Solo Energy have produced a way to make use of renewable energy throughout the day by pairing it with battery storage.
WinnerSmart Tech Innovation Award
The idea is to put batteries into people’s homes so they can store renewable energy.
Storing renewable energy can be done via solar panels on the roof or by topping up the batteries when renewable energy is being used by the grid. This stored energy can then be used to help the grid when demand is high.
Solo gives electricity consumers the opportunity to get involved in the energy system so they can buy, sell and trade energy within the community while also supporting the wider grid network and local renewable energy generators.
Their Unique Selling Proposition is FlexiGridTM - a cloud-based aggregation platform that turns intermittent renewable generation into a smart, stable energy system by controlling distributed flexible energy storage assets such as batteries to balance local supply and demand while simultaneously executing peer-to-peer energy trades.
The idea is that the consumer will benefit from lower prices, use as much renewable energy as possible and the grid gets access to renewable generation 24 hours a day.
An inside view of the learning outcomes for Solo Energy
With Liam Breathnach, Chief Technology Officer
How would you describe the journey of your product?
Having an idea can often be the easy part, translating that idea into something that’s workable, scalable and makes commercial sense is usually the biggest challenge. Throughout our journey to date that original idea has been adapted and modified countless times. Our mindset is to be open to everything, critically analyse where necessary and, most importantly, to learn by doing. We have focused on real world deployment and demonstration – this is where we have learned our biggest lessons and made the most significant progress.
Are you happy with its success?
Yes, we’re excited by the progress we’ve made in a short space of time. Not only has the project enabled us to fully develop our solution but it has also led to us establishing key relationships with other industry stakeholders and SMEs and to form our first commercial relationships.
What was the biggest learning outcome throughout the project?
The eStore project has allowed Solo to progress the iterative development of our FlexiGridTM platform through real world testing. The results and data has been invaluable in developing key elements of our platform; the communications, control and aggregation technology, the associated operating regimes and the algorithms to optimise the performance of those regimes.
What was the most challenging element?
We are a dynamic, energetic and fast moving company. Historically, the energy industry has been slow to adapt and embrace change; whilst things are changing on that front, with significant disruption in the industry in recent years, we can find it frustrating when things don’t move as fast as we’d like.