Irish Energy Storage SME Daretech, Awarded STEPS Voucher 2

After a number of Irish SMEs entered the STEPS Voucher 1 scheme from the second call, two are now ready to progress to the Voucher 2 scheme. The first of these is the Energy Storage SME Daretech. Based in Cork, Daretech are now ready to start testing under ‘real-life’-conditions, as they prepare to install their battery solution into the Kilkenny based O’Shea Farms.

The STEPS Business Support Programme is an Interreg NWE funded project that brings together business support and knowledge partners from Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The STEPS project aims to improve the competitiveness of northwest European battery storage SMEs. The first voucher support partners these SMEs with knowledge partners (NUIG in Ireland) to help them develop their solutions and fill any knowledge gaps they may have. The second voucher will allow a smaller number of SMEs install and test their battery solutions in real-life conditions. This allows the SME to gather data on their battery’s performance. The overall goal of these vouchers is to improve the Technological Readiness Level (TRL) of their product.

The Energy Storage SME Daretech develops smart hybrid power solutions for marine applications. They’re based at The Entrepreneurship in Cork. The Entrepreneurship is a specialised marine technology start up space within Marei, which itself is a Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine Innovation. The Centre comprises over 200 researchers focusing on defined global challenges such as Climate Action and the Blue Economy. Through the integration of locally generated renewable energy and advanced storage technology significant efficiency increases and cost reduction is accomplished while simultaneously reducing emissions in the marine environment. Daretech designs, builds and operates these smart hybrid power systems for marine applications.

Hybrid power systems can be used as a sustainable alternative to a diesel generator in any application. The system is a scalable, modular hybrid energy system that Daretech are developing for applications that do not have access to shore power or face extensive grid charges due to peak power demands. It comprises a smart battery system with a diesel generator, and optional integration of renewable energy source (solar, and/or wind). All of these elements are based on proven technology, adapted to the specific requirements of the marine environment. The system can incorporate any form of renewable energy generation that might be available at a particular user’s site. An automated control system which allows seamless operation of the hybrid system with a redundant diesel generator for backup that introduces efficiency and storage technology to the marine environment.  The operating principles of our hybrid power systems are:

  • The electrical load is usually a fraction of generator capacity.
  • Excess generator capacity is used to charge the battery system.
  • Electricity for appliances is provided from the battery system.
  • The system is fully automated between generator and battery controls.

The implementation of this technology allows the operator to both reduce their base-load power related emissions while reducing fuel consumption and either avoiding or greatly extending periods between servicing for diesel generators. The system has been specifically designed to be operated in harsh environments and provides a robust and user-friendly solution for these markets.

Daretech Battery Solution

Daretech applied to the STEPS programme “in order to leverage the expertise that was available from the Project Partners”. They had been undertaking a lot of research and development in-house, and were keen to obtain a third-party independent verification of the analysis they were performing on their benefits of operational hybrid power systems at customer sites. In voucher 1, Daretech worked with energy modelling specialists from NUI Galway taking their operational data and performing independent analysis to determine the system benefits in terms of fuel saving, emission offset, and overall return on investment. The outcome of this stage validated the quantified benefits that Daretech have provided to their customers, and the method by which we determine them.

We aim to find new markets and applications for our hybrid power systems. Our long-term goal is to bring more hybrid systems into operation to reduce costs and emissions on customer sites.

Darren Hayes, Co-Founder of Daretech

Daretech will test their battery at O’Shea Farms. O’Shea Farms is a farm based in Pilltown, Kilkenny that provides fresh vegetable produce to supermarkets across the country. This results in year-round electricity demand for refrigerated cold storage and grading equipment at their site. They currently have 250 KWp (Kilo-Watt potential) solar PVs installed on the farm that provides about 200,000 KWh a year. They are looking to add 414 KWp to two more buildings. O’Shea Farms is hoping that an energy storage solution will allow them to store excess intake during the day, which can be stored as cold storage and used to power the refrigerators for the vegetables overnight. This will give them a better return on their investment than they would get returning the energy generated to the grid.

