy storage system aimed at complementing solar and wind power developments — “CrystEna” (Crystal+Energy). CrystEna incorporates a wide range of electricity grid technologies from Hitachi.

It isn’t yet ready for the commercial market, however. Plans are to implement a demonstration project in the United States to evaluate its commercial competitiveness.

Hitachi Energy Storage System plugs into the larger grid, local solar or wind farms, or small-scale hydro power and stabilizes and modulates power loads, in addition to storing power in the massive battery.
Hitachi Energy Storage System plugs into the larger grid, local solar or wind farms, or small-scale hydro power and stabilizes and modulates power loads, in addition to storing power in the massive battery.

With several decades of energy storage experience, Hitachi could be a major player in this arena as the industry grows by leaps and bounds. CrystEna incorporates Hitachi Group technologies and expertise from the following fields: electricity generation, transmission and distribution, grid stabilization, batteries, power conditioning systems (PCS), control systems, and more.

The 1 MW lithium-ion battery energy storage system package announced today utilizes Hitachi Chemical’s lithium-ion batteries to raise system performance, such as extended expected battery lifetime, and realize high economic viability.

It was developed with an emphasis on maximizing the benefits to be obtained by customers during long-term use, Hitachi writes.

Initially, Hitachi will conduct field trials in the rapidly growing U.S. ancillary market and plans to accumulate know-how from testing battery capacity optimality and durability as well as the control algorithms written to maximize income from power sales.

This article, All-in-One Container-Type Energy Storage System From Hitachi Unveiled, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Zachary ShahanZachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

Navy’s New and All-Electric Destroyer Is A Seagoing Microgrid

by Tina Casey

Launch of the USS Zumwalt courtesy of US Navy.
Launch of the USS Zumwalt courtesy of US Navy.

We were just taking note of the US Navy’s focus on stationary, portable, and even wearable microgrids when along comes a doozy of an example in the form of the USS Zumwalt DDG 1000. The newly launched high-tech destroyer has been dubbed the Navy’s first “all-electric” ship, but not because you can plug it into a wall socket. The Zumwalt’s distinctive feature is a fully integrated power system that both generates and distributes electrical energy everywhere in the ship, including the propulsion system as well as weaponry and support services.

A Floating Microgrid For The US Navy

The actual power source of the Zumwalt is a 78 megawatt array of four gas-turbine generators, but that’s the extent of the role of internal combustion engines on the ship. Here’s a rundown provided by our friends at the technology association IEEE:

…the Zumwalt’s propellers and drive shafts are turned by electric motors, rather than being directly attached to combustion engines. Such electric-drive systems, while a rarity for the U.S. Navy, have long been standard on big ships. What’s new and different about the one on the Zumwalt is that it’s flexible enough to propel the ship, fire railguns or directed-energy weapons (should these eventually be deployed), or both at the same time.

Speaking of railguns, another energy-intensive weapon system that could come into play is the Navy’s new laser weapons system (LaWS). Earlier this year we took note of an article about LaWS from the Office of Naval Research, which makes the case that ships with integrated all-electric power systems are essential to future force effectiveness, given the transition to energy-based forms of weaponry.

Here’s the money quote:

As the technology advances, and faced with rising and unpredictable fossil fuel costs, the Navy’s next-generation surface combatant ship will leverage electric ship technologies in its design. While electric ships already exist, design characteristics of a combatant ship are more complex with regard to weight, speed, manoeuvrability—and now, directed energy weapons.

For the record, the Zumwalt isn’t quite ready for prime time yet. The launch took place on October 28 at almost 90 percent completion, so there’s more work to be done before it’s fully operational. The Navy expects to have initial shakedowns completed by 2016.

The Zumwalt And You

If you were thinking that “all-electric” ship meant a battery-powered vessel that could potentially be charged from diverse renewable sources, the whole gas-turbine thing is a bit of a letdown.

Since the Zumwalt has just one original fuel source, from that perspective it’s not as advanced in future fuels as the Navy’s new SPIDERS microgrid for land based facilities, which can integrate both renewable energy and fossil fuels. The same goes for the wearable MAPS microgrid, which incorporates a battery that can be recharged from multiple sources.

However, given the Navy’s hand-over-fist pursuit of biofuels, the Zumwalt does open the door to the use of renewable biogas, so that’s something.

More to the point, the development of the Zumwalt and its two planned sister ships involves future electrical systems and energy efficiency improvements that could find application in the next generation of civilian electric vehicles, in addition to the potential for integrating advanced, multi-sourced energy storage systems in military vessels and vehicles.

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This article, Navy’s New “All-Electric” Destroyer Is A Seagoing Microgrid, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Tina Casey Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. You can also follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

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