PITT OHIO Receives Patent for Sustainable, Renewable Energy Process
Pittsburgh, PA… PITT OHIO, a leader in regional and national logistics services and sustainability in the transportation industry, announced today the receipt of a patent for the process they developed to take wind and solar energy into a battery system and the subsequent distribution of that power to points of use.
The microgrid combines solar and wind energy with battery storage to power interior and exterior lighting loads throughout the facility. Awarded several US patents, the high voltage direct current distribution-to-the-fixture design uses renewable energy with maximum efficiency. Utility power is available seamlessly as a backup and excess renewable energy is sent to the grid. Wind and solar production combined with massive energy storage capacity allows the terminal to function autonomously, independent of the grid, essentially indefinitely. “This type of energy resilience and carbon offset is unprecedented in the trucking industry and is a major competitive advantage to PITT OHIO and its customers,” said Ron Gdovic, Founder and CEO, WindStaxEnergy.
“The company is an early adopter of advanced distributed energy resources (DER) using renewable energy at its terminals to help achieve its sustainability goals,” Gdovic continued. PITT OHIO’s Cleveland terminal in Parma, Ohio applies best practices in LEED-certified construction and renewable energy production to its newest terminal. This is the company’s second terminal to use a major wind and solar-based microgrid in collaboration with WindStax. PITT OHIO previously worked with WindStax at its Pittsburgh, PA terminal.
Limited renewable energy choices in Ohio helped make the case for on-site generation in Parma. Only 2.5% of the state’s net electricity is generated by renewable energy. Coal fuels 58% of generation, natural gas fuels 24%, and nuclear energy accounts for another 15% (US EIA 2017). Building upon past experience, PITT OHIO partnered with WindStax Energy to design and install a ZeroFirst® high voltage DC microgrid using PV and wind turbines to generate, store, and consume renewable energy on-site. Excess renewable energy is sent back to the utility when generation exceeds demand. This schema strikes a balance between self-consumption and net metering to reduce the facilities' annual carbon footprint.
“Sustainability is about doing what is right for the planet and for our people,” said Jim Fields, PITT OHIO’s Chief Operating Officer. “Our commitment to innovation is a shared passion from many employees in our company, so when our Director of Building Maintenance came to us with a unique idea around renewable energy, we supported and encouraged its execution.”
“The idea began with the Solar installation at our East Windsor, NJ Terminal,” admitted Jim Maug, PITT OHIO’s Director of Building Maintenance and Property Management. “At about that same time we were looking into lighting upgrades across all properties, with retrofitting LED lighting as a cost-effective install. Integrating the renewable energy supply with the DC powered components of LED lighting would be a cost-effective approach. Additionally, powering DC components without converting to AC is the efficient approach, eliminating the energy loss in a conversion from DC to AC. The vision was there and with the help of many experts, we were able to bring this microgrid technology to fruition.”
“This project demonstrates how Sustainability is interwoven into the culture of PITT OHIO,” Fields continued. “It represents some of the best and brightest innovation, design, patience, and forethought found anywhere. Most exciting is that we will be evaluating what we learned with this facility to further improve our design as new technology is developed. We are already looking ahead 5 to 10 years and how we can leverage Sustainability with our customers to provide them with a unique value proposition
To contact PITT OHIO, please visit their website at www.pittohio.com.