Standby power generators add reliability, easy maintenance to new lift stations

Like many expanding suburbs, Camas, Washington (U.S.A.), faced the problem of updating its aging sewage collection system to meet the needs of the city’s growing population. Located on the north bank of the Columbia River, adjacent to Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, this ecologically sensitive town couldn’t risk any kind of sewage backup if the local electric utility failed. To increase reliability and safety, the city specified that each new lift station include a standby power generator from Cummins Power Generation.

Camas city engineers set several requirements when they began replacing the lift stations. Reliability, easy maintenance and consistency of design and performance were top of the list. Each lift station is pre-engineered by Romtec Utilities of Roseburg, Oregon, to meet those requirements. All components, including structural, mechanical, electrical, power generation and communications, are pre-engineered, delivered as one package and installed in about a week.

“We chose Cummins Power Generation for the same reason cities choose us,” said Mark Sheldon, , Romtec Utilities’ VP of marketing and sales. “They receive our requirements and respond quickly with the right generator set and transfer switch, and they make installation and maintenance very easy.”

Read more on the Camas lift stations case study at cummins.com. 
 

Adam Sidders Marketing Communications Leader Power Systems

Adam Sidders

Adam Sidders is the Marketing Communications Leader for the Power Systems Business Unit of Cummins Inc. Prior to joining Cummins in 2012 Adam worked in Financial Services for Europe’s largest independently owned insurer as their Marketing and Communications Manager. [email protected]

Energy IQ: What you need to know about stationary energy storage technologies

Solar Panels Air View

Last year, solar installations across the world were over 100 GW1 and covered an area equivalent to one tenth the size of Puerto Rico in just one year. Similarly, the installation of on-shore and off-shore wind turbines are speeding up.

This is great news, yet introduces an unexpected challenge. In a given geographical area, newly installed solar and wind capacity will likely be producing electricity at the same time with the existing solar capacity. This can result in excess electricity from renewable sources during a certain time of the day, and no energy being produced when the sun isn’t shining, and the wind isn’t blowing. So, the challenge becomes how to capture and store this excess energy for future use.

This is where stationary energy storage technologies comes to play and become an instrumental component of the future of energy infrastructure. Let’s answer four common questions about energy storage technologies to boost your energy IQ.

No. #1: Why do we need stationary energy storage technologies?

Sources of power system flexibilityThe daily pattern of when and how much electricity we produce differs from when and how much electricity we consume. Moreover, renewable energy sources aren’t flexible, meaning they can’t be dispatched when needed to meet the everchanging requirements of energy consumers.

While traditional power plants and interconnections will continue to be key levers to address this challenge, energy storage systems are projected to be the rising star in solving this flexibility challenge.

Advancements in battery technologies and decreasing costs are the enablers behind the rise of stationary energy storage technologies. 

No. #2: What is a stationary energy storage system?

A stationary energy storage system can store energy and release it in the form of electricity when it is needed. 

In most cases, a stationary energy storage system will include an array of batteries, an electronic control system, inverter and thermal management system within an enclosure. 

Unlike a fuel cell that generates electricity without the need for charging, energy storage systems need to be charged to provide electricity when needed.

No. #3: How does a stationary energy storage unit work?

Batteries and an electronic control system are at the heart of how stationary energy storage systems work. Batteries are where the energy is stored within the system in the form of chemical energy, and lithium is the most popular element used to store the chemical energy within batteries. 

Here is a simplified overview of how batteries work during discharging and charging.

  • Discharging energy in the form of electricity: Lithium is stored on one end of the battery with its electrons. Electrons get separated from lithium and move through a circuit to provide electricity to the loads. Meanwhile, lithium ions, now positively charged since they lost negatively charged electrons, move from one side of the battery to the other side. This movement continues until all the lithium ions move to the other end; this is when the battery is discharged.
  • Charging the batteries and storing the chemical energy: A source external to the battery starts to provide electricity, providing an influx of electrons to the battery. These negatively charged electrons start to merge with the positively charged lithium ions, and the lithium elements, now neutrally charged, move from one side of the battery to the other side. Once all the lithium elements move, the battery is now fully charged. 

An electronic control system is the brain orchestrating the operation of the energy storage system. It controls when the batteries need to charge, when the loads need the energy from the batteries, and the operation of the thermal management system. This control system also interacts with devices outside the energy storage system to coordinate the operation. 

An inverter is where the electricity produced by the batteries is converted from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). Most of our homes and offices are wired for AC, and the utility grid carries electricity in AC. With the help of the inverter, the electricity provided by the batteries can be used to power loads.

