CEC Launches EPIC Program Interactive Website Showcasing Innovative Projects

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The California Energy Commission (CEC) has launched a new Energy Innovation Showcase website to communicate and track progress on innovative projects awarded funding under the CEC’s EPIC program. Among the projects highlighted are:

A project to develop microgrids at the City of Fremont to provide energy efficiency, demand management and resiliency:

Each microgrid consists of a microgrid energy management system, parking lot canopy photovoltaic system, and battery energy storage. The automated microgrid control system will optimally manage local energy resources and loads. The microgrid will provide at least three hours a day of power for critical loads during a utility power outage.

A project reviewing the best attic insulation practices to help California get to zero net energy in Clovis and Fresno:

The project will focus on the performance of different attic assemblies and their associated heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Field measurements of attic and HVAC system performance will be conducted in two new high performance homes in California with sealed and insulated attics. One home will be built to be about 30 percent better than Title 24 and the other will be a ZNE home. The attic insulation approach will be a new lower-cost approach using blown insulation that does not use expensive spray-foam. The results of the measurements will be used directly to provide technical support for potential changes to Title 24 and provide information to contractors and builders on sealed and insulated attic performance and alternative approaches.

 

A project to pilot a solution to reduce the drying time (and energy use) needed in walnut production, in Maxwell:

This project will demonstrate a novel infrared technology for walnut drying at pilot and commercial scales to achieve 35-50% natural gas and electric energy savings by significantly reducing walnut drying time. This new technology uses infrared as an efficient heat source to quickly remove the surface and shell moisture of walnuts, followed by the final drying using hot air. Nuts are required to meet strict USDA standards for moisture content. With traditional methods, they are washed then moved to large drying bins where hot air is circulated for 12 to 24 hours. The wettest nuts are dried to the safe storage moisture to prevent mold development, resulting in 6 to 8 hours of additional drying time, which means that nuts with low moisture are over dried. In addition to energy savings, the new infrared technology will improve product quality, and decrease product loss due to over drying. This new technology could also be used for drying other types of nuts.

A project testing ways to optimize and reduce energy and water consumption through pump monitoring in Davis, Hanford, Helm, Tulare and Winters:

This project will demonstrate a software tool that links groundwater extraction with smart meter data to provide growers with automated information on energy and water consumption. This data is augmented by weather data and optional soil moisture data from local sensors to provide information to growers regarding irrigation needs. Use of the software program could help inform growers and reduce irrigation while maintaining or optimizing yield. The technology will be applied to over 1,579 acres of farms owned by several growers of alfalfa, tomato, pistachios and almonds.

A project using sophisticated energy management systems, solar and storage to optimize distributed energy resources at the College of San Mateo:

This project aims to demonstrate an integrated solar PV, energy storage, and advanced power electronics within a single module to significantly increase overall efficiencies by minimizing conversion losses. The demonstration will include the integration of a 200 kW pre-commercial high-performance PV system from SunEdison, a 200 kWh stationary battery energy storage system, and advanced HVAC system and controls, with advanced energy management system that uses the Internet of Energy concept to optimize performance of distributed energy resources and the local grid.

See more projects by visiting the Energy Innovation Showcase here. For current funding opportunities through the EPIC program, click here.

Interested in more resources on energy and water pump savings? See a presentation shared at the May 2nd meeting of the EE Coordinating Committee Public Sector here.

Interested in microgrids? Click here. Looking for more on zero net energy? Click here. Have attic and other insulation projects your constituents want to move on now? Click here for a summary of current weatherization funding opportunities through California’s Community Services Department (CSD).

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