Patented Renewable Energy Powered Microgrid
Our renewable energy powered microgrid, found at two of our terminals, uses a patented, groundbreaking process that takes wind and solar energy into a battery system and the subsequent distribution of that power to points of use. We received the patent for this process in 2020.
The idea for renewable energy began in 2012 with solar installation at the company’s East Windsor, NJ terminal. PITT OHIO began talking with The University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering to study direct current (DC) energy by way of solar panels and wind turbines. PITT OHIO built a laboratory for the school inside of its Pittsburgh terminal where research students could study the terminals’ wind turbine and 180 solar panel activity.
Later, 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.
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, WindStax Energy.
Limited renewable energy choices in Ohio helped make the case for on-site generation at PITT OHIO’s newest terminal in Parma (Cleveland). It too applied best practices in LEED-certified construction and renewable energy production and is the company’s second terminal to use a major wind and solar-based microgrid in collaboration with WindStax Energy.