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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.

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

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

STEPS Business Support Programme February Update

Successful take-off STEPS Business Support Programme

In March 2021 energy storage technology in North-West Europe will get a boost as the Business Support Programme of STEPS begins. Up to 20 SMEs will each receive €12.5k worth of support from world renowned universities to further develop their energy storage solutions. We are excited to see the great interest in the programme as more than 55 SMEs have applied during this first open call.

Currently, the SMEs are being carefully selected and matched with the supporting universities. Applicants will be informed of the outcome in the beginning of March. SMEs that are not selected for the 1st Voucher Support are invited to apply again for the second call opening May-June 2021. Learn more about the programme and how STEPS can support you here.

To learn about 3cea’s involvement in STEPS and the project activities in the Kilkenny, Carlow, and Wexford region, click here.

STEPS is a collaborative initiative which aims to strengthen the competitiveness of innovative energy storage providers across North-West Europe.

 

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.

 

 

STEPS e-storage solutions

Press Release: Accelerating innovative e-storage solutions with the STEPS Business Support Programme

Press Release for immediate release: 05/01/2021

Accelerating innovative e-storage solutions with the STEPS Business Support Programme

Kilkenny, IE (5th January 2021) A new business support programme for energy storage companies within North-West Europe launches this month. The Storage of Energy and Power Systems (STEPS) Business Support Programme will support small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in bringing their energy storage solutions to the market. As part of the Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) programme, the STEPS project aims to strengthen the collaboration and competitiveness of businesses in the region and lead NWE to the forefront of energy storage innovation.

 

Applications for SMEs to receive knowledge and business support will open on 11th January 2021. Further details here.

 

The STEPS programme will support 40 businesses through a competitive voucher programme that offers €12,5k worth of assistance from leading universities to each business free of charge. Additionally, 20 of these companies will receive expert support worth €50k each, to demonstrate their technology at regional end-users (testbeds) throughout North-West Europe.

 

The programme combines business support and knowledge partners from Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom to strengthen the competitiveness of innovative energy storage solution providers in North-West Europe (NWE).

 

STEPS offers SMEs a user-centric, demand-driven approach to bring their products closer to the market through tailored testing. Specifically, knowledge and business partners will advise e-storage SMEs on entering new markets in North-West Europe, engage with potential end-users, and increase the awareness of solution providers. STEPS will also connect end-users with providers of new e-storage solutions via a business support programme to increase their technological readiness level (TRL) through real-life testing.

 

The opportunity for SMEs to demonstrate their solutions at a real end-user, allows businesses to showcase and develop their e-storage solution, empowering them to scale up and grow their innovation. Additional expert advice on legal, market, and business models will help SMEs reach new customers and successfully grow their business. Through the STEPS programme, energy storage innovators in North-West Europe will solve local challenges and boost their competitiveness in the global market.

 

 “Energy storage innovators in Ireland face significant challenges in getting their solutions to the market, particularly when looking for opportunities to test their technology with real end-users. As experienced facilitators, 3cea is working with other Irish partners to accelerate innovation in our region, to get value from science and technology. We are excited to be part of the sustainable energy transition and we look forward to watching these businesses grow,” Michael Doran, EU Projects Manager 3cea.

 

3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea) is a non-profit, independent energy agency working primarily in Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford. 3cea is a leader in sustainable efficient use of locally produced clean energy delivering low carbon homes, jobs and enterprise. 3cea will play a strategic role regionally, partnering with its members and supporting all stakeholders on their energy transition journey to 2030 and beyond. 3cea will continue to play a leading role in the region by initiating exemplar local actions, working in collaboration with our member groups.

 

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More information

 

Business support programme website: https://www.stepsnwe-application.com/

STEPS website: https://www.nweurope.eu/projects/project-search/steps-storage-of-energy-power-systems-in-nwe/

STEPS Twitter: https://twitter.com/stepsnwe

STEPS LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/stepsnwe/

 

Contact

 

Michael Doran

EU Projects Manager

3cea

mdoran@3cea.ie

 

Patrick Cantwell

Marketing & Communications Officer

3cea

pcantwell@3cea.ie

 

For more information on the STEPS project, visit our dedicated webpage.

Press Release pdf available here.

STEPS e-storage solutions

STEPS Business Support Programme will launch in January 2021

The STEPS Business Support Programme will kick start the new EU project in the New Year.

STEPS (Storage of Energy & Power Systems) is a new European project bringing the innovative industry of energy storage to Irish SMEs. Project partners from Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK will increase the energy storage industry in North West Europe (NWE). Each nation will encourage innovative energy storage providers to develop their energy storage solution to become market ready.

Overall, the STEPS project hopes to advise more than 200 energy storage local SMEs on entering new markets in NWE. STEPS wishes to create market pull effects in NWE for new energy storage solutions by engaging with potential end-users needs and increase awareness of solution providers.

STEPS Logo

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