ENERGY AWARD FINALISTS: Pioneering Efficient Energy Generation & Usage
The smarter E Europe is the continent’s largest platform for the energy industry, showcasing intelligently connected concepts and solutions geared toward efficient energy generation and usage. Innovation is an essential driving force behind a cross-sector approach on this level. With that in mind, the valued innovation prize of the energy industry – The smarter E AWARD – centers around solutions and concepts that take renewable energy, decentralization, and digitalization as the basis for intelligently linking every aspect of electricity, heat, and transportation.
Since The smarter E Europe and the four parallel energy exhibitions – Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe, and EM-Power Europe – couldn’t take place as planned in July due to the pandemic, the events will instead be held as The smarter E Europe Restart 2021 at Messe München from October 6 to 8. The smarter E Industry Days will take place online from July 21–23, 2021, the dates on which the in-person event should have been held. The virtual AWARD ceremony for the Intersolar, ees, and The smarter E AWARD 2021 at 3:00pm (CET) on July 21, 2021, is set to be one of the highlights of the online event.
Finalists in the Outstanding Projects category
The finalists in the Outstanding Projects category will showcase exciting energy projects that can only be described as exceptional. And they demonstrate that renewables and energy storage systems are gaining ground internationally and increasingly becoming key technologies for the new energy world.
- BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH (Germany): Raspberries are being grown under a semi-transparent photovoltaic (PV) roof as part of the “Fruitvoltaic” agrivoltaics project in the Netherlands. The system has an output of 2.7 megawatt-peak (Mwp) and is used instead of the usual plastic sheeting. With the optimized solar roof in place, a higher volume of berries can be grown in the same space, boosting productivity and quality nicely. Less water is required and less plastic waste is produced. The energy generated by the PV roof offsets the additional costs associated with using this solution in place of the conventional method of growing raspberries.
- Boreal Light GmbH (Germany): The modular Boreal WaterKiosk system desalinates and purifies water so that hospitals can be supplied with clean drinking water. Since the system is powered by electricity generated by a self-sufficient PV system, there is simply no need for a grid connection, storage system or back-up diesel generator. In Tanzania and Kenya, 23 hospitals have already been outfitted with this equipment. The smallest systems produce around 2000 liters an hour. Modules in large hospitals supply up to 10,000 liters of drinking water, making it possible to provide better medical care even in off-grid locations.
- Gold Road Resources/Unlimited Energy Australia (Australia): The re-deployable off-grid energy hub Gold Road Resources Exploration Camp demonstrates how mining can run smoothly and cost-effectively when there is no nearby supply to rely on. The self-sufficient gold mine in Australia avoids using huge amounts of diesel thanks to the PV system – which can be dismantled – combined with a lithium-ion storage device. The diesel generator only ever has to be running for short periods. The PV system has an impressive power output of 187 kilowatts peak (kWp), while the storage system boasts a capacity of 408 kilowatt hours (KWh). Owing to the hot temperatures, a phase change material is used to passively cool the storage system, which is charged by excess solar energy during the day.
- Kearsarge Energy (USA): A landfill in Amesbury, Massachusetts, is home to a PV system with an output of 4.5 MWp and a lithium-ion storage unit with a capacity of 3.8 megawatt hours (MWh). Thanks to the Amesbury Landfill Solar Plus Storage project supported by the local authorities, clean energy is now generated on previously unused land – cost-effectively and in keeping with the competition. The city and around 400 households provided with the green power are the local winners. But the system also helps stabilize the grid load in the greater area. The transportation and placement of 32 heavy battery containers on the landfill site proved to be particular challenges during this project.
- Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy GmbH & Co. KG (Germany): The FES Future Energy Solution project involves 1,000 metric tons of volcanic rock being heated by heating elements and used as a solid heat accumulating material. With a thermal storage capacity of 130 MWh, the rock mass can store the heat for several weeks. Standard power plant technology is deployed to generate power from the heat. Steam from a steam generator powers a turbine to generate power. The durable system is designed with sustainability in mind given that volcanic rock is cheap and readily available around the world. Low-tech storage systems of this caliber can separate the generation and consumption of renewable energy integrate them into an existing infrastructure. The fact that they enable the electrification and decarbonization of industrial processes makes them a useful solution for the energy transition.
- SOCOMEC (France): The zero-emission power supply solution for the 2021 Dakar Rally has demonstrated that it is possible to use renewable energy in regions with rough terrain in the short term. As a result, the prestigious long-distance rally through the desert (formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally) will be completely emission-free by 2024. The mobile energy system can be put to use in under 30 minutes and relied upon to supply green power even in extreme conditions. It can handle temperatures between -20°C and +50°C and a humidity of between 5 and 95 percent, enabling it to power the rally camp and all the electric race cars in the sandy desert of Saudi Arabia. The 330-kWh energy storage system is housed in a container and the portable PV system has an output of 70 kWp.
Finalists in the Smart Renewable Energy category
The solutions presented by the finalists in the Smart Renewable Energy category focus on smart charging and energy management as well as sector coupling with a view to optimizing the use of PV systems.
- HPS Home Power Solution GmbH (Germany): The picea home storage system supplies renewable energy to single-family homes all year round. The system comprises a battery (25 kWh) as a short-term storage device and alkaline electrolysis (with an efficiency rating of 70–80 percent) for seasonal chemical energy storage (1500 kWh) in the form of green hydrogen. A PEM fuel cell (with an electrical efficiency rating of 45 to 55 percent) is used to generate power from this hydrogen for the household and operation of a heat pump. By integrating the waste heat from the fuel cell into the heat cycle, the total utilization rate for the electrical energy from the PV system remains at 90 percent over the whole year.
- BentoNet GmbH (Germany): The BentoNet platform can be used to collect and process data from the power grid, while ensuring smart monitoring and control of decentralized energy flows. The platform uses hardware that collects data and transfers it to the data center via a secure mobile network connection. Providers, grid operators, and other parties involved in the decentralized energy market can leverage the data using their own applications as a way of intelligently linking energy generators, consumers, and storage systems. In other words, the platform lays the foundations for new business models on the decentralized energy market of tomorrow.
- Smappee NV (Belgium): The Smappee EV Line adds an e-mobility element to the modular energy management system provided by manufacturer Smappee NV. It uses analysis data of the energy flows from PV generation and other components to optimize charging processes. A dashboard can be accessed to view and monitor KPIs relating to economic targets, such as charging optimized for self-consumption, as well as operational goals. The Smappee EV Line can be integrated into an existing energy management system or be operated as a fully standalone system – for instance with a separate grid connection.
- The Mobility House GmbH (Germany): The combined hardware and software solution ChargePilot enables smart charging and energy management for e-mobility. The system prevents load peaks to optimize the costs associated with charging a fleet. It is capable of taking into consideration the load profile of the building providing the grid connection to the charging stations. Staggered charging ensures optimal use of energy generated by a PV system and efficient, cost-effective charging of a fleet of battery-operated vehicles. The platform is compatible with hardware provided by established manufacturers of charging infrastructure and already complies with all the technical requirements for bidirectional charging.
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