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Fortnightly Magazine - August 2010

18 for a prototype integrated solar-assisted electric-vehicle (EV) charging station being erected at EPRI’s Knoxville, Tenn., research laboratory. EPRI and TVA undertook the design process with Eaton Corp. as a contractor to create a model charging facility that will charge EVs quickly and reliably. When completed in the fall, the test station will produce data to assist in implementing key components of a smart grid, such as integrating renewables, utilizing a battery storage system, assessing the impact on reliability, testing advance metering infrastructure and analyzing electric-vehicle supply equipment. The prototype, called the Smart Modal Area Recharge Terminal (SMART) station, will provide information on the impact on distribution system reliability when several vehicles are re-fueled at the same time. EPRI provides details in a new report, accessible at

Silent Power will supply the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) with distributed-energy storage technology to aid in completing the utility’s photovoltaic (PV) storage pilot at Anatolia. SMUD’s $5.9 million pilot project will evaluate how the integration of energy storage enhances the value of distributed PV resources by reducing peak loads, firming intermittent renewable capacity and maximizing overall system efficiency. Silent Power’s OnDemand Home Energy Appliance is a distributed-energy storage device that will store excess energy generated by a homeowner’s solar power system. When energy is needed during super-peak demand times (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.), SMUD and customers can draw upon stored energy from the system.

Siemens Energy and Coulomb Technologies entered a joint marketing agreement for an integrated electric vehicle (EV) product offering in the market for e-mobility and state-of-the-art electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) technology, including EV charging infrastructure. The agreement allows Siemens to offer companies, including utilities, electric retailers, municipalities and EV suppliers, the ability to monitor, bill and clear financial transactions for EV infrastructure market participants.

Plug Power Inc. announced that its GenDrive fuel cell units will power Walmart Canada’s fleet of electric lift trucks at the company’s sustainable refrigerated distribution center in Alberta, Canada. The GenDrive systems will be integrated into trucks manufactured by Crown Equipment Corp. Both perishable and freezer goods will be distributed in Walmart Canada’s newly-built facility to support retail stores in Western Canada. The GenDrive freezer units will operate in conditions as low as -20 degrees F (-29 degrees C). In addition to lower operating costs, Plug Power says GenDrive allows for productivity increases, as material handling vehicles maintain maximum power and speed during an entire shift. Units can be refueled in less than two minutes, minimizing lost productivity. GenDrive hydrogen fuel cells provide companies with a possible greenhouse-gas emissions reduction of up to 72 percent, compared to batteries charged from the grid.

Hessgen, for the first time in history, mixed hydrogen with racing fuel to power a 700-HP Trophy Truck on the rough 500-mile Baja racecourse. By race mile 5, Brian Hess, company founder, had flipped the truck over and into a ditch. With the help of a forklift, #88 was back on course in less than 90 minutes. The hydrogen system located on the top rear section of the truck survived