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Enterprising Electricity: Putting Theory into Practice

March 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Electricity is so integral to our lives, but humanity’s ever-growing need for it is defacing the planet. There are many ideas on how to stop this, but to have an effect, those ideas need to take root in the real world.

By Matt Baker

Four years ago, the Illinois Institute of Technology transformed into an island. The 50+ buildings that make up the Bronzeville campus were put on a microgrid—a network of buildings, batteries and energy sources that can be detached, or “islanded,” from the power grid.

The benefits of a microgrid are numerous. They can function independently when necessary, such as during a power outage. Energy efficiency is another advantage; through the use of solar and wind generation, the IIT microgrid reduces the university’s power consumption by $1 million annually and carbon dioxide emissions are trimmed by 7%. On-site batteries store excess electricity while sensors in and around the campus buildings track energy use for optimal deployment.
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Shedd Aquarium Installs Mega Battery

June 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Water and electricity don’t mix, right? Well, sometimes they do. As part of its ongoing Master Energy Roadmap, the Shedd Aquarium just installed a one-megawatt battery—the largest such battery installation in Illinois and the first of its kind to be installed at a zoo or aquarium in the nation.
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