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IoT Enables Renewable Power Management for Irish Energy Company

Solo Energy is deploying a network of batteries for energy storage and distribution based on power generation and price changes, using IoT technology provided by Asavie.
By Claire Swedberg
Apr 25, 2018

As alternative energy sources grow—to capture and distribute power from solar or wind power, or other means—the collection, storage and use of that energy is creating challenges previously faced only by large utility companies. Irish energy storage solutions startup Solo Energy has launched a system using Internet of Things (IoT) technology to manage a network of energy storage units that it supplies to power-generating customers in far-reaching places.

Solo Energy provides its batteries at power-generating sites throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom, and the IoT technology enables Solo to manage the operation of each battery at every site, no matter where it is located. IoT connectivity company Asavie provides the private connectivity, ensuring the batteries are not exposed to the public internet, enabling secure data transfer and remote access capabilities for the Solo Energy cloud-management platform.

IoT technology enables Solo to manage the operation of each battery at every site, no matter where it is located.
Solo Energy was launched in 2015 to deliver energy storage-as-a-service to the renewable energy market. The company delivers and connects batteries at customer sites to store the power they generate, or the power collected from a utility grid, and to then capture and manage data from those batteries via IoT-based sensors. With the system in place, Solo charges its battery-based storage network from the grid during periods of peak renewable generation and low demand—when wholesale electricity market prices are typically lower—and from onsite solar or wind generation, where present.

Whenever wholesale market prices increase, Solo Energy can switch its customers' power supply to battery-sourced energy, thereby delivering lower-cost electricity during such times. The goal, according to the company, is to help Solo Energy's customers manage the load on the grid during peak times, thus providing savings to the company and its customers.

Solo Energy's goal is to attain a 100 percent renewable energy future, explains Liam Breathnach, the company's CTO. Its customers are power system operators and suppliers, including many renewable energy companies. Central to the system is Solo's FlexiGrid software platform, which manages all battery storage units in what it calls a Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

With the IoT functionality, Solo's network captures data regarding energy storage and the health of its entire battery network, which is then managed in a VPP using the FlexiGrid platform. The company has completed several proof-of-concepts and pilot projects to date, and commercial rollouts are expected to take place this year.

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