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Sun Harvester Second SME Awarded STEPS Voucher 2 From Ireland

The second SME Awarded STEPS Voucher 2 from the Irish cohort is Sun Harvester (Zhyphen). Based in Derry, Northern Ireland, Zhyphen was founded in 2017 by Ryan Burton, Chris Stack, and William McQuilter. The ambition was to be part of renewable energy innovation that tackles climate change both in the UK and the emerging economies of Sub-Sahara Africa. Zhyphen now prepare to install their battery solution into James Dairy Farm.

Sun Harvester’s product portfolio is innovative and is based on a turnkey approach providing energy storage systems with modular attributes. They recognise that the problem for many businesses is their energy costs. While these businesses seek energy independence, the challenge is to integrate renewable energy generation with storage and be within grid regulations especially in zones of grid restrictions due to over capacity on the local network. Zhyphen systems, with integrated energy management controls, provides solutions that enable larger solar generation linked to storage that is permissible in grid restricted zones.  The value is in generating solar power that is almost free for the business, storing this power to be used at the peak cost time for grid supply and to supplement this solar power by charging batteries overnight when prices are cheaper. The solution therefore reduces the cost of energy.

An installation of a Sun Harvester (Zhyphen) Battery

Sun Harvester signed up for STEPS “to have support in getting access to the Irish and potential European market”. Zhyphen’s issues lied around the need for having expertise in entering new markets that they weren’t experienced in. This is a common issue for SMEs in battery storage as the European market currently has a lot of competition from Asian companies exporting their solutions to Europe. STEPS seeks to solve this issue for Sun Harvester and all the SMEs that signed up for support. As a business support, 3cea have been able to give Sun Harvester access to our own network and give recommendations on how to advance.

The largest added value of STEPS is getting access to the quality of staff employed by 3cea, accessing their network of contacts and obtaining their recommendation.

Chris Stack, Co-Founder of Sun Harvester (Zhyphen)

Sun Harvester will test their battery solution in James Dairy, Kilkenny. James Dairy installed a robotic milking system in January 2018. This system comes with a 24-hr energy demand and so they installed a 7KWh solar PV system on the roof of the milking parlour. As a testbed, James Dairy will be able to see the benefits of having a battery installed on their farm and can weigh up whether it is cost-effective for them to have a battery beyond the STEPS project. They will do this by examining the reduction in energy consumption they have after the battery is installed. Sun Harvester expect to install their battery in late summer 2022 and will be able to monitor its performance for 6 months.

James Dairy Farm

Beyond STEPS, Sun Harvester want to use the Test Bed site as a catalyst to approach other farms who have similar problems to James Farm and hope to have the support of 3cea and STEPS in achieving this. They have set themselves the target of 40 – 50 dairy farms having Zhyphen technology bringing a solution to their business. Long-term, the goal is to push the James Farm solution into the GB market while look for opportunities to work with STEPS to help Sun Harvester/Zhyphen gain access to the EU market. When asked about their experience in STEPS thus far, Sun Harvester representative Chris Stack said it’s:

Genuine people offering real support and who are on your side!

You can learn more about the STEPS project by visiting our STEPS Webpage here. Also, read about our other SME awarded STEPS Voucher 2, Daretech or read about Cleantech who previously received the voucher and have since installed their battery solution in Wexford County Hall.

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.

3cea CEO Paddy Phelan discusses Microgeneration on Morning Ireland

3cea were asked to participate in a radio interview on microgeneration for the Morning Ireland show on RTE 1 Radio this morning.

The news piece featured on the show between 7 and 8am with a panel of speakers discussing the benefits to microgeneration.

The news piece included insights from Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, 3 Counties Energy Agency CEO Paddy Phelan, Tommy O’Shea of O’Shea Farms, Piltown Co. Kilkenny and Dara Lynott, CEO of the Electricity Association of Ireland.

Listen to the interview in full here.

 

 

Breakfast Briefing Events to guide your business to a Low Carbon Economy

Free Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Office initiative to increase awareness around sustainability and the low carbon economy

MANUFACTURING businesses across the south east employing less than 10 people are being offered a unique opportunity to cut harmful emissions and make significant energy, waste, water and other savings through the landmark Green for Micro programme.

Local Enterprise Offices in Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford and Tipperary are pooling their resources, talents and skills for ‘Green for Micro’. The ground-breaking Enterprise Ireland-funded initiative will assist businesses in transitioning to a low-carbon economy and could be rolled out nationally, those behind the initiative say.

Hands-on tips, expertise, mentoring, audits and more will be provided by project collaborators, the 3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea). The independent, not-for-profit team of energy engineers at 3cea will help participating enterprises examine their energy, waste, water, procurement and transport needs and make more informed, environmentally-friendly choices.

The first in a series of free breakfast briefings explaining Green for Micro to industry and to increase awareness around sustainability and the low carbon economy begins on Tuesday, January 28 at Wexford’s Ferrycarrig Hotel, starting at 8.00am.

