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Itaipu technology will benefit an Amazon isolated community
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15/09/2014

Binational Itaipu and the Brazilian Army will install in the Special Frontier Force (PEF) of Tiriós, in Pará state, an industrial version of Intelligent Energy Storage System (IESS), which was developed according to the Electric Vehicle Program (EV).

The goal is to improve the availability of electricity to the community of that region, by using sun rays, which is a clean and renewable source. In the future, the same solution can be replicated in other isolated points of the extensive border area of the country that are not served by the national interconnected system (SIN) too.

The subject was discussed on last Wednesday (3), in Iguassu Falls, by the Brazilian general director of Itaipu, Jorge Samek, and the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Adhemar da Costa Machado Filho. The expectation is that by the first half of 2015 the system can be already in operation in the Legal Amazon.
   
Itaipu’s chief of the Information Office, Carlos Roberto Sucha, Commander of Land Operations (Coter), General Eduardo Dias da Costa Villas Bôas, and the military commander of the South, General Antônio Hamilton Martins Mourão – among other military authorities – also attended the meeting.
   
The initiative is a result of the memorandum of understanding signed between Itaipu and Army in March this year, predicting exchange in various areas of interest.

In addition to Tiriós, a smaller version of IESS will be installed at Army headquarters in Brasília (DF). Following, another similar equipment should benefit PEF of Porto Índio, Mato Grosso do Sul, where an equipment of Boundary Monitoring System (Sisfron) will also be installed.

“There is no development without electricity. So, with this project, Itaipu aims to bring energy security, and consequently improve the quality of life of people living in the most isolated areas of the country,” said the deputy head of the Information Office of Itaipu, Colonel Francisco Ronald Rocha Fernandes.

Ronald worked for eight years in the Amazon region and he knows the reality very well – and difficulties – of the local population. According to him, small communities are usually linked to the Army detachments, including indigenous peoples, who, in addition to receiving from the Army medical and dental care, are supplied with electricity produced by generator sets.

In Tiriós, for example, which is near the border with Suriname, about 2,000 people live there, who rely on diesel generators for energy. The fuel comes to the location through Air Force cargo planes. Besides being more expensive and dirty, energy needs to be rationed and is only available for a few hours of the day.

What is IESS?

The IESS solution combines a clean, free and abundant source in Northern Brazil (solar energy) to a sophisticated storage system with 100% recyclable sodium batteries. The equipment has been designed by experts in the binational and produced at FIAMM Group in Almisano di Lonigo, Italy.

The Brazilian coordinator of VE Program, Celso Novais, explains that the system will be supplied by solar panels and will have a capacity of 1.2 MWh, 12 times higher than the IESS lab currently installed in Itaipu that served as a model for the new project.
     
“The equipment was mounted inside a container and works as a water tank: you fill it with wind or sun, when there is some remaining energy, and then you control the output. So, we will leave residents with energy for 24 hours per day, practically without any diesel or using it as little as possible,” said Novais.

Another advantage is the market opening for sodium battery, which was focus of another VE Program research, carried out by Itaipu Technological Park Foundation (FPTI) in Brazil and Switzerland. “The system in Pará is a demo unit,” said the engineer.