Supporting critical innovation in renewable energy storage
The world is becoming more electric. As individuals and organizations look for new ways to bring sustainable practices into business and everyday life, alternative energy sources like solar power are in high demand. Solar power has many advantages—it is a clean, modern and renewable approach to electricity.
However, the advantages of solar power come with a caveat: the lights need to stay on even when the sun isn’t shining. To solve for this, solar power storage devices are needed to capture energy from solar panels and store it for later use—with as little loss as possible.
Alternative Energy Storage Solutions
One of nVent’s customers in Europe specializes in innovative, sustainable energy storage systems. The company provides complete solutions for energy storage—this includes batteries for energy storage, as well as stacks and cabinets that connect many batteries together, so that customers can store a large amount of energy in one single system. Hotels, electric car parks, laboratories and logistics centers, among others, rely on this company for energy storage solutions.
This customer is focused on innovation and growth and expects to double in size each year by adding new properties and business. Additionally, because it offers a cutting-edge product in a modern industry, it is important to the customer that its products look the part. They strive for a clean design.
nVent’s customer’s primary goal is to store as much energy as possible in small spaces for its customers. To accomplish this, engineers need to maximize the amount of storage space in their cabinets used for batteries and minimize the space used for other components, such as connections between the batteries.
An Adaptable Approach
In its early years, the company used cables to make connections between batteries within power stacks, but that system had several issues. Because the connections need to carry high voltages of electricity in an enclosed space, it was imperative that cables be low-smoke and halogen free (LSHF). However, cables that fit LSHF requirements were not flexible enough and took up a lot of space in the cabinet with their bending radius. Cables were also placed under a lot of stress where they were bent, which concerned company engineers.
Additionally, the cable came in bulk and had to be cut on site, requiring specialized staff and a high inventory of cable. nVent’s customer needed a solution that was tailor-made to its specific needs: a product that was highly conductive, LSHF, easy to install, well-designed and took up very little space.
The customer turned to nVent to design an innovative solution. nVent provided a made-to-order flat busbar called nVent Eriflex Flexibar Advanced that minimizes space between batteries and avoids points of stress caused by bending cables. The Flexibar Advanced also is easy to install and comes with the specific bends, folds and twists required by the customer already incorporated into the product.
New challenges call for new technologies, but innovation shouldn’t come at the price of reliability. The future of alternative energy depends on developments in energy storage. For this customer, nVent provided a critical innovation that paid off in greater safety, ease and performance.