O’Shea Farms in Pilltown, Co.Kilkenny

Daretech are set to install their battery into O’Shea Farms in late summer 2022. They will then test the battery for 6 months, while receiving support from 3cea. When asked about their experiences in the STEPS project so far, Daretech co-founder Darren Hayes said:

“The STEPS programme is an excellent support for small businesses – it’s given great access to expertise and testbeds in order to grow our understanding of the technology and demonstrate how it can meet customer needs.”

Although we will not have any more calls for SMEs to join the STEPS Business Support Programme, you can still benefit from it. If you’re an energy storage SME, check out the STEPS State of the Art report and keep an eye out for the announcement of upcoming webinars discussing some of the findings from the project. To learn more about STEPS, check out our dedicated STEPS webpage here.

Meet the Team: Stephen McCormick

 

  1. What is your educational and work background?
    I have a BA in Arts from TCD, an MA in International Relations from DCU and a BEng in Mechanical Engineering and Renewable Energies from AIT. I’ve spent a decade in retail and a decade in Facility Management and am now branching into energy management.
  2. What’s the most exciting thing about joining 3cea?
    I’m eager to join a team of like-minded individuals who are keen on supporting Irelands energy commitments. 3cea has a great record of working with energy users of all stripes for 2 decades and I’m honored in becoming part of the team and look forward to driving further sustainability across Irelands South East.
  3. Why is sustainable energy so important to you?
    The world is in a pretty precarious position and faces threats on a number of fronts. Immediate climate action has never been so important and, with three young girls looking up to their father, I am particularly keen on showing them that my generation has been part of the solution and not the problem.
  4. What advice would you give to readers who are considering an energy efficiency project in your sector?
    Just do it – there’s never been such a critical time to make a positive change in how you live and work. We at 3cea have a dedicated team of experienced engineers and support staff to help you make a positive impact on your carbon emissions as well as your bank balance. Be the change you want to see.

 

Sustainable Energy Communities – South East SEC Webinar Series 2022

Online Information Events for Communities to be part of the Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) Programme

 

The aim of these events is to provide basic information and introduce community groups from the South East to the SEC programme, highlighting the recruitment process, the experiences of other SEC community groups, energy efficiency upgrade options, grants, and funding opportunities. We will provide helpful tips on how to register as a Community for the SEC programme and what you need to do to be successful. This is a fantastic opportunity for community groups to learn how to reduce their carbon footprint, use less energy and lower electricity bills.

 

These informative webinars will take place online with each event focusing on a separate topic.

SEC Webinar Series

Session 1: 1st of February at 11 am – Preparing your community for a clean energy, vibrant future | Register here

Session 2: 8th February at 11 am – Improving your homes energy efficiency for comfort and energy saving | Register here

Session 3: 15th February at 11 am – What renewable energy options will work for me and my community | Register here

Session 4: 22nd February at 11 am -Funding | Register here

Session 5: 1st March at 11 am – Match-funding for housing upgrades | Register here

Session 6: 8th March at 11am – Match-funding for community projects | Register here

 

Kicking off the webinar series we have 3cea’s very own Grainne Kennedy introducing the SEC program in the topic ‘Preparing your community for a clean energy, vibrant future’. As part of this webinar, you will hear some of the stories from other South-Eastern community groups who have availed of support and grants from the SEC program and are leading their community towards a more sustainable future.
Your communities local actions can have a global impact!
Kehoe’s Ketripack: Solar PV & Lighting Upgrade / SEAI Better Energy Communities Grant

Kehoe’s Ketripack: Solar PV & Lighting Upgrade / SEAI Better Energy Communities Grant

“The 30% grant really made the project viable, along with substantial energy savings, it’s helping our farm to be more sustainable and helping us play our part in reducing carbon emissions” – Philip Kehoe

Meet Philip Kehoe, alongside his father Francis they own Kehoe’s Ketripack, the agri-business side to Kehoe’s Potato farm in Co. Wexford.

Kehoe’s Ketripack were spending upwards of €2,443 a month on electricity alone. This was from the processing, storage, and packaging of their animal feed products. Kehoe’s Ketripack hoped to lower this by adopting greener energy and more efficient lighting.

