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CO2 Emissions

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

By Connie Lewis

While one side of the political spectrum believes that climate change is the result of human behavior and the other side says it’s a normal course of events, few argue that air and water pollution aren’t bad for human health. It’s measurable and growing. We can see and smell and even taste it.

Let’s take air pollution first. Ongoing research by Rutgers University, as reported by thinkprogress.org, examined how allergenic plants react to changing weather patterns and increases in temperature and carbon dioxide.

"Climate changes will increase pollen production considerably in the near future in different parts of the country," allergist Leonard Bielory, M.D. said during a presentation of the university’s findings at an annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology a few years ago.  "Economic growth, global environment sustainability, temperature and human-induced changes, such as increased levels of carbon dioxide, are all responsible for the influx that will continue to be seen."

As CO2 increases, it tells allergenic plants to produce more pollen. The university’s researchers predict that pollen counts could reach 21,735 particles per cubic meter by 2040, a big leap from an average of 8,455 in 2000.

The topic hits home. According to the Equinox Project by the Center for Sustainable Energy, unhealthy air days, and unhealthy air days for those susceptible to allergens increased from 41 in 2015 to 42 in 2016 in San Diego County.

“Air quality received a thumbs-down because the combined number of unhealthy air days and unhealthy air days for sensitive groups increased,” the CSE stated. But “asthma hospitalization rates for children, an indicator of poor air quality, varied throughout the county, with the highest rates in Barrio Logan, Logan Heights and surrounding areas.”

Traffic plays a role. San Diegans spend a lot of time on the highways commuting to and from work. But residents of Barrio Logan also endure an excess of diesel exhaust, which contains carbon monoxide, from 18-wheelers that operate at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

Inewsource.org cited a 2014 report by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment stating that asthma-related hospital visits in the 92113 zip code, which includes Barrio Logan, fell within the highest 10th percentile in the state.

National Geographic, the publication famous for pictures of beautiful landscapes, holds no punches. In an article published in the fall of 2016, it said, “The oceans, which have borne the brunt of most of global warming, have finally hit their limit as dying corals and plummeting fish stocks signal that the seas are at a dangerous tipping point.”

Greg Stone, a marine expert and executive vice president at Conservation International, a nonprofit organization, who was quoted in the National Geographic piece, said the oceans need to be treated like a sick patient with a fever.

Lowering the patient’s temperature requires stopping polluting the atmosphere with carbon, he stressed.

He said it. We didn’t. We just make sustainable energy storage batteries. The best sustainable energy storage batteries on the market today – a way to save money on ever-increasing electricity rates from monopolistic, investor-owned utility companies. And reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.

iDemand at the California Solar Power Expo

By Connie Lewis

iDemand Energy Storage (iDES3) scored big at a recent Solar Energy Industry Association tradeshow at the downtown convention center.

“We signed up three Southern California solar contractors to become dealers, two of whom were sent bids amounting to about $1 million in initial business,” said Ray Trejo, iDES3’s co-founder and COO.

“We also drew interest from some commercial developers, including a Mexican developer who has several projects up and running and more under way. He’s made an appointment to come our shop.”

iDES3, which has grown rapidly in size and staff count since first opening its doors in Miramar in late August, has manufactured and sold 600 kilowatt hours-worth of battery systems for residential and commercial buildings, both in and out of state.

This flies in the face of conventional wisdom, which holds that battery storage trails solar by at least three years in the sustainable energy industry. Kind of like an understudy waiting in the wings to take over for the star performer.

To wit: Greentech Media in an article, “A Maturing Industry: Assorted Insights From Energy Storage North America,” uses attendance figures for a couple of respective tradeshows as a barometer of enthusiasm for one versus the other.

Solar Power International, according to GTM, attracted a crowd of 18,000 to Las Vegas last fall, whereas the Energy Storage North America expo in San Diego in early October pulled just 2,000 people.

