Autonomous Energy System
Perpetuus I is Electric Jet, LLC,'s solution to power generation from renewable resources in grid-isolated locations. The Perpetuus I system uses renewable energy sources, along with a hydrogen energy storage system, to provide continuous power to an electrical load. Wind turbines, for example, can be used to collect energy. Because the availability of wind power is intermittent, the system provides the ability to store excess energy when it is available and to supplement the energy output from the wind turbine when its power production is insufficient to meet demand.
The Perpetuus I system uses two major pathways for the energy produced by the renewable resources. The first is a direct path connecting the renewable sources and the load. To assure the greatest system efficiency, this path is always used. The second path, which connects the renewable sources with an electrolysis process, is used only when the power available from the renewable sources exceeds the load. The electrolysis process produces hydrogen, which is stored as a compressed gas. When the power available from the renewable sources is less than that required by the load, the stored hydrogen is burned in a microturbine to supplement the power output. The microturbine has the ability to support the entire electrical load.
A final element of the system is flywheel load-leveling, which is used as an energy buffer just upstream of the load. The flywheel has the ability to store and release energy very quickly, which allows the system to cope with rapid transients in either the load or the available power. The flywheel, at full speed, can produce an output equal to the gas turbine’s for approximately 20 seconds.
The Perpetuus I system has several advantages over traditional gird-isolated power systems. Generally, these systems rely on diesel generators to support the electrical load. Diesel generators require a supply of fuel, however, and produce potentially harmful emissions. Renewable energy sources are a clean alternative, but cannot produce power on demand. The Perpetuus I system combines the fuel-independence and cleanliness of renewable energy with the load-following ability of a traditional diesel generator. All the energy for the system is provided by renewable sources and the hydrogen energy storage process allows the system output to follow the electrical load. Excess hydrogen can be taken from the system as a fuel for other applications and, if a long period of low availability of the renewable energy sources occurs, methane can be used as an emergency fuel in the gas turbine.