With the help of 3cea and the SEAI Better Energy Communities (BEC) promgramme, Kehoe Ketripack were able to benefit from 30% funding towards energy efficiency improvements. To meet the challenge, 3cea installed 40KWp Solar PV modules and upgraded 103  energy-efficient light fittings.

The results speak for themselves:

🌱28.688 Tonnes of CO2 avoided annually
💶€11,340 annual savings
86,566 kWh energy savings

The team at 3cea coordinated the entire BEC application from the initial energy audit, procurement to warranty checks, and all required paperwork. Taking the stress out of the project for Kehoe’s Ketripack to focus on what they do best.

If you own and family farm or other farm enterprise, and would like to follow in the footsteps of Kehoe’s Ketripack in becoming more sustainable under the SEAI Better Energy Communities programme, send us a brief overview of the project to: BEC@3cea.ie or call 056 779 0856

ENERGee Watch Course 2: Monitoring, Reporting, Verification

Continuing our coverage of ENERGee Watch, Course 2, “Monitoring, revision and verification of data” will emphasise the enhancement of the capacity of local authorities to implement sustainable projects through:

  • Development of internal administrative structures for the successful implementation and monitoring of sustainable energy action plans (roles, support, prioritization, budgeting, and tools)
  • Process to verify energy data
  • Data quality improvement
  • Development of business plans, feasibility, and environmental analysis for sustainable energy Projects

This course is delivered by Cyprus Energy Agency

Target for course 2: Monitoring, Reporting, Verification

The training course is addressed to a) local authorities’ staff which are directly related to the SECAP implementation and to b) support structures (energy agencies) that provide technical support and expertise. The candidates will have the opportunity to empower their knowledge in critical issues for the successful implementation of the SECAPs.

ENERGee Watch Course 2 Course objectives

In this course, mentees can achieve the following learning:

Objective 1: To create vision and establish the proper internal administrative structures.

Objective 2: To know the key actions needed to ensure political and administrative support for the successful implementation of a SECAP.

Objective 3: To perform an energy data verification process.

Objective 4: To visualise sustainable energy project ideas on Sustainable Business Model Canvas.

Objective 5: To elaborate feasibility and environmental analysis for energy projects.

Objective 6: To plan and monitor the progress and the impact of SECAP actions.

 Topics:

To achieve these objectives 6 training sessions were held divided across 4 days from September to November.

  • Session1: Vision Setting
  • Session 2: Establishing an Energy & Climate Team
  • Session 3: Data Processing and Verification
  • Session 4: Energy Modelling and Scenarios
  • Session 5: Sustainable business model canvas and financial
  • feasibility analysis
  • Session 6: Implementation & successful monitoring
Mentors – Cyprus Energy Agency

  

Savvas Vlachos started his professional career in 2004. He is Environmental Engineer. He joined the Cyprus Energy Agency in 2009 as an Energy expert. Since September 2016, he is the Director of the Cyprus Energy Agency Since September 2016, he is the Director of the Cyprus Energy Agency. He is also the Local Manager of the  Programme Pioneers into Practice in Cyprus which is funded by the Climate – KIC and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

 

Charis Kordatos is a Forester/Environmental Scientist. He is involved in the Green Public Procurement (GPP) support structure of the Agency providing guidance and training to public/local authorities and he is participating in different GPP networks and forums.

 

 

Myrto Skouroupathi is a qualified Environmental Engineer and a member of the Scientific and Technical Chamber of Cyprus. She joined the Cyprus Energy Agency in 2017 as an Environmental Engineer and she is involved in European co-funded projects as a technical expert and educator.

ENERGee Watch Course 1 Data Collection (acquisition and treatment)

The ENERGee Watch courses began online back in September with Course 3 Indicators and Strategies on Adaptation to Climate Change. As the first cycle of courses come to an end we will reflect on the content of each course, its objectives, and the overall objectives of the ENERGee Watch Project. Course 3 information is available through the link above. Starting with Course 1 Data Collection (acquisition and treatment), this was one of four courses will take place across the three cycles of the ENERGee Watch programme. The ENERGee WATCH peer-to-peer learning programme aims to enable regional and local authorities to timely and accurately define, monitor, and verify their sustainable actions. The course material focused on regional/provincial authorities and their agencies. These groups are responsible for collecting and monitoring GHG reduction efforts and results. These groups were targeted to empower them to use best practices in their efforts. ENERGee Watch is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The programme will take place across three cycles. Each cycle has the same four courses and tutors and will contain a visit to the tutor’s country in future iterations should Covid restrictions allow. The content of the courses may change each year based on the feedback from the previous group in the previous cycle. Through this, the course can adapt to the needs of regional/local authorities. We are currently receiving feedback from the groups just finishing their courses in this iteration of the project.