“The expo had some familiar names from SPI, but focused more on fostering conversations between like-minded storage wonks than on wowing an audience with bells and whistles,” GTM said.

Maybe the audience count was comparatively low because, as most energy storage battery manufacturers are well aware, solar companies make up a sizable portion of their target market. So why pay money to talk to like-minded wonks? Or perhaps the wow factor was missing because startup San Diego-based iDES3 was too busy filling orders and shipping battery systems to attend a tradeshow.

But after the dust settled a bit, we were ready, willing and able to exhibit at the SEIA show, May 1-2, where we wowed an audience of roughly 1,500 with models of our revolutionary clean energy storage battery systems comprised of fifth-generation lithium iron phosphate, LiFePO4, with prismatic cell technology.

“We had a lot of positive feedback from the many solar folks who stopped by to talk to us,” said Trejo, who designed the battery systems. “They said they hadn’t heard of us before, and they were amazed that our batteries can provide electricity to the average home for 12-24 hours in the absence of solar, wind or hydropower. It rained a lot here last winter and that’s important for solar installers to know.

“Other battery companies, such as Sonnen, Tesla, JLM, and Adara don’t custom size their batteries. When a renewable energy source, such as solar, isn’t producing they’ll provide electricity for a mere three to five hours. But since our battery systems are custom-sized for every application, customers only need the utility as a backup, or they may opt to go completely off the grid.

“It’s a whole-house, whole-building system, meaning it can power all of a customer’s heavy-hitting loads, such as air conditioning units, pool pumps, and electric car chargers as well as other basic appliances and needs. What’s more, we offer an unheard of 25-year warranty.”

iDES3’s lineup includes the 9-36 kilowatt hour Echo Indoor, 9-72 kWh Echo Outdoor and the 36-108 kWh Alpha Indoor/Outdoor.

San Diego Outshines Other Cities in a Key Solar Ranking

By Connie Lewis

According to Shining Cities 2017, a recent report by Environment California Research and Policy Center, San Diego topped a ranking of 66 U.S. cities with 303 megawatts of solar PV installed in 2016. Los Angeles came in second with 267 megawatts.

Solar installers enjoyed booming sales of rooftop solar during a decade of steadily declining prices and the first iteration of net energy metering (NEM 1.0), which allowed customers to sell their excess green power back to the grid at a retail rate. Following a buy-back cap that allowed the state’s investor owned utilities (IOUs) to essentially dilute their returns to green energy producers NEM 2.0 went into effect at the beginning of this year. And while NEM 2.0 kept the attractive retail rate in place, it created a fee structure for signups and introduced different time of use rates that put more money in the IOUs pockets. A harder sell.

Yet San Diego’s rooftop solar PV potential for small buildings is 2,219 MW, while the potential for LA is 5,444 MW, the Shining Cities report stated. The most recent estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau pegged San Diego’s population to be 1.4 million in 2015. By contrast, LA’s population stood at 4 million.

“Even cities that have seen the greatest solar success still have vast amounts of untapped solar energy potential,” the report said. “For instance, San Diego has developed less than 14 percent of its technical potential for solar energy on small buildings.”

But as the San Diego-based Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) pointed out, realizing that full potential calls for renewable energy storage batteries.

The way things stand now, an overabundance of green power coming from utility-scale facilities and rooftop solar installations occurs during daytime hours when electricity demand is lower than during the evening hours. This results in curtailment of generation sources, including wind and solar.

“The challenge is to match our daytime supply of clean renewable power with the actual demand for electricity, which now peaks in the evening. Fortunately, California is poised to turn this challenge into opportunity by putting power into battery storage for use when it’s needed,” CSE said.

Yet an immediate response to this challenge has IOUs and the state Public Utilities Commission designing TOU rate periods that graduate in price later in the day. They theorize that if homeowners know they’re going to have pay more money to turn on their lights and use appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers in the evening hours after they come home from work, they’ll adapt by shifting the use of such appliances to times when rates are lower. Maybe.