The thermal management system manages the temperature of the overall system and prevents the heat generated through the chemical reactions within the batteries to be harmful for the system operations. 

No. #4: Where will I see stationary energy storage solutions?

Economic feasibility is one of the key drivers of where stationary storage solutions will be adopted more rapidly. A high local price of electricity, low resiliency of existing power infrastructure and criticality of business operations all play a role in this, yet two types of customers likely leverage energy storage solutions ahead of others.

  • Utilities, power producers and grid operators: Already an area where an increasing amount of installed capacity exists. Energy storage solutions address a range of customer challenges including intermittent renewables, peak demand and short outages.
  • Commercial buildings: Within this large group, energy storage solutions will likely become more common for businesses where the cost of energy is significant, or the continuity of operations is extremely critical. 

Another use case for stationary energy solution systems is to provide an uninterrupted supply of power in the event of an outage, while backup power generators are starting up. This is where the immediate dispatch capability of these solutions comes into play; in reacting to loads that have significant voltage and frequency fluctuation, for which some generating assets aren’t capable of reacting to without causing interruptions.

Cummins involvement in stationary energy storage systems

Cummins Inc. is a leading provider of diesel and natural gas power generators, digital solutions and control systems; and has recently developed Tactical Energy Storage Systems (TESS). The TESS provides an integrated power solution when used in a tactical microgrid to increase resilience, improve power quality and provide silent power. 

Microgrids and fuel cells  to energy storage devices, our energy future includes a diverse set of technologies and fuels, and Cummins is committed to innovating and delivering a variety of solutions to meet these diverse needs of customers. 

Sign up below for Energy IQ to periodically receive relevant insights and trends about energy markets. To learn more about the distributed generation solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage.

Think your friends and colleagues would like this content? Share on LinkedIn and Facebook.


References: 

1 International Energy Agency. (Nov 2019). World Energy Outlook 2019 [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://www.iea.org/
 

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Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

Healthcare to data centers, defining moments in the markets we have served in our 100-year history

Health Care Machine

2020 is the 100th year anniversary of the power generation business at Cummins Inc. Founded by D. W. Onan in 1920 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, today the power generation business helps you look ahead with the ingrained foresight to see what will be needed, the expertise and pragmatism to know how to get there, and the resources committed to the next generation of power.

Given our diverse and global set of customers, we had the opportunity to observe several defining moments that impacted our customers over the last century. Let’s look at four of these moments and trends that shaped how most of us  experience healthcare, connectivity and our homes today.

1950s to 2010s: The rise of electricity in our homes

US Energy InformationOnce you are done with your busy day, your home will be waiting for you at a comfortable temperature. Hot water will be immediately ready for your shower, and lights and television will be on while you are having dinner. With electricity commonly powering all these routine tasks, it recently became the primary form of energy for many households. In fact, electricity now delivers more energy than natural gas to households, but this was not always the case. 

Natural gas was the primary form of energy for many households through the second half of the 20th century and was commonly used for cooking and heating. Meanwhile, electricity kept gaining ground to first surpass the use of petroleum and more recently to surpass the use of natural gas as the primary form of energy in households.

Today, as our everyday lives become ever more dependent on electricity, consumers are increasingly relying on Cummins QuietConnect whole house generators to protect their homes and families.

1970s and 1980s: New life saving technologies and practices in healthcare

Today, physicians diagnose various diseases and conditions, and improve patient care using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams. While these exams are well-known today, it was a defining moment in healthcare when the first MRI exam on a live human patient was conducted in 1977 1. This scanning technology rapidly became common across healthcare facilities in the following decades. In fact, today over 70 million MRI exams are conducted annually across the world 2.

In addition to the technology aspect, the 1970s and 1980s witnessed an introduction of new life saving practices in healthcare. The Joint Commission, founded in 1951 with a mission to continuously improve health care for the public, established the first accreditation standards for infection control in healthcare facilities. These infection control practices aimed to prevent or stop the spread of infections in healthcare facilities.

The imaging technologies and infection control practices had astonishing effects in patient care. Meanwhile, they have also impacted healthcare infrastructure. Increased infection control resulted in increased use of electricity in healthcare facilities, and most of the modern MRI machines need high quality power 24/7 even if they are not scanning.

Today, the healthcare industry (hospitals to medical offices) frequently rely on Cummins to deliver a full line of technologically-advanced power solutions to address their needs.

