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Powerpacks for pioneering energy storage project

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Photon Energy, a UK-based Tesla Powerpack certified company, was recently appointed to install four energy storage units at Manchester Science Park. 

Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) has undertaken a significant investment in an advanced energy strategy that includes the installation of the Tesla Powerpacks as well as two EV charging points at their flagship headquarters – the Bright Building, located at Manchester Science Park. 

This pioneering project received a grant from Innovate UK’s Internet of Things smart city demonstrator project, CityVerve, in which MSP is a lead partner, and forms one strand of their advanced energy strategy that MSP committed to earlier this year as part of Lloyds Bank’s Commercial Real Estate’s Green Lending Initiative. 

The installation initially involved employing groundworks contractors to install a concrete plinth including ducting for cables and a paved area for maintenance access. Heavy lifting equipment was hired to hoist the 2.2 tonne batteries into position. The batteries were then connected to the inverter using Tesla’s pre-fabricated wireway system. The inverter output was connected to the building’s LV supply via a G59 relay that provides protection functions. 

Suitable meters were installed to monitor parameters such as energy flows into and out of the battery, energy supply to the whole site and frequency of the supply. 

MSP is hoping by installing the Tesla Powerpacks, they will be insulated from shifting commercial tariffs and the adoption of green technologies will substantially reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, the Powerpacks can provide a back-up power system, should primary power fail. They can respond to outages in less than a second, unlike the previous industry norm of 30 minutes for a diesel generator. 

The battery system has been designed to be scalable, with the option to add up to 16 additional Powerpacks, and within 12 months, MSP envisage that the Bright Building will be an energy island – self-sufficient and operating without reliance on the National Grid. 

MSP will be closely monitoring the cost savings and CO2 reduction, with a view to installing further units at their other buildings and developments. 

Of the install, Rolf Oldach, director of Photon Energy, said: “Building on our experience with previous Powerpack projects, we had prepared as much as possible off site, allowing us to complete the mechanical and electrical installation, including metering, within a week.” 

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