Clean energy technology was a key focus of this week’s consumer electronics event CES. In previous years electric vehicle (EV) tech has held centre stage, with the unveiling of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt at 2016’s event celebrated at the time as a leading development in EVs, and EVBox launching a new ultra-fast EV charger at 2020’s show.
Below is a summary of some of the global energy and EV technologies and companies highlighted this year:
Absolar Solutions: AI-powered software looking to boost rooftop PV
A new technology able to identify every building in a city suitable for solar panels has been unveiled by Absolar Solutions.
Computer software has been developed by the University of Southampton spinout using remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies to simulate solar resource on buildings. As well as identifying suitable buildings, it can also provide multi-layered estimates for individual buildings including optimal configuration, potential of power generation and return on investment.
Using LiDAR data, the INTERA software can identify building shapes and features, such as shading and installation obstructions, and use these to provide half-hourly power production estimates.
Nic Cory, director of Absolar Solutions, said INTERA’s use in carrying out instant solar feasibility studies will “deliver a much-needed burst of energy to the adoption of rooftop solar across the UK’s cities now that we are in a post-subsidy market era, with various local government uses already underway”.
Schneider Electric: Smart home management technology
At CES this week, Schneider Electric revealed the expansion of its smart home ecosystem.
The new products unveiled as part of its Square D Energy Centre have the ability to enable “unprecedented” residential insights and monitoring capabilities for homeowners to control and lower their home's energy consumption as well as electrical heating and cooling costs by up to 50%, according to the company.
Among the new services on offer is the ability to monitor solar energy usage and track it against the costs of utility power to optimise energy sourcing to reduce costs.
The Square D Energy Center also integrates batteries and energy measurements from both the grid and the home, embedding seamlessly into properties according to Schneider Electric. It fits "straight in" with existing home energy management systems, controlled by the homeowner from a single app.
HERE Technologies: EV routing to improve driving and charging experience
Netherlands-based firm HERE Technologies announced a new EV routing feature at the event. This has the intention of optimising private and commercial EV routing while minimising the number of charging stops and reducing battery charging times.
Referring to the need to address range anxiety, the company stated that ensuring easy and fast access to chargepoints is “essential” to facilitating the switch to EVs. Its EV routing takes into account topography, road geometry, real time traffic information and traffic patterns when planning trips.
“With EV Routing, HERE goes beyond removing range anxiety and makes EV driving a truly personalised experience,” said Jussi Koski, VP product management at HERE Technologies, adding that the product is not only based on a “wide range of parameters” but it can also be customised.
Hynamics: Supporting development of low carbon and renewable hydrogen
French firm Hynamics is one of three EDF subsidiaries to have exhibited at CES this year, the others being blockchain provider Exaion and cybersecurity firm Seclab.
HYnamics offers a turnkey solution for low carbon and renewable hydrogen, spanning project development, financing, construction and operation and maintenance.
It can offer a feasibility and execution study, as well as investing in hydrogen production and distribution assets, undertaking the execution phase with partners until the industrial commissioning phase of the equipment and operating and maintaining the hydrogen production and distribution facilities.
GridPocket: Software-as-a-service for smart grid utilities
Another French company exhibiting at CES this year was GridPocket, a software-as-a-service firm focused on developing energy value-added services and platforms for the smart grid utilities.
Its PowerVAS technology is a white label platform offering data analysis, demand-response management, open data services, EV charging, renewable energy production and the GridPocket’s EcoTroks consumer engagement application for electricity, gas, water and heating utilities.
Whilst the PowerVAS platform comes with standard features, specific ones can be developed. Other services provided by GridPocket include local energy marketplaces, home battery monitoring, news feeds, weather conditions as well as other options.