We expect, by the end of the ENERGee Watch peer learning programme, regional and local authorities will have improved abilities and skills to collect energy and climate data, monitor said data, verify it, and then report the data for their sustainable energy action plans. We also hope that the peer-to-peer nature of the programme will foster future collaborations and partnerships.

Course 1: Data Collection (acquisition and treatment)

The overall aim of ENERGee WATCH is to launch a peer-to-peer learning program to enable regional and local authorities to timely and accurately define, monitor, and verify their sustainable actions. The learning process targets regional and/or provincial authorities and their agencies and observatories that are responsible for collecting and overseeing the monitoring of mitigation and adaptation indicators to empower them to make use of the best practices. Course 1 is broken into 4 sessions as follows:

  • Session 1: Baseline Emission Inventory
  • Session 2: Energy management
  • Session 3: Energy supply and production
  • Session 4: Transport

The handbook for ENERGee Watch Course 1 Data Collection is available for download here.

The target for Course 1 Data Collection

This course is aimed at professionals at the regional and local levels, that are responsible for energy data collection and would like to learn more on how to tackle challenges connected to gathering quality and comprehensive energy data. It is aimed at those who should or could play a key role in improving data sharing to accelerate the achievement of EU climate goals.

Mentors

Boštjan Krajnc, CEO of Energy Agency of Savinjska, Šaleska and Koroška Region (KSSENA), has 16years of work experience in the field of RES and RUE. In his professional career, Boštjan Krajnc has performed more than 50 trainings on energy management, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, financial mechanisms (ESCO), and on transferring EU Energy efficiency directives into national legislation.

Maribor Meeting

European Energy Agencies Gather in Maribor, Slovenia

3cea CEO Paddy Phelan represented Ireland at the FEDARENE annual meetings held in Slovenia from the 14th – 16th of September 2021

The Slovenian city of Maribor was the location for the 2021 FEDARENE annual meetings, where energy agencies from across the continent gathered for events which ran over three days. The European wide event involved many energy agencies from countries including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Ireland, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.

Paddy Phelan, 3 Counties Energy Agency CEO, attended the annual meetings and represented Ireland. Paddy participated in an exchange of best practices and inspiring projects related to energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate planning during his time there. Presentations were made from energy agencies on the topics of collaboration with public bodies, engaging with citizen energy groups, implementing local energy strategies and smart villages.

During the 2021 FEDARENE General Assembly, the members elected fellow Irish man Seamus Hoyne as the Secretary General once again. Congratulations to Seamus, who is re-elected in the position for the next 3 years. The FEDARENE members have chosen to keep Seamus in the position, praising him for the good work he continues to achieve.

Take a look at the photo gallery from the event below.

To learn more about 3cea’s involvement with European projects, visit our Innovation Webpage here.

Irish SMEs Enter The STEPS Voucher 1

Four Irish SMEs enter the STEPS Voucher 1 scheme, after being chosen from the second call of STEPS. Two of these have been chosen by 3cea who will act as the Business Support Partner, the other two will be assisted by Galway Energy Co-Op. The SMEs that 3cea will be assisting are Sunstream Energy based in Waterford and Crest Pro Power based in Sligo.

Crest Pro Power offers energy storage solutions for large businesses to enable them to store energy generated during low-tariff periods and use it at high-tariff times. This solution can be incorporated with a PV Solar system to store excess PV generation making it both cost-effective and more carbon-neutral than using solar PV alone. Crest Pro Power customers can benefit from revenue streams through demand response schemes where the customer can benefit from having the battery available to the Grid for fixed payments.

