Parker Hannifin Green Energy

Solar array with blue sky

Typically, the terms “inverter drive” and “motor speed and torque” go hand-in-hand. However some inverters have nothing to do with controlling motion – instead, their sole purpose is to manage power on the grid.

The problem with grid management

Several years ago, we started working on grid tie power conversion systems for the energy storage industry. Grid management has become a big problem because the growing number of renewable energy sources meant that in addition to fluctuating demands, grids also had to deal with fluctuating supplies. Our goal was to build battery energy storage devices that could support the grid’s peak power demands.

New technology helps handle high power transfer

Parker’s Automation Group had already developed inverters for our 4-Quadrant Regenerative Drive applications, which include an active front end (AFE) that channels excess power from, for instance, a motor on a machine, and then redirects it back into the energy source or to a storage media (regeneration). Other motoring drives can also absorb regenerative energy when they are connected to a common DC bus. The AFE powers the bus and puts excess energy back into the AC input.

This proven technology let us develop new inverters that handle high power transfer. The inverters work with our power container systems, which hold a large series of lithium ion batteries. The units store surplus energy being generated from sources such as a wind farm. During peak demand, the system quickly switches from charge to discharge mode, allowing the power to be extracted and poured into the grid. Parker recently helped build an installation in West Virginia that supports a 98-megawatt wind farm.

Solution ties output from solar application to grid

We also developed an outdoor rated power conversion system that ties the output from a solar or wind application directly to the grid. In this case, we partnered with Parker’s former Climate and Industrial Controls Group, which had developed precision cooling technology wherein a dielectric fluid passes through a cold plate and boils as it travels through the plate. The technology supports high power inverters that are much smaller in scale than traditional air or water cooled inverters. The system is a small, self-contained, hermetically sealed “power house, ” which can be placed in the middle of a solar field in the desert in, for example, such sunny environments as Arizona or Spain.

The Energy Grid Tie Division (formerly part of the SSDN division) of Parker’s Automation Group has completed more than 20 power conversion systems that in total handle more than 100 MW.


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Q&A

avatar
What is an alternative energy mutual fund?

1) ETFs are better for taxes (if you are saving on a regular account, not an IRA/401 etc.)
2) Some popular clean energy ETFs are listed here:
However, this sector is neither steady nor strong. In fact, energy stocks has plummeted in the past 4 months. Financial analysts say that some of the sectors are just not up for recovery yet. They call these sectors "value traps", that they do not expect to start growing back soon. See for more value traps.
Whatever you decide to do, stay diversified, do not put all your eggs in one basket. Never buy just one mutual fund/etf if it is a "sector…

avatar
What is a good "green energy" mutual fund?

I plan on investing some money for the long term(20+ yrs) and I'm eying energy based mutual funds. Could someone suggest a fund that looks steady and strong? Thanks.

Johnny is right that:
1) ETFs are better for taxes (if you are saving on a regular account, not an IRA/401 etc.)
2) Some popular clean energy ETFs are listed here:
However, this sector is neither steady nor strong. In fact, energy stocks has plummeted in the past 4 months. Financial analysts say that some of the sectors are just not up for recovery yet. They call these sectors "value traps", that they do not expect to start growing back soon. See for more value traps.
Whatever you decide to do, stay diversified, do not put all your eggs in one basket. Never buy just one mutual fund…