Another, more viable solution to the problem is energy storage. To help meet its state-mandated quota of 165 MW of battery storage by 2020 - part of an overall 1,325 MW for utilities statewide - San Diego Gas & Electric unveiled a 30 MW facility in Escondido in late February, which can store up to 120 megawatt hours of energy, the energy equivalent of serving 20,000 customers for four hours.  

California's Renewables Portfolio Standard requires all utilities in the state to source half of their electricity sales from clean, renewable sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, and biopower by 2030.

When SDG&E had reached its 5 percent NEM 1.0 cap in late June 2016, independent sustainable energy interconnections stood at 93,569 for a total of 96.3 MW. As of late February, under NEM 2.0, the utility had connected another 13,388 for a total of 96.3 MW.

Analysts insist that if California and other states that have adopted sustainable energy standards in the aim of reducing their carbon footprint, battery storage is the only way it’s going to happen.

Hear, hear! iDemand Energy Storage, a San Diego-based manufacturer of revolutionary sustainable energy storage batteries, co-founded by Walter Ellard and Ray Trejo, opened its doors in late August, and already has a list of clients, including homeowners and business owners, whose projects are valued at more than $10 million. To meet growing demand the company has added 20 employees to its original staff of four and moved its headquarters from a 5,000-square-foot office in Miramar to nearby offices with three times as much space.

iDemand Pursues U.S./Mexico Trade

iDemand Energy Storage (iDES3), a locally owned manufacturer of revolutionary energy storage batteries, is proud to be an exhibitor (booth #301) at the 28th Annual MexPort cross-border tradeshow slated for 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 6th at 1855 Dornoch Court. An inauguration ceremony featuring San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer will start at 9:30 a.m.

More than 2,000 business leaders and representatives engaged in cross-border trade, including plant managers and purchasing and logistics directors from major manufacturers in the California-Baja region will attend, said MexPort coordinator Hugo Romero.

The roster of 120 companies exhibiting at the Thursday event also includes those engaged in providing transportation and manufacturing services, industrial supplies, health insurance and online theft protection. Last year, attendance totaled 1,800 and the exhibitor count stood at 98, Romero added.

“These have been good years for Mexico, U.S. trade,” he emphasized.

As quoted in the Atlantic, new research from the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C., found that trade with Mexico creates approximately 4.9 million jobs in the United States. 

MexPort is organized by the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Smurfit Kappa, a leading paper-based packaging company.

iDemand Looks at Tackling the Electromagnetic Pulse

By Tylor Ellard, systems engineer

When iDemand engineers aren’t busy designing battery systems capable of taking sustainable energy producers off the utility grid for financial and environmental reasons, they’re researching other ways to improve life on this planet.

For instance, defeating the harmful and damaging effects of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), which is defined as a burst of electromagnetic energy. The worst of them result from nuclear explosions, but they’re also caused by solar flares and can create interference with all manner of electronics, from susceptible devices to power grids.

The behavior of electronics during and after an EMP has been the subject of widespread study and research. Both President Trump’s administration and that of President Obama have directed open-ended funding to study the effect on our nation’s defense capabilities and survivability, along with preventing potential disruptions of power grids.

In many ways, discovery of the EMP changed how modern national defense is planned, particularly in view of rogue nations, such as North Korea, that have the ingredients, the know-how, and possibly the desire to launch an EMP attack.

To explain in greater depth what an EMP does, we start by looking at a single electron. When exposed to an electric field the electron will react, as does the entire magnetic field, but the strengths and directions therein will vary. If the electric field is quite large, a pulse of much larger amplitude results, and the electron behaves erratically. Everything from its spin to its travel path will be affected.

A good example of this is the Starfish Prime, a high-altitude nuclear test bomb launched by the U.S. over the Pacific on July 9, 1962. The explosion knocked out electrical components some 900 miles away in Hawaii, damaging civilian and defense equipment. It also damaged or destroyed five U.S. satellites and one Soviet satellite.