Sunstream Energy’s battery storage system comprises about 200 KWh (2 tonnes) capacity for the ice builder in combination with a 10 KWh Li-ion battery. Both storage mediums are charged using surplus solar PV energy taken in during the day. This excess energy is then used throughout the night when the refrigeration units would normally have to take from the grid.  The solar PV system, ice builder, refrigeration plant, and battery system hardware have found use in dairy farms with one already installed on a farm in Waterford. However, there are still further innovations to be made and knowledge gaps to fill and so Sunstream Energy hopes to build on their current product through the Interreg NWE STEPS programme.

As these Irish SMEs enter the STEPS Voucher 1, they will get the opportunity to fill these knowledge gaps. The first voucher support has the SMEs working with the STEPS knowledge partners across Europe to benefit from a plethora of experience and understanding around energy storage. Initially, all four Irish SMEs were working with the National University of Ireland Galway. Now, they will gain further expertise from a European Knowledge partner that’s specifically suited to their needs. These are TU Delft, Universiteit Twente, Universiteit Gent, The Faraday Institution, and NUIG.

After 6 months with their knowledge partner, one SME from 3cea’s cohort, and one SME from Galway Energy Co-Op’s cohort will continue in the STEPS business support programme and enter the Voucher 2 Support. This is the support that Tipperary-based Clean Tech are currently receiving. For Voucher 2 of the Second Call, the chosen SME in 3cea’s cohort will get the opportunity to test their energy storage solution in O’Shea’s farm. O’Shea’s Farm is a Kilkenny-based farm that provides fresh vegetable produce to supermarkets across the country, resulting in year-round electricity demand for refrigerated cold storage and grading equipment at their site. They currently have 250 KWp (Kilo-Watt potential) solar PVs installed on the farm which they are looking to extend. O’Shea’s Farm is hoping that an energy storage solution will allow them to store excess intake during the day, which can be stored as cold storage and used to power the refrigerators for the vegetables overnight. You can learn more about O’Shea’s farm and their involvement in the STEPS project from our STEPS Testbed Video

To learn more about STEPS and 3cea’s work in the Interreg NWE STEPS project see our dedicated STEPS webpage

The Greener HGV Programme saves up to €17,000 in five years

3 Counties Energy Agency has partnered with Corcra Ltd to launch The Greener HGV Programme. Having secured €1.4M funding under the Governments Climate Action Fund, The Greener HGV Programme will see 1,000 fleet vehicles across Ireland fitted with innovative technology which will enable drivers to reduce carbon emissions and save fleet companies approximately 10 per cent of their annual fuel costs. The Climate Action Fund is a Project Ireland 2040 investment fund.

3cea’s pilot project indicated a potential saving of €17,000 per vehicle over five years based on an investment of €2,800* per vehicle. A previous trial resulted in savings of 1,766.79 tonnes of CO2, like removing 866 cars from our roads for one year. The participating fleet companies saw an increase in fuel efficiency arising from the reduction in over-revving, harsh braking, and engine idling time by the drivers, leading to a significant reduction in energy consumption.

The Greener HGV Programme will run for two years. 3cea is coordinating the subsidy grant available for Irish fleet companies to install the innovative technology and providing driver efficiency training. Data collected from the newly installed tech coupled with the development of a conscious driving culture of HGVs will result in a reduction of the business’s carbon footprint and fuel costs. Irish fleet companies can apply to this program via www.greenerhgv.ie to avail of a 30 per cent technology software and hardware grant.

We would like to thank the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications for the Project Ireland 2040 funding and making it possible.

Paddy Phelan, CEO of 3cea explains,

“Under ‘The Greener HGV Programme’ the transport sector will reduce fuel consumption and emissions from vehicles by driving smarter and by embracing new technologies. The results from our initial test cases show that the benefits and cost savings are clear. Over two years with our partners Corcra, telematic equipment will be installed in over 1,000 HGV vehicles. With technology, and training to improve driver efficiency, the scheme is expected to deliver a significant reduction in CO2 and an average of 10 per cent fuel saving for participating fleet companies.”

Smart telematics including tracking, fuel, remote tachograph downloads and compliance software, live footage cameras and driver awareness panels are all part of the technology that will be used to deliver these sustainable measures. 3cea has partnered with Corcra, a leading Irish fleet communications company for The Greener HGV Programme.

