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Parker Hannifin SSD Drives has combined an inverter and control system with a lithium-ion battery system from A123 Systems to improve the reliability of the electric grid in northern Chile.

AES Energy Storage has commissioned a 12MW frequency regulation and spinning reserve project at AES’ Los Andes substation in the Atacama Desert, Chile.

System operators need effective frequency regulation and spinning reserve to help them manage fluctuations in demand for power.

One of the biggest challenges in electric grid management is that the amount of power generated and the amount consumed must be in exact balance at all times.

When imbalances occur, the frequency of electricity (50/60Hz) required by users is not maintained, resulting in grid instability.

Effective frequency regulation keeps the grid in balance.

Alongside frequency regulation, the spinning reserve is the extra generating capacity available immediately to meet peaks in demand or to cope with disruptions in supply such as when a generator goes down.

The newly commissioned Los Andes substation combines Parker SSD inverter drives in the power conversion section with lithium-ion batteries for energy storage, all housed in climate-controlled containers.

Alternating containers of batteries and inverters make up the total 12MW system, with each inverter container housing 2MW of capacity.

The system represents the largest of several projects that have used Parker Hannifin power conversion equipment in utility-scale installations.

The technology delivers frequency regulation in a less expensive, more responsive and more accurate method than either the traditional alternatives of pumped hydro and compressed air, or the emerging flywheel energy storage technology, which is being trialled for electricity grid applications.

The solid-state system installed at Los Andes offers the advantages of high efficiency, high speed of response and minimal maintenance.

In addition, because the project frees up spinning reserve and replaces unpaid reserve from the power plant, AES can receive payment for its full output capacity by selling directly to the national grid.

The project was officially put into commercial operation on 16 November 2009.

Further upgrades are planned for other substations: a 20MW power station upgrade in 2010 will free up 5-10 per cent spinning reserve to be sold to the national grid, while a 100MW upgrade within the next three years will free up a further 5-10 per cent spinning reserve to be sold to the grid and provide connection of regional grid power systems in northern, central and southern Chile.

Parker Hannifin – Electromechanical and Drives

Parker Hannifin is the world’s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. With a comprehensive portfolio of electromechanical actuators, servo motors, servo drives, operator displays, communications devices and variable speed AC and DC drives, the Electromechanical and Drives Division are uniquely placed to meet all of your motion control and drives requirements.

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