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Trio set to demonstrate ‘cutting-edge battery innovations’ at Oxfordshire testbed

The project will utilise the existing Science and Engineering Facilities Council’s solar array, at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. Image: Brill Power.

The project will utilise the existing Science and Engineering Facilities Council’s solar array, at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. Image: Brill Power.

AMTE Power, Brill Power and Starke Energy have teamed up to demonstrate three emergent energy storage technologies.

AMTE’s sodium-ion battery module, Brill Power’s battery intelligence technology and Stark Energy’s energy management system, which links stored energy into the electricity grid and markets, will be deployed together and integrated with a solar array located at the Science and Engineering Facilities Council's (STFC) facility at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.

Within the first phase of the project, AMTE Power will deploy lithium-ion cells before switching to the company’s sodium-ion cell technology for the second phase. The company said its sodium-ion storage solutions offer a lower cost alternative to the dominant lithium based batteries, as they use earth-abundant elements, have long lifecycles and benefit from a safer thermal structure.

“The ability to test our new products in a commercial operating environment is invaluable,” said John Fox, director of business development, AMTE Power. “Having access to the Harwell site will accelerate the time to market for our new energy storage products incorporating our Ultra Safe cells.”

Brill Power’s software will be used to optimise both the lithium-ion and sodium-ion systems and to collect real-world data and operating parameters that can help inform further optimisation.

The company launched its battery management system - BrillMS B62 Premium – in 2021, which it says can increase battery life by up to 60% and enhance storage capacity by up to 129%.

“Brill Power’s battery intelligence technology can improve all aspects of advanced battery systems, including performance, cost of ownership, reliability and safety,” commented Brill Power’s CEO and co-founder Christoph Birkl. “This testbed will enable us to integrate our technology with other cutting-edge battery innovations and collect real-world data on a commercially relevant site”.

Additional optimisation of the energy system at large will come from Starke Energy’s artificial intelligence management system. The project is expected to begin operation in March 2022 and run for at least 12 months.

The demonstration project is part of the Interreg North-West Europe STEPS programme, which offered vouchers worth £10,444 (€12,500) each to support competitive product enhancement.

In March 2021, AMTE, Brill and Starke received their vouchers along with support from UK STEPS business partner, Cambridge Cleantech, and knowledge partner, the Faraday Institution. The project at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus is one of 20 different testbeds that form the second phase of the STEPS programme.

“The three UK SMEs who are part of this programme have technologies that can revolutionise the energy storage sector, from AMTE’s Na-ion batteries which remove the need for mineral extraction, Brill Power who make batteries last longer and be more efficient, and Starke’s energy management system which helps optimise the use of the energy and how it is sold together based on AI and IoT,” said Sam Goodall, head of international projects at Cambridge Cleantech.

In the UK, there is one other testbed project at the Allia’s Future Business Centre in Cambridge, where circular battery company Aceleron is demonstrating it’s technology. Additionally, the company was granted £927,426 in government funding to help develop another of its projects, called BATLAB, in December.

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