1990s and 2000s: Digital age starts, and the rise of data comes

The World Bank Individuals Using the InternetWe spend an average of six and a half hours online per day, and can’t imagine just a couple of hours without our smart phones 3. For businesses, it is no different either; many businesses, manufacturing to healthcare, rely on connectivity in their everyday operations. 

This digital age was ignited during the 1990s with the rapid increase in the number of people having internet access. Then came the connected devices and new ways of consuming media; and these fueled the amount of data we generate at home, school and work. 

Behind our connected lives, it’s the data centers few people see, but billions of people depend on to keep their phones and other devices connected. Data centers store, process and distribute data, and you rely on a data center every time you watch a movie on a streaming service, use social media or order online. 

Data centers have no tolerance for power interruptions, and feature state-of-the-art power systems  commonly relying on Cummins for back-up power solutions. Today, Cummins solutions are used in data centers in every continent, except Antarctica. 

2010s: The rise of RV lifestyle as baby boomers move into the next chapter in their lives

RV Industry Historical dataFrom the rise of suburbs in 60s to the best years of rock and roll in 70s, many memorable trends over the last few decades were influenced by baby boomers, people who were born between the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s. Among other things, one aspect that has differentiated the baby boomers from other generations was the economic prosperity they  enjoyed through the majority of their working life. This has also made baby boomers significant holders of wealth, as the generation is estimated to hold over half of U.S. household wealth 4.

As this generation moves into the next chapter of their lives, retirement, they are also fueling the rise of the RV lifestyle and influencing other generations to follow them. Today, the RV lifestyle is not just limited to baby boomers, as many families become modern nomads to spend more time traveling in pursuit of happiness. These made the 2010s the golden decade for the RV industry, with the industry shipping over 3.5 million RVs in the U.S. alone.

With the record growth of the RV industry, Cummins continues to power the RV lifestyle by developing new and innovative industry-leading engines and power generators. For more than 50 years, Cummins has built mobile power generators enabling RV owners to bring the comforts of home with them wherever they go.

While the four defining moments captured above are behind us, new trends ranging from internet of things and 5G to renewables are emerging and shaping our lives. These trends also create the need for innovations within the power generation industry, and we will cover two of these innovations that will shape the power generation industry in the next decade in March.     

Sign up below for Energy IQ to periodically receive energy insights. To learn more about how Cummins is powering a world that’s "Always On,", follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn. To learn more about power solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage

Think your friends and colleagues would like this content? Share on LinkedIn and Facebook.

References: 

  1. APS Physics. (July 2006). This Month in Physics History: MRI Uses Fundamental Physics for Clinical Diagnosis [Web page]. Retrieved from https://www.aps.org/
  2. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. (n.d.). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams [Table]. Retrieved from https://data.oecd.org/
  3. Nielsen. (November 2018). Connected Commerce: Connectivity is Enabling Lifestyle Evolution. Retrieved from https://www.nielsen.com/
  4. MarketWatch. (December 2019). This depressing chart shows the jaw-dropping wealth gap between millennials and boomers. Retrieved from https://www.marketwatch.com/

Raise Your Energy IQ

Grow professionally with energy trends and insights delivered to your inbox.

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

Cummins to support 7x24 International Data Center Day

Over 60% of respondents to Uptime Institute’s 2019 Data Center Survey, which included IT professionals and facility managers, reported having trouble finding or retaining skilled staff. In response to these challenges, industry not-for-profit 7x24 Exchange International launched International Data Center Day in 2019 to raise awareness of the data center industry and inspire the next generation of talent. This year on March 25, data center operators and infrastructure partners globally will host educational events to raise awareness of the industry and the wide array of career opportunities it presents. 

As a supporting partner, Cummins will celebrate and participate in International Data Center Day through several activities and events at a global and regional level with two main stage events:

  1. High School Lunch and Learn – Our destination is Fridley High School, in Fridley, Minnesota (U.S.A.). As the home to Cummins Power Generation’s U.S. manufacturing operations for nearly a century, Cummins has a long-standing partnership with the Fridley community, including corporate responsibility and community engagement initiatives. Students enrolled in STEM programs will have the chance to learn about data centers and their role within our digital ecosystem, as well as the skills and experiences that can prepare young people for opportunities in the industry. 
  2. Industry Professionals Webinar – As part of the Cummins PowerHour webinar series, we will discuss technologies to address the available and sustainable energy challenge that the fast-growing data center industry will face. Join us on April 2 at 2 p.m. EST for our session “Using Fuel Cells to Address Energy Growth and Sustainability Challenges in Data Centers.” To register for this webinar please follow the link here: http://now.cummins.com/powerhour-fuel-cells. Cummins offers one professional development hour (PDH) upon completion of this course, certificates will be made available to all attendees shortly after the live session concludes.

