ZBB Energy Announces Successful Commissioning of Its ZBB EnerSystem(TM) for the Illinois Institute of Technology's "Perfect Power" Micro Grid Project

MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwire -07/30/12)- ZBB Energy Corporation (ZBB), a leading developer of intelligent, renewable energy power platforms, today announced that ZBB and its construction partner, City Cottage Group, have successfully installed and commissioned a 500kWh energy storage system and advanced power electronics for use in a micro grid application at the Illinois Institute of Technology ("IIT") Campus in Chicago, IL utilizing ZBB EnerStore™ advanced energy storage technology and ZBB EnerSection™ inverter modules.

Funded by IIT and the US Department of Energy ("DOE"), the "Perfect Power" micro grid system at IIT is the first energy distribution system of its kind in the United States. IIT's system will reduce the time and money lost to power outages and will meet IIT's growing, specialized energy needs. In addition, it can be operated as a stand-alone power system in the case of grid contingencies.

The ZBB EnerSystem™ has been integrated into the ITT micro grid prototype to provide critical system backup, load-shifting, peak load reduction, and improved integration of distributed renewables. ZBB's EnerStore battery modules will also be used to offset the addition of new electric vehicle charging stations by storing off-peak power for use during day-time peak charging periods. ZBB EnerStore flow batteries were selected for the energy storage component because they are constructed from environmentally friendly materials that provide for long service life and advanced performance when compared with traditional chemical batteries.

The ZBB EnerSystem:

  • Utilizes ten ZBB EnerStore zinc-bromide flow battery modules.
  • Connects to the micro grid utilizing two 125kW grid-tie inverter modules of the ZBB EnerSection power and energy control center.
  • 125 kW inverter modules have been certified by ETL ("Edison Testing Laboratory") to Underwriters Laboratories ("UL") 1741 standards by Intertek Testing Services.
  • Includes Grid Isolation Disconnect 'islanding' capability to use the platform for emergency power to an adjacent campus building in the event of grid loss.

The Illinois Institute of Technology in collaboration with Exelon, the Galvin Electricity Initiative ("GEI"), and other key partners have been working to develop, demonstrate, promote and commercialize a system and supporting technologies that achieve Perfect Power at the main campus of IIT. The Galvin Electricity Initiative, founded by former Motorola Chief Bob Galvin and working to perfect power for a secure, sustainable energy future, is working with entities across the world to replicate and scale the micro grid model for communities, military bases, corporate parks, sports facilities, and other universities. This commissioning demonstrates how government, utilities, businesses and municipalities can collaborate in the development and implementation of advanced power systems that are required to meet rising 21st century power demands. "We're very pleased to have a ZBB EnerSystem on our Perfect Power micro grid here at IIT as one of the main elements for the project is to use energy storage as a peaking plant on the campus that is dispatched through the smart grid controls of the overall system," said Professor Mohammad Shahidehpour of IIT, the principal developer for the project. "We will look forward to expand the use, size and quantity of ZBB's energy storage platform with future project funding rounds as we further deploy renewable sources, electric vehicles and 'smart buildings' on the campus micro grid in the coming years."

"ZBB's new 3rd generation zinc-bromide flow battery module, the ZBB EnerStore, with the new ZBB EnerSection inverters gave us the performance and footprint parameters that IIT and the DOE were requiring for this project -- at a price point that was still inside of the budget," said Barbara Ruel, President of City Cottage Group, the turn-key construction manager for the project. "Compared to other energy storage technologies, the ZBB flow battery was the best overall fit and the modular design allowed us to readily put a system together in the factory with minimal site prep and trade work onsite."

"This commissioning is a significant milestone for ZBB Energy and provides a blueprint that can be used to replicate our systems for use in other micro grids worldwide," said Eric Apfelbach, President & CEO of ZBB Energy. "IIT, City Cottage Group and the Galvin Perfect Power Institute are valuable partners in demonstrating why new technologies like ZBB's energy storage and advanced power electronics are critical components for the effective build-out of micro grids across global markets."

Eric Apfelbach will be presenting at the DOE Micro Grid Workshop at the IIT Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation, in Chicago, which begins on Monday, July 30th. This Workshop is convened by the U.S. Department of Energy Smart Grid R&D Program, which is part of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability ("OE"). Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to tour the IIT Perfect Power Micro Grid featuring the ZBB EnerSystem 500 kWh energy storage system.

About ZBB Energy Corporation
ZBB Energy Corporation (ZBB) designs, develops, and manufactures advanced energy storage, power electronic systems, and engineered custom and semi-custom products targeted at the growing global need for distributed renewable energy, energy efficiency, power quality, and grid modernization. ZBB and its power electronics subsidiary, Tier Electronics, LLC, have developed a portfolio of integrated power management platforms that combine advanced power and energy controls plus energy storage to optimize renewable energy sources and conventional power inputs whether connected to the grid or not. Tier Electronics participates in the energy efficiency markets through their hybrid vehicle control systems, and power quality markets with their line of regulation solutions. Together, these platforms solve a wide range of electrical system challenges in global markets for utility, governmental, commercial, industrial and residential end customers. Founded in 1986, ZBB's platforms ensure optimal efficiencies today, while offering the flexibility to adapt and scale to future requirements. ZBB's corporate offices and production facilities are located in Menomonee Falls, WI, USA with offices also located in Perth, Western Australia. For more information, visit: www.zbbenergy.com.

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