Robert Steele, Ireland & UK Sales Manager from Corcra explains, 

“We use the hardware to gather real-time data which allows us to record baseline driver and vehicle information. After approximately six weeks, the data is analysed and we arrange the professional driver training and activate the in-cab Driver Awareness Panel, which is a driver aid. The new technology with gained knowledge from the driver training helps drivers to achieve more efficient driving and long-term sustainable energy practices.

Techniques that reduce engine revolutions can have a major impact on the vehicles’ fuel consumption and therefore its CO2 emissions. The project received final approvals in April and to date, we have fitted and commenced baseline data gathering on around 100 HGV’s. We expect to see increases in miles per gallon and reduction in fuel costs following the professional driver training that we offer.” 

A case study carried out by Corcra using similar conditions to the Greener HGV Project between January 2017 and September 2020 revealed the following results.2

  • MPG (Miles per Gallon) – Improved from 7.75MPG to 8.95MPG
  • A 15.4% increase in performance/ MPG
  • Saving of 658,365 litres of road diesel across 60 vehicles.
  • Emissions saving of 1,766.79 Tonnes of CO2. The equivalent of removing 866 cars from our roads for a year.3

“Every fleet vehicle in the country will benefit from this cost and emissions saving exercise. We have funding for 1,000 vehicles and have already fitted 100 HGVs with telematic equipment. Any fleet company that is interested in saving fuel and reducing their CO2 emissions needs to act now as we anticipate this scheme will be extremely popular.” Concluded Paddy Phelan of 3cea.

 

The Greener HGV Programme is funded by Project Ireland 2040, the government’s long-term overarching strategy to make Ireland a better country for all of its people. See: https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/09022006-project-ireland-2040/ for more.

Check out our case studies here and find out how we aim to make the transport sector more sustainable.


Some terms apply, see below for more.


How does it work? Click here to download the greener HGV programme booklet

State of the Art Report on Storage Technologies, Opportunities and Trends

Are you a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) operating in the energy storage market? Get expert insights with the STEPS NWE State-of-the-Art Report on Storage Technologies, Opportunities and Trends. As part of the EU-funded STEPS project, renowned organisations investigated the current state of medium-capacity energy storage (e-storage) and the e-storage industries based in North-West Europe (NWE). The overview helps SMEs striving to establish their position in the competitive e-storage market by defining the landscape and highlighting its opportunities and trends. With this publication, SMEs can make informed decisions to seize their opportunities and boost their products.

The report covers information on e-storage products and installations in the medium capacity range, which is defined between 5 kWh and 2 MWh, and classifies different energy storage technologies e.g. chemical, electrical and electrochemical. Furthermore, it describes the different applications such as home energy storage systems in combination with photovoltaic electricity generation for households, grid-scale installations for industrial use and utilities and electromobility for private as well as public transportation. Current technological developments focus on lithium-ion cells, but many emerging technologies are gaining importance and are featured in the publication. Finally, the report describes the rapid developments in the production industry, as well as the European policy support to boost production and recycling capacity in NWE.

The report highlights opportunities as well as trends are rising from e-storage research and applications. For instance, the use of lithium-ion batteries in electromobility, increasing European and national subsidies and policies of carbon-neutral fuels, and the increasing number of second-hand automotive batteries.

Interested in the State of the Art Report on Storage Technologies report? Read it here on our website.

In STEPS, business support and knowledge partners from Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom have joined forces to strengthen the competitiveness of innovative energy storage (e-storage) providers in North-West Europe (NWE). A core activity of STEPS is advising e-storage SMEs on improving their product and entering new markets in NWE. By providing an overview of the current energy landscape, opportunities, and trends, the State-of-the-Art report supports SMEs to understand market developments and find market gaps. Contributing organisations include the Technical University of Darmstadt, the National University of Ireland Galway, Ghent University, the University of Twente, The Faraday Institution, House of Energy, Provinciale Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Oost-Vlaanderen, and StoREgio.

Find out more about the STEPS by following us on LinkedInTwitter or contacting one of our Business Support Partners in your region.

To learn more about 3cea activities in STEPS or to keep up to date with STEPS updates see our dedicated STEPS page