Zigco, Bozeman Montana

This is where automation meets renewable energy. Not only is this the first structure in Montana to get a solar shingle array, it is also the only known DC distribution system in Montana that has a multi-voltage DC system for 24V and 48V lighting. It includes the only known battery management system that can monitor voltage levels of each individual flooded lead acid battery within a 48V solar battery bank. This is a hybrid system that is both off-grid and grid tied. The redundant conversion process of taking the direct current produced by the solar, converting it to alternating current and then sending it to lighting that has to convert it back to DC has been eliminated. The direct current from the solar stays as a direct current and is sent straight to the lighting increasing efficiency and reliability. The solar production is optimized to where every watt of power produced is used to its maximum efficiency. From the HMI the customer can not only monitor the health of the battery bank, but also monitor each individual battery to know when one battery in the string is starting to go bad to prevent damage to the rest, protecting their investment. This system provides the customer complete control over their power and full monitoring capabilities. The customer can see in real time how much power is being produced, how much power is being used, where it is going, and the current state and health of their entire power production and usage. It also provides the ability to control where that power goes. Through the integration of a PLC into this hybrid system the customer has full control over their system where they can manually divert the flow of power to where it is needed, prioritizing and optimizing its use.

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