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.