Sessions follow in Waterford’s Tower Hotel on Tuesday, February 11; Kilkenny’s Newpark Hotel on Thursday, February 13; Horse & Jockey in Tipperary on Tuesday, February 18 with the final, free breakfast briefing takes place in Carlow’s Woodford Dolmen Hotel on Thursday, February 20. Each breakfast briefing runs from 8.30am to 9.30am sharp.

Phase two of the project will then involve energy audits carried out on ten micro, manufacturing businesses – two in each of the five participating counties. The results of their findings will be showcased at a conference as part of phase three of the initiative. The final phase of the Enterprise Ireland-funded programme will see monitoring equipment installed at various enterprises.

Enterprise Ireland Regional Executive, Brian Fives said: “Micro enterprises across the South East are eager to play their part in transitioning to a low-carbon economy. Green for Micro shows them the way. Auditing their energy consumption, mapping the results and monitoring their transition will provide an invaluable insight into how every enterprise can play its part in Ireland meeting its 2030 climate targets. We are proud to be leading the way here in the South East.”

Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny’s Aileen McGrath : “We urge qualifying micro enterprises to attend the no obligation breakfast briefing, pick up an expression of interest form and see how even the smallest of changes in their manufacturing processes and general business decisions can make a big difference. While our primary target is manufacturing, micro enterprises in other sectors may also qualify and we encourage them to attend,” she said.

3cea Energy Engineer, Shane Faulkner, said: “We will provide each participating enterprise with up to nine days of expert help which will include audits, reports and mentoring. The level of buy-in from manufacturers in the region is extremely encouraging and are really looking forward to playing our part. The fact we’re working at a regional level rather than with individual manufacturing enterprises and in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices across the region makes Green for Micro a massive game changer for the entire South East, beyond even,” he said.

Green for Micro is one of three projects grant-aided to the tune of €345,000 by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD and lead by Kilkenny and Carlow Local Enterprise Offices in collaboration with the Local Enterprise Offices from Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford.

The other projects include Initium South East and Incrementum South East.  The Initium South East project is an innovative series of start-up programmes led by the South East Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Ireland, and the Ireland South East Office in partnership with South East BIC and IT Carlow. It aims to animate, develop and support the creation of 40 new specialised Start Up companies in the South East.

The Incrementum South East project is a targeted business development programme for the Local Enterprise Office Portfolio of clients over 10 employees which aims to increase their engagement in R&D and Export Activity.

About this event

Registration & breakfast for the event starts at 8 am, the first speaker will begin at 8:30 am.

The Breakfast Briefing events are free to attend but please register your attendance on Eventbrite or by contacting Mari or Patrick on 0567790856 or at events@3cea.ie

Wexford Event – Register Here

Waterford Event – Register Here

Kilkenny Event – Register Here

Carlow Event – Register Here

Tipperary Event – Register Here

There will be speakers representing local businesses to talk about what they have done in improving the environmental and cost competitiveness of their business.

Real life stories and case studies 

At the first Breakfast Briefing event in Wexford, Killowen Farm and Kehoe’s Potatoes will give an overview of the projects they have undertaking including measuring and monitoring, reducing waste, installing LED lights, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate electricity and putting a plan in place to to tackle their rising costs.

3cea will give a presentation on supports available to SMEs and how to access theses supports and grants.

business_grants

Business Grants and Supports – Dairy farm grants, lighting support, EXEED, heat pump grants and more

We would like to give you and overview of SEAI business supports and grants and the programmes that are currently available and can help your business or farm to become more sustainable, innovative and smarter to meet your energy needs. SEAI business grants have helped organisations all over Ireland make significant savings.

Read more

Opportunity for SMEs to avail up to 30% SEAI funding towards lighting upgrade

Why apply for SEAI Lighting Support Scheme?

  • Are you an SME, employing less than 250 people?
  • Want to upgrade to energy efficient lighting or Switching to LED lighting?

Lighting Support Scheme is a government-backed Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) initiative designed for small and medium-sized enterprises to reduce their business maintenance & running costs by implementing lighting upgrades.

Read more

Events

CAN SME Second Call Webinar

Have you been interested in the CAN SME (formerly CAN Cap) discounted energy audits? We will be hosting our CAN SME Second Call Webinar on August 22nd from 10 am to 11 am.

This webinar will give attendees a chance to ask questions about the CAN SME programme and about any changes that have occurred since our previous webinar last year. It will also inform attendees about the project, what your business can get from an energy audit, and will give an example of an audit carried out in our first round applications.

If this sounds like something you would like to join, but aren’t available to attend on the day, we encourage you to register anyway. By registering we will be able to send you the recording after the webinar. You can also contact chealy@3cea.ie with any questions you would like answered during the webinar, even if you will be unable to attend.

You can Register for The CAN SME Second Call Webinar Here

Once registered, you will receive an email from Zoom with your link to join. Please join up to 5 minutes ahead of time to allow us to start on time.

In the meantime, see our CAN SME webpage for more information on the CAN SME project and discounted energy audits on offer.