We recently ran a project with the National Innovation Centre for Data to help us invest in our data capabilities. Frazer Wagg, Energy Storage Analyst from Connected Energy, discusses the project outcomes, impact on the environment and our plans.
What to do when you’re generating 7 million data points, every single day?
We knew this was rich raw data that needed to be validated to optimise the outputs of battery systems, predict future trends and transfer data science skills into our organisation. As a result, we decided to embark on data project with the National Innovation Centre for Data.
Our data accumulation was rising rapidly. Back in late 2018 our systems were producing around 7 million data points every day, and we quickly realised that we needed to take our analysis to the next level if we were going to make the most of this rich seam of raw information. We wanted to know how to use this data from second life EV batteries to predict their future capacities, and if we could monitor our battery systems more to optimise their outputs.
Tell us a little bit more about the project?
NICD are based in Newcastle near our Connected Energy headquarters. They use your platforms, your technologies to explore your data and transfer data science skills into your organisation.
We wanted to know how to use this data from second life EV batteries to predict their future capacities, and if we could monitor our battery systems more to optimise their outputs. They helped us to validate data from battery systems and get it into the format we needed. They also made sure we had the right data skills in place to make these methods a part of our future work. The project helped us gain a clear picture of our data to understand what was missing and develop accurate predictions for planned maintenance and warranties.
What new skills have your teams learnt?
The process with NICD has helped us create modelling tools which are teaching us how to leverage machine learning and unlock the power of big data. As the batteries we use have slight natural variations our systems are now automatically learning and improving as we access more data, increasing our ability to deliver the most efficient battery energy storage systems for customers, whilst supporting the circular economy.
How are you supporting the next generation of talent?
We’ve recently started a project with Newcastle University Data Science MSC students. The project, using our E-STOR data, will introduce the students to the vast amounts of data our systems produce, and allow them to explore it in groups around a question. We’re working with NICD again on this programme, which is further strengthening our relationship whilst connecting us with the resource of bright minds available in the Northeast.
The students are working on an open question we’ve set, and we are looking for a range of different responses from looking at predictive models, or isolated interesting anomalies and the tracking of these, or even created dashboard visuals for finding them. The project is meant as a real-world data exploration for the students: allowing them to try and develop the skills they are learning on their course, whilst gaining valuable exposure to the world of engineering.
You are based on Newcastle Helix; how does this add value to your business?
Being on the Helix means we get to capitalise on the proximity of all the expertise within the University: the site really does help to foster a sense of collaboration between its residents. For us we also get the advantage of accessing high quality potential recruits.
Your technology is a powerful example of the circular economy, extending the lifecycle and reusing batteries. Why is this important?
By understanding our data and by embedding data skills into our organisation will have increased our ability to deliver the most efficient battery energy storage systems for customers, whilst supporting the circular economy. By positioning and promoting the use of second life batteries within energy storage becomes a key part of the value chain.
By adopting more responsible approach to material usage you can deliver a more competitive global economy. The environmental impact of consumption and production is also reduced. The greater uptake of energy storage means the greater optimisation of renewable energy in networks. Innovative technologies like this can play a huge part in supporting climate change emergency, not only though our products but through collaborative projects like SmartHubs and this particular one with NICD.