GE battery trial dials up the savings in the Dominican Republic

Wed, 2013-12-11 06:00 -- Liz Enbysk

Many cities and regions around the world struggle with the reliability of their electric grids. In some parts of the Dominican Republic, for instance, power outages can last for four to eight hours at a time. That takes a toll on people's lives and a region's economic vitality.

That's why we wanted to share results of a pilot project involving a battery backup system from Council Lead Partner GE, working with a mobile network operator in the Dominican Republic. As you'll see from the release below, the cost savings achieved are staggering.


Mobile Network Realizes 60 Percent Site Energy Cost Reductions through Backup Power System from GE

  • Dominican Republic’s Viva-Trilogy Dominicana S.A. Mobile Network Records 88 Percent Reduction in Backup Power Costs and Diesel Fuel Expenses and a 60 Percent Decrease in Site Energy Costs While Maintaining Site Uptime

  • GE Durathon* Battery Paired with Remote Monitoring System from OmniMetrix™ Provides Real-Time Battery and Grid Data

SCHENECTADY, N.Y.—December 5, 2013—Viva-Trilogy Dominicana S.A., a Dominican Republic mobile network, has announced the completion of a backup power pilot program using a GE (NYSE: GE) Durathon* battery and a remote monitoring and diagnostic (RMD) system from OmniMetrix, LLC, an Acorn Energy company (NASDAQ: ACFN). The pilot resulted in an 88 percent reduction in backup power costs and diesel fuel expenses as well as a 60 percent decrease in site energy costs.

“The Dominican Republic is known for an unreliable grid in certain areas,” said Edgar Geidans, chief technology officer of Trilogy International Partners, Viva-Trilogy’s parent company. “Power is often lost for four to eight hours at a time, during which our diesel generators provide power to our telecommunication towers. The results of this trial have shown significant diesel savings using a leading-edge battery and controlling solution. We look forward to continuing our work and analysis with GE and OmniMetrix.”

The four month-long pilot program demonstrated the value of pairing a remote monitoring and diagnostic system with GE’s Durathon Battery. The GE Durathon Battery and OmniMetrix RMD system were installed at a base transceiver station in a part of the Dominican Republic known for its frequent power outages. During these outages, the battery was able to supplement electricity typically produced by a diesel generator to power the site. The OmniMetrix RMD system provided real-time data on both the battery and the grid’s overall performance.

“GE’s work with Viva-Trilogy and OmniMetrix demonstrates how sites that typically rely on diesel generators for backup power at telecommunications sites can achieve significantly lower operating cost while providing reliable power,” said Prescott Logan, general manager of GE Energy Storage. “OmniMetrix’s RMD system enhances the inherent merits of GE’s battery by providing visibility to critical operating metrics.”

“The OmniMetrix RMD system quantified a pattern of utility power outages prior to the Durathon battery’s deployment,” said Joe Musanti, chief executive officer of OmniMetrix. “The data was subsequently provided to the engineering teams responsible for determining the optimal settings for the Durathon battery management system. This total system led to the savings realized by Viva-Trilogy.”

GE’s Durathon battery is based on a sodium-nickel energy storage technology that currently is being used in various applications in the telecommunications, utility and data storage industries. GE hails the battery as a breakthrough due to its energy density, low toxicity and temperature independence.

*Durathon is a trademark of General Electric Company.

About OmniMetrix, LLC

OmniMetrix, LLC, the world leader in remote on-site power generation monitoring, provides expert capabilities in the design and development of wireless field devices and internet-connected data management systems. This includes microprocessor-based, miniature, on-machine field equipment, fully redundant SQL-based data management and web-delivered equipment status pages. In addition, our pipeline corrosion protection line is led by the Computer Automated Test Station, which works hand-in-hand with the OmniMetrix Rectifier Monitor creating a comprehensive and the most technologically advanced wireless corrosion protection monitoring system available. For more information visit: http://www.omnimetrix.net/.

About Acorn Energy, Inc.

Acorn Energy, Inc. is a holding company whose four portfolio companies help their customers achieve greater productivity, reliability, security and efficiency—factors which can lead to greater profitability. OmniMetrix remotely monitors emergency back-up power generation systems to increase their reliability. GridSense provides monitoring for all critical points along the electricity delivery system. US Seismic supplies fiber optic sensing solutions to increase oil/gas production and lower costs. DSIT provides security solutions from underwater threats to naval and marine based energy assets. For more information visit: http://acornenergy.com/.

About Trilogy International Partners LLC (“Trilogy”)

Trilogy invests in wireless telecommunication operations in international markets that exhibit strong opportunities for significant growth. A privately held company, Trilogy’s corporate headquarters are in Bellevue, Wash. Trilogy currently has controlling interests in mobile communications companies in Bolivia, New Zealand and the Dominican Republic. Collectively, these businesses hold licenses to provide wireless voice and data services to over 24 million people. For more information on Trilogy, please visit http://www.trilogy-international.com/.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at https://www.ge.com/.

About GE Power & Water

GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar; biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality. Power & Water’s six business units include Distributed Power, Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Products, Power Generation Services, Renewable Energy and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business.

About GE Energy Storage

GE’s Energy Storage business, a part of GE Power and Water’s Renewables group, works to enable safer, efficient and cost-effective storage, distribution and utilization of energy where it’s needed and when it’s needed. As a global technology leader and supplier of advanced battery energy storage systems, we provide Durathon Battery modules and complete energy storage solutions to the telecom, energy management, power generation, grid operation, backup and motive power industries. GE Energy Storage is headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y. To learn more visit https://www.ge.com/renewableenergy/hybrid/battery-storage.

Follow GE Power & Water and GE’s renewables business on Twitter @GE_PowerWater and @GErenewables.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release includes forward-looking statements, which are subject to risks and uncertainties. There is no assurance that Acorn Energy, Inc. will continue to grow their respective businesses, or that any of them will meet the expectations or execute the initiatives described or referred to above. A complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties which may affect Acorn Energy's business generally and the businesses of its subsidiaries is included in "Risk Factors" in the Company's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q as filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.