UCR Campus Solar Roof Initiative

Thermal-Vac Technology Battery Energy Storage System

Thermal-Vac Technology, Inc.

Orange, California

Stronghold was contracted to design and install a 480kW BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) for end user, Thermal-Vac Technologies. The system is comprised of four (4) Znyth Aurora Gen 2.3 containerized DC battery energy storage systems (BESS) along with EMS (Energy Management System) enclosures, inverters and all associated equipment and controls required for communications and monitoring.

Thermal-Vac (Thermal) is a leading provider of heat treatment and brazing services, with specific focus on the aerospace industry. Because the industrial furnaces they use consume an enormous amount of energy, Thermal was looking for creative ways to reduce their electricity costs. The solution, in this case, was to install a BESS system. 

BESS systems use lithium-ion batteries to store electricity. These systems are often paired with solar panels to store solar energy for future use. In this case, however, the system’s primary purpose is to act as a sort of energy arbitrage. The batteries pull energy from the grid and store it when it is cheaper to do so, based on the TOU (Time of Use) plan offered by Thermal’s local utility. Then, when electricity cost is at its highest, Thermal can switch over to using the stored energy in the batteries to offset the high cost of using electricity during peak hours. With less energy pulled from the grid during peak hours, the result is a savings in total electricity cost. This process is known as peak shaving and the practice can substantially reduce energy costs, particularly for high-volume users.

Based on system projections, this new system will result in a reduction of over $100,000 a year in electricity costs for Thermal-Vac. Further, the cost of the project is partially offset by California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), which provides rebates for qualifying distributed energy systems.

The multiple incentives made this an easy choice for Thermal-Vac and their new BESS comes with a service warranty which will continue to monitor the performance of the system for many years to come.