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Our second life story: Why design is crucial to battery storage

Our Senior Mechanical Design Engineer, Nathan Evans, spoke to us about how he creates innovative designs for battery storage and the challenges he comes across in his role designing our products.

03/10/2023

When you think of battery storage and if you know anything about Connected Energy you will know the solution is a shipping container, essentially. What you may not realise is the effort and creativity that goes into creating a robust, safe, and efficient environment to store our energy.

That task doesn’t just come down to fantastic mechanical design, it incorporates a variety of unique skills to produce our product, but one of those crucial elements is indeed the work of Nathan and his team.

Speaking to Nathan, who has spent four years as a vital asset to our team, and twelve years in mechanical design, it’s clear that second life EV batteries and the circular economy were vastly important to his decision to choose Connected Energy as his employer.

Utilising experience

Nathan said: “I was drawn to the idea of producing energy storage structures, and how our products drive a positive message about sustainability.

Second life batteries eliminate the need to mine raw materials unlike systems using first life batteries.”

Nathan was excited by the possibility of utilising his twelve years’ mechanical design experience in the unique products that forward-thinking Connected Energy was starting to produce.

The Cardiff Met University graduate’s background includes a BSc in Product Design and vast experience working within the sheet metal, aerospace, and subsea industries. He has specific experience in utilising heavy gauge materials and designing enclosures that accommodated intricate electrical components.

My combined experience has given me so many transferable skills that I can apply to designing innovative solutions that will accommodate batteries within our system safely and efficiently. No two days are usually the same, I’m sometimes given a very high-level brief, or I’m set a specific challenge, and I have to come up with a creative way to produce a safe and robust solution for storing batteries in our racks, ensuring I meet the demands of the business.

Nathan Evans, Senior Mechanical Design Engineer, Connected Energy

A learning curve

Nathan credits his experience to date with the ability to produce battery racks and structures with the support of specialists from Connected Energy to ensure safety, efficiency, and reliability, particularly with our in-system monitoring technology.

He says: “With my experience in the sheet metal industry I know that the design must be manufacturable without specialist tooling and be the most cost-effective it can be. My early experience in the industry has really set me up well to produce continually developing products for Connected Energy.”

It’s an exciting time at Connected Energy as we have just added a new mechanical design engineer to the team, and Nathan recalls his first months exploring what’s involved with battery storage.

Creative input

Nathan says: “I was excited to join a business leading the way in sustainable and renewable energy storage, but it was a massive learning curve, reading technical specifications and data sheets, getting familiar with the physical appearance of the batteries, as well as the weight and dimensions, and how that would factor into the racking solutions we produce for various OEMs’ batteries – they aren’t the same.”

As our team develops our product offering and expands our capabilities, our mechanical design team is having to expand on their current designs and understanding of battery storage to meet the next generation’s storage needs and produce solutions that will maintain our safe and secure storage, whilst being able to meet bigger and more diverse demands.

Nathan added: “It’s exciting, sometimes stressful, but a challenge I enjoy, being able to overcome challenges with specifications and project requirements, and producing efficient solutions to continue our drive with sustainable energy storage is one that’s rewarding.”

Moving forward

Connected Energy is a world leader in battery energy storage. Our commercial systems are being used by businesses to store energy – either from renewable sources or direct from the grid. By repurposing electric vehicle batteries, we have created a solution that solves many of the power challenges businesses are facing.

Find out more about second-life battery energy storage. If you wish to get in touch to find out how we can support you in your sustainability drive, please contact our team here.

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