Sharp Electronics Corporation’s Energy Systems and Services Group (Sharp ESSG) installed its behind-the-meter SmartStorage energy storage solution at ILM Tool’s 25,000-square-foot machine shop, with an integrated solar PV system.
Courtesy of Sharp Electronics
ILM Tool handles quick turnaround prototype and production run orders for sheet metal manufacturing, plastic milling and machining, as well as thermoforming for a wide range of industries. The company installed the storage system in order to help offset its growing peak demand usage. Bay Area solar PV installer Synergy Power carried out the installation of the 30 kW/40 kWh SmartStorage system, integrating it with a 113.4 kW solar PV system.
The company uses a lot of heavy machinery that can greatly increase its energy consumption, making the solar plus SmartStorage system particularly well-suited to the company’s efforts to reduce energy usage. The company is also located in the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) territory, a utility market known for its high demand charges, according to Carl Mansfield, General Manager of Sharp’s U.S.-based Energy Systems and Services Group.
“We produce a number of prototypes for a variety of clients, so energy usage is always part of our bottom line” said ILM Tool CEO Joe Ilmberger. “We were looking for the ideal solar and storage solution to meet our energy needs, especially during peak production times. The Sharp SmartStorage solution coupled with solar was – as we say around the shop – a perfect fit.”
Sharp’s SmartStorage system uses sophisticated, predictive analytics and controls to manage the release of stored electricity from its batteries at the times of highest demand (which have the most expensive utility rates). As ILM Tool’s demand starts to increase - which can be triggered from the use of heavy industrial machinery - a rapid power discharge is triggered to mitigate spikes in demand usage, thus reducing the amount of utility charges. Estimates show that ILM Tool’s SmartStorage system is expected to decrease the facility’s demand by approximately 240 kW annually.
The system is also supported by Sharp’s optional 10-year Asset Management Service Agreement, which provides routine and unscheduled maintenance, coupled with a 10-year demand reduction performance guarantee. If guaranteed demand reductions are not met within the terms of the agreement, Sharp will compensate for the deficit in promised peak demand reductions.