Alaska Energy Authority Emerging Energy Technology Fund: Round 2
The Emerging Energy Technology Fund (EETF) is administered by the Alaska Energy Authority and financed by appropriations from the state legislature and contributions from other sources, such as the Denali Commission. The program seeks to demonstrate alternative and renewable energy technology options for Alaska in the pre-commercial stage.
The Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) led data collection efforts for the EETF. ACEP worked with selected projects to identify critical performance data for collection, management, and dissemination. Data analysis, and lessons learned were compiled into reports now available here. ACEP’s intention is to provide the public, energy technology industry, and government with the information needed to accelerate the development of energy solutions for Alaska.
Four projects were selected for funding in the second round of the EETF program. These projects began in 2013 and were completed by 2019. ACEP oversaw data collection activities for the projects, providing a range of support functions including technical assistance, instrumentation specification and installation, and data collection system programming and commissioning.
Air Source Heat Pump Potential in Alaska, Cold Climate Housing Research Center, Fairbanks
The Cold Climate Housing Research Center plans to demonstrate the performance of a new generation of air-source heat pumps in an effort to provide energy-efficient space heating for Alaska’s cold climates. The air-source heat pump system under consideration — commonly referred to as “ductless mini-splits” — is similar to a ground-source heat pump but has a significantly lower upfront capital cost because heat is lifted directly from the outdoor air instead of a ground loop.
Trans-Critical Carbon Dioxide Heat Pump System, Alaska Sea Life Center, Seward
The Alaska Sea Life Center will demonstrate a trans-critical carbon dioxide heat pump system to provide space heating and potentially displace an existing electric boiler at the facility. This heat pump installation, the first of its kind in the state, will use carbon dioxide under high pressure as a refrigerant to provide much hotter output temperatures than are provided by heat pumps using traditional refrigerants. The higher output temperatures will enable the heat pump to serve medium-temperature baseboards, which could facilitate heat pump integration into many existing heating systems.
Multi-Stage Energy Storage System, Chugach Electric System, Anchorage
Chugach Electric Association introduced wind power into its generation portfolio in 2011 and is continuing to investigate methods to provide stable power in coordination with existing hydroelectric and thermal resources. The objective of this demonstration is to design and operate a pilot-level, multi-state energy storage system consisting of a flywheel energy storage system and battery energy storage system. The flywheel system — which will have a very high cycle life but a smaller capacity — will provide the first response to grid instabilities. The battery system — with a higher capacity that is able to provide power for longer durations — will provide the second response. A larger version of the pilot system could provide significant grid stability and also facilitate integration of intermittent energy sources.
St. Paul Flywheel Demonstration, TDX Power, St. Paul
In an effort to build on successful wind-diesel power systems at Sand Point and St. Paul, TDX Power proposed to add an energy storage component to its power plant on St. Paul. The project will demonstrate the use of the extended storage capability of a flywheel energy storage system and allow the integration of increased wind power into the local grid at the Petroleum Offshore Support Services Camp. A storage capability of at least 15 minutes at full load could provide enough time to restart a stopped generator, which could allow for periods of “diesels off” operation, thereby reducing the run time of generators under low load, which is inefficient, and offsetting costly diesel generation.
Photo Left: Outdoor (condenser) unit of the air-source mini-split heat pump installed on the Wrangell Municipal Light and Power building.
Image Middle: AEA logo, courtesy of AEA.
Photo Right: Wind turbines on St. Paul Island, Alaska.