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Industry Insights

How data is driving the efficiency of BESS


Today, we live in an increasingly data-driven world. The use of data in general is driving progress and innovation, and in the energy sector, data has become a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to commercialising clean energy usage.

Picture a factory manufacturing parts for the automotive industry. It’s roof, the size of a football pitch, covered with an array of solar panels, charging up a battery energy storage system with clean ‘free’ energy. An electric HGV is being loaded, while at the same time, it is plugged in and charging. Electric forklift are buzzing back and forth. Robots are working away on a production line. An air heat source pump maintains a comfortable environment for the workforce.

In this idyllic setting, energy consumption and supply is being closely monitored and controlled by the battery energy storage system. Using data gathered through the IIoT, the system is able to charge and discharge seamlessly, according to the organisations goals/predetermined settings. All of this would be impossible without data.

The Connected Energy BESS consists of multiple units of aggregated second life electric vehicle batteries, which are housed in steel container. Together with our pioneering software, the system utilises the data available to drive the energy usage of the site.

Imagine, reused batteries are helping to charge the new ones in the HGVs, and helping to power the other equipment with clean energy. A perfect example of the circular economy in action, and a low carbon energy solution at work.

This vision is now a reality, due to the ground-breaking work of Connected Energy.

As the world develops further on our clean energy journey, we are faced with new questions, such as: what do we do with the EV batteries once they cannot support effective driving ranges? How can we effectively capture the energy generated from our renewable sources?

Our technology provides the eloquent solution. By aggregating second life batteries together and managing the system with cutting edge AI and machine learning, we re-use a critical resource, that would otherwise be recycled, whilst supporting organisations with their decarbonisation goals by optimising onsite renewable energy.

It’s this use of data that is critical to managing batteries on a large scale for use in renewable energy storage, electric vehicles (EVs) and balancing the demands of the grid. All large-scale technologies and industries that make use of batteries will be managed through data, and fundamentally, it’s the analysis and application of this data which will allow the life of batteries to be dramatically extended in the future.

Why is giving batteries a second life so important?

As batteries are charged and discharged in a vehicle, they gradually lose their ability to hold energy. They are considered unsuitable for use in a car when around 25% degraded. But whilst they may not be suitable for EV use, these units are far from useless and can go on to have a further 10 years of life in energy storage.

At Connected Energy, we can discern which batteries are suitable to use in a second life setting, and put them back into action, saving them from potential landfill/recycling. We work with the original equipment manufacturer, to ensure their safe usage. In addition, during their use, we monitor the batteries in real time, giving insight into battery performance and maintenance needs.

Our BESS offers an innovative way to make a step change in carbon emissions, that few if any other actors in the industry can deliver at the moment,

Matthew Lumsden, CEO of Connected Energy

“When made from second life vehicle batteries, they can bring significant benefits to carbon reduction and contribute to the circular economy. But none of this would be possible without the use of data. Data holds the key to understanding the individual make-up of each battery and by using that data, through AI and machine learning we can maximise the life of each.”

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