“We are very proud to be a part of International Data Center Day 2020,” said Sarah Griffiths, Cummins Data Center Segment Director. “It is a fantastic day that allows us to raise awareness with our communities, business partners and internal teams to the exciting opportunities in the data center industry. We are confident in our approach in supporting initiatives such as IDC 2020 to help inspire today’s students to think about a career with the data center industry and Cummins.” 

Cummins Power Generation is a global provider of power generation equipment, including PowerCommand™ standby and prime power systems. You will find Cummins generator sets everywhere reliable power is needed, from hospitals and data centers to drilling and mining operations. To learn more about data centers and their role in our connected lives, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. To learn more about data center power solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage.

To learn more about opportunities at Cummins, check out internship and employment opportunities with Cummins
 

Adam Sidders Marketing Communications Leader Power Systems

Adam Sidders

Adam Sidders is the Marketing Communications Leader for the Power Systems Business Unit of Cummins Inc. Prior to joining Cummins in 2012 Adam worked in Financial Services for Europe’s largest independently owned insurer as their Marketing and Communications Manager. [email protected]

Energy IQ: Five insights into the future of energy for utility professionals – Part II

Multiple Meters - Utility Professional Banner

The International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Outlook aims to deepen our understanding of the future of energy. With this two-part series blog post, you can digest the insights most relevant to utility professionals when it comes to the future of energy. Part I of this blog post was themed “financial insights,” and Part II builds upon that theme with three additional insights.

No. #3: Demand for power infrastructure flexibility grows faster than the demand for electricityBatteries to play a key role chart

Renewable technologies bring astonishing benefits in terms of zero carbon emissions, but also introduce the challenge of flexibility . The continually increasing share of renewables in our energy infrastructure translates into an increasing share of variable electricity generation. Meanwhile, consumers are increasingly using electricity for cooling and to fuel their cars. This changes when we need electricity and the amount we need, eventually shifting the electricity demand profile. A combination of these two results in an increased need for power system flexibility. 

While traditional power plants and interconnections will continue to be key levers to deliver flexibility, energy Storage batteries are projected to be the rising star in solving this flexibility challenge, thanks to advancements in battery technologies and decreasing costs. It is estimated that there will be a 40-fold increase in in battery storage capacity by 2040, increasing faster than almost every other mainstream technology.

No. #4: Gas plays multiple roles in energy transition

Offering flexibility is one of the key roles natural gas plays in energy transition. Gas-fired plants are more capable of scaling up output when there is need for more energy, whether it is driven by heating demands during winter or cooling  during summer.

Displacing high carbon fuels is the other key role gas plays in energy transition. The environmental benefits combined with the low supply cost of gas has fueled a worldwide coal-to-gas switch. It is estimated this switching has avoided around 500 million tons of CO2 emissions since 2010. This reduced carbon footprint was accomplished since natural gas produces less than half of the carbon coal produces when used to produce electricity. 

Lastly, de-carbonized gases could take the environmental benefits to the next stage while taking full advantage of existing natural gas grids, which bring more energy to consumers than electricity grids in many countries. Low-carbon hydrogen and biomethane are considered to be the two main candidates to fill our existing gas grids if the affordability challenge is resolved.

No. #5: Regulations continue to be the key driver of the utility industry

Regulations and incentives have a prominent role in energy markets, and utility markets are no exception. Both the century old fossil fuel consumption and the newer renewable technologies receive subsidies. When it comes to renewable technologies, you can see how these subsidies and initial policy decisions are now resulting in large-scale deployments around the world. Renewables are one example, and historically over 90% of investments within the power sector is estimated to be linked to regulations and policies.

The emerging need for a new frontier of regulations in the utility industry is fueled by the advancements in connectivity, analytics and energy storage. It is expected the new regulations will create a more efficient power sector, and help  consumers and utilities to maximize the value of their investments.

Utility professionals are future shapers when it comes to energy markets. Decisions utility professionals make today impact the future of energy; therefore, it is crucial for utility professionals to stay up to date with insights and trends relevant to their work. 

Sign up below for Energy IQ to periodically receive relevant insights and trends about energy and electricity sectors. To learn more about distributed generation solutions Cummins Inc. offers, visit our webpage

Think your friends and colleagues would like this content? Share on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Raise Your Energy IQ

Grow professionally with energy trends and insights delivered to your inbox.

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

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