The categories for describing an EMP are E1, E2 and E3 respectively. E1 is the category of electrical explosion that involves a sudden burst – the traditional view of the EMP. E2, which falls under the same classification as lightning, is easier to protect against than E1. E3 is harder to protect against because it requires a much more robust mechanism or system that tends to fluctuate in intensity. Think of it as an electrical tsunami.

Protecting against the type-three EMP is more difficult because the surges can reoccur like an echo chamber and can knock out lines of power or communications that had previously survived a short wave or burst.

Question: What’s in it for iDES3?

Answer: While the federal government is devoting time and funding to develop a military defense-grade application to stop the threat of EMP, technology originally produced for the military often has civilian applications. The Jeep is a classic example. After all, it was the first SUV.

But in exploring the possibility of adding anti-EMP technology to its product offerings, iDES3’s engineers foresee it as a valuable asset in areas where repairing a utility is extremely expensive or difficult to get to.

And that’s just one of their ideas.

Don't Let A Power Outage Disrupt Your Life

iDES3-Grid-Down.gif

By Saroj Joshi, chief engineer, CTO

Power outages have had a serious impact on the nation’s economy. Every year outages cost American families and businesses a total of about $130 billion.

Some states like California and Hawaii have sustainable energy standards in place that will bring an eventual end to this problem, at least for them, by calling for 100 percent green energy.

Will fossil-fuel utilities become a thing of the past? Hard to say. Currently, alternative energy, such as solar, wind and hydro rely largely on state and federal incentives. But indications are that one of those perks, California’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) 2.0, which amounts to a reduction in the rate of return for selling energy to the grid, has had a downside effect on solar installations.

iDemand Energy Storage (iDES3), the nation’s only manufacturer to offer uninterrupted energy storage (UES), answers both questions – utility outages and diminishing returns for renewable energy incentives. http://www.ides3.com/residential/

How can we make such an extraordinary claim? That’s easy, because it’s true.

Thanks to research and development by the company’s engineers and electricians, the iDES3 storage battery, with its Battery Management System Controls (BMSC), DC and AC coupling photovoltaics is entirely unique and offers a range of flexibility.

In the daytime, it can provide a continuous power supply independent of the grid, thus reducing high electric bills. With LiFePO4 prismatic cell chemistry, the batteries can quickly charge and discharge.

We stay on top of how our systems perform. We don’t just manufacture and sell them and leave our clients behind as we go onto the next project.  Our battery management system, which is part of each installation, enables us and the client to monitor real-time data on their energy consumption around the clock. If projections aren’t met, we make whatever adjustments are needed. We ensure client satisfaction every step of the way. That’s part of our 25-year warranty.

Utilities fail for one of several reasons, including blackouts caused by excessive summertime demand. In any case of failure, however, our technologically advanced hybrid inverters will continue to deliver power to green energy producers who have UES battery storage. It’s called islanding. A UES system also provides peak shaving during regular hours while the utility is operational, and lowers demand charges which result in reducing utility users’ bills.

Recently iDES3 performed conceptual design work for a microgrid to be built in a Cambodian community currently without access to electricity from a major grid.

In addition to our technological achievements, we are able to effectively communicate with city and county planners and inspectors to ensure that our systems are approved. Obviously, our product is not an out-of-the-box type that government planners and engineers are accustomed to seeing. Through meetings, seminars and videos, we’ve familiarized them with the intricacies of our energy storage batteries, how they function, what they’re capable of doing – basically revolutionizing the delivery of green energy and reducing the carbon footprint, and they applaud us!

According to industry sources, worldwide demand for grid-scale energy storage is estimated to reach 185.4 gigawatt hours by the end of this year. That represents $113.5 billion in incremental revenue for an industry that last year had sales of about $55 billion.


 

 

 

 

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