Austin Central Library Implements Grid Operating System, Will Save $100,000 Annually

(Austin Central Library. Credit: Apparent)

by | Oct 14, 2020

(Austin Central Library. Credit: Apparent)

To help meet the City of Austin‘s goal to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity generation by 2035, Austin Central Library (ACL) has implemented an intelligent grid operating system. The solution claims to save more than $100,000 annually for the library.

ACL partnered with Apparent to get 30% more energy from one of downtown Austin’s largest solar arrays. ACL will use a cloud-based, intelligent grid operating system (igOS), which will manage the 180 kW solar array at the library, consisting of 555 325-watt solar panels and Apparent’s proprietary microinverters.

The technology monitors ACL’s demand and, working in sub-seconds, matches available solar generation to the facility’s energy needs. This real-time process enables the inverters to maximize solar generation and use behind-the-meter. Apparent met Austin Energy’s required management scope for an interconnected behind the meter distributed energy generator by ensuring ACL’s solar system would not export (backfeed) any energy to the grid and could read, reckon, and react to signals from the utility in three-seconds or less.

Unique in its application, the system’s self-diagnosis capability to shut down individual inverters while still allowing the rest of the inverter string and system to operate was also a crucial functionality. Today, ACL’s solar generator operates seamlessly with the local grid while keeping costs down and lowering the library’s carbon footprint. In addition, the technology is plug-and-play, making the transition seamless for library staff, according to Apparent.

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