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University of Suffolk to install energy storage system using second-life batteries

Connected Energy E-STOR 2

Connected Energy announced today that it is installing the first of its new generation of second-life battery energy storage systems as part of Suffolk County Council’s latest project, The Hold.

The Hold is due to open later this year on the University of Suffolk’s Ipswich Campus and will feature a 300kW/360kWh E-STOR energy storage system from Connected Energy. The company says its batteries will help optimize energy use and peak loads across a system including PV, EV chargers and critical HVAC.

The new system includes will be enhanced based on systems Connected Energy has installed over the last five years. “’Leading the charge’ on the use of second life batteries meant we had to start developing systems based on a relatively small data set”, commented Connected Energy CEO, Matthew Lumsden. ”But having run several systems through various duty cycles over the last few years we are now able to further optimize how the batteries are operated,” he continued.

“Second life systems can have different objectives,” commented Lumsden, “the cost of the batteries is lower than for new lithium ion systems, so the degradation and overall cycle cost is lower.  This means that duty cycles that are uneconomic for new systems can be viable for second life systems.  The data-based design that has now been undertaken means we can more accurately optimize how the batteries are used within any duty cycle and better manage efficiencies and degradation.”

The containerized systems include 24 second life Renault Kangoo batteries that have benefitted from Renault and ABB support to increase efficiencies.

By combining the Renault’s battery performance modelling, system performance data and extensive CFD analysis, Connected Energy said it has been able to reduce the cost of cooling the system while also increasing efficiency and control. This results in new packaging; providing additional space for maintenance and house some of the company’s functionality.

Connected Energy’s recently announced large 14.4MWh system included in its SmartHubs project will enable it to accumulate more data from around 1000 batteries and enable further system optimization across its portfolio.

Partnerships

Suffolk County Council is partnering with the Suffolk Sustainability Institute and will work with both the University of Suffolk and Connected Energy to help deliver common objectives in clean technology, energy efficiency, technology innovation and decarbonization.

As part of The Hold project, Connected Energy will be working with the University of Suffolk on a knowledge exchange partnership which supports research and innovation activities across both organizations. The collaboration will allow access to the battery storage system for teaching and research purposes as well as projects to translate University science into practice.

Justine Oakes, the University of Suffolk Sustainability Manager and Research and Business Lead for the Suffolk Sustainability Institute (SSI) stated, “This on-going partnership will provide compelling research and curriculum engagement opportunities; supporting pragmatic academic study in smart tech renewables and a deeper understanding of the role innovative technologies have to play in addressing the energy transition pathway to zero carbon through energy storage infrastructure.”

The £20m ($22.8M USD) project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Suffolk County Council, and the University of Suffolk, with the generous support from many other organizations and charities. Due to the COVID-19, The Hold will now have a phased opening later this year.