Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

GPBOX Report Summary

Project ID: 729793

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GPBOX (GPBOX Energy Platform)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

What is the problem/issue being addressed?

GPBox is defined as a Real Time Digital, modular and decentralized network control optimizer focused on the new energy paradigm as a result of the energy storage systems penetration trend. GPBox aims to be a reference in the new energy cloud business model as a consequence of the Distributed Energy Resources ecosystem through:
- An Evolutionary Dynamic Optimizer, an innovative SW which is able to solve customer energy problem, from utilities to C&I and residential users, with a flexible and standard implementation of multiple energy services at the same time.
- Implementation of a complete and integrated system for DER integration including power electronic interface, protections, isolation, based on cost efficient, compact and modular features. As a consequence, GPBox is able to offer Real Time response services, expanding energy functionalities which are now restricted to a small group of tenders.

Why is it important for society?

GPBox will meet electric network needs with regards to highly penetration of renewable power plants. Electric system operators seek for solution to increment the network flexibility and GPBox together with the current developments in GPTech provide the required features to implement certain services which are only implemented by traditional power plants i.e. frequency response.
Currently electric market and their user are seeking for solving the consequence of the high increment of electricity cost, looking for alternative energy source; while system operators are seeking to solve capacity problems in distribution lines caused by rapid growth of renewable energies in the network as well as the expected massive storage integration into the traditional grid. Europe’s electricity network is looking for complete solutions to increase capacity for power transfers, reduce energy losses, heighten efficiency and security of supply, be backwardly compatible to include the installed base and include prosumers.

What are the overall objectives?

GPBox was defined as a provider of multiple benefits as a result of ESS management through the promotion of micro-grids and trading with DER. Main objectives were on the:
1. Efficiency enhancement and increments of the electric capabilities of current AC distribution network in terms of flexibility and power capacity.
2. To encourages consumers to interact with the grid, directly through GPBox or by its auxiliary services offered to the electric network.
3. To operate the distributed ESS without user concern for their operation and maintenance, reducing energy bills of ordinary people and industrial uses.
The definition of GPBox has evolved to highlight the important features of real time and dynamic control system with the objective to offer a diversified number of services, which does not mean that objectives have changed; quite the opposite, they have been valued and the application risk has been reduced. However, the time to achieve each of them may vary according to several factors such as the cost evolution of ESS system as well as the regulatory conditions developed in each of the targeted markets. Regarding the legal issues, EEUU seems to be the lighthouse to follow with Germany as an important indicator of the market trends. The work done by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and their proposed rulemaking may be a good guide for removing barriers to the participation of ESS and DER in the capacity, energy and ancillary services market.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The main objective of the project is the development of a Feasibility Study of GPBox system. This study is compounded by 7 main sections:
1. A market review which contains the situation of global market, potential customers and competitors
2. A technical assessment: A review of the last scientist papers, patents and commercial information related to the technology and detailing product description.
3. Production organization which is based on a strategic plan, with the aim to obtain main cost elements bottlenecks as well as target price, will include commercialization strategy, providing information with regards of economical quantity needs as well as active investment time requirements and cost associate to the progress of the business model
4. Economic feasibility study which includes previous gathered data, defining project financial needs and ROI.
5. An investment plan: Detailed planning of the ambitioned technological development from current TRL6 to level TRL8.
6. Risk of the approach which contains the associated contingency plan and valuing the impact
7. Commercialization plan: Focused on GPTech brand and GPBOX business lines. Besides, a final layout of Business Plan including an executive summary, the major conclusions of previous studies and projections of global business figures – margins volumes, investment in addition to financial plan and return on investment study–.

The determinations of GPBox were to design, manufacture, test and validate distributed energy resources (DER) based on intelligent, modular, autonomous Energy Storage Systems (ESS) and an innovative energy platform concept, with the aim to create business opportunities based on the electric market need.
The concept is still the same although an adaptation has been applied according to the market trends in DER, the technology development for the different components and the cost evolution of ESS and BOS. A more accurate technology plan has been specified with emphasis on GPTech current business model. At the beginning of the implementation plan, GPTech will evolve its current business as system integrator of renewable systems and ESS to include the several features offered by GPBox. The first milestone is to enhance the several services offered by ESS to renewable power plants which will transform them into flexible and foreseeable power generators.

GPTech has a marketing plan relying on the GPBox products, a new energy platform with active management through GPBox technology, focused on prosumers and utilities ancillary services.
In line with this market segmentation, the business plan will follow two trends in the short and medium term. On the short term (next five years), the market niche targeted will be the Front of The Meter (FTM) with the focus on the implementation of renewables either with or without storage systems for the integration at the electricity market as well as storage systems for ancillary services at the utility scale.
With regards to the marketing plan of the GPBox, it will be focused on enhancing GPTech brand in the market of renewable energy integration. A series of technology events, seminaries and renewable energy fairs assistance together with different publications and research articles will be developed. GPTech has identified the following fairs where GPBox results could be disseminated: InterSolution, Energy Expo, Solar Solution Int, Intersolar, CIPV Expo, RenewX, CISOLAR, European Utility week, CIREC and Solar Summit

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

"Regarding Energy Storage System, GPBox will work with the latest storage systems with the following enhancements:
• New module with high power density, providing volume and cost reduction
• Easy portability, enhanced reliability and maintainability without increasing their components
• Design improvement to be included in standard racks and cabinets, using an easy to install technology, even with modifications between applications based on the "place & play" concept.
Related to Power electronic technology, yhe system presented here goes a step further with a series of innovations, highlighting:
• New technologies and materials, the most advanced semiconductor will be used in order to reach efficiencies of 99% during battery charging
• The assessment and development of an integrated power electronic system in the storage equipment which will prevent new installation requirements.
• Optimal equalization balancing of the different storage racks
According to Energy Management system advantages, main contribution of GPBox is found in SW development with the implementation of new algorithms based on genetics modelling.
On the other hand, current Energy Platforms are limited to offer aggregation services, reducing utilities issues with renewable penetration and the inclusion of upcoming massive integration of storage systems. Those platforms look for low energy prices but they do not have a full overview of the whole system. GPBox has nothing to do with the straightforward inclusion of users and facilitating the system operation. GPBox goes beyond of that, offering a diversification of Behind The Meter (BTH) services while reduce overall power systems cost to users, utilities and System operators. GPBox Energy Platform offers several advantages with respect to current similar systems:
• The Cyber-connection of several ESS allows to create an easy and fast electrical microgrid, offering multiple services to users or communities, besides of ancillary services to the grid involved
• Ensure security of supply to the involved user by multiplying the storage possibilities and the amount of available energy resources
• The cloud technology offers a scalable system to adapt to the platform demand in every moment. Cloud platform represents the top level element in the hierarchy of GPBox components. It is the responsible for establishing links between all connected nodes and the continuous execution of optimization algorithms among others.
• There are several cloud technologies solutions (ie: AWS, Windows Azure, etc.) and all of them offer a large number of auxiliary services saving developed effort and focusing in what really matter in this case: obtain optimized data (cloud computing) in the shortest time possible with no influence from the number of connecting devices or the amount of data processed (auto scaling). The developer only needs to provide the system parameters as input and the cloud platform automatically updates the information and acts accordingly.
• Incorporate all the actors in the electric network from DER to prosumers, including industrial facilities to ensure the proper deployment of the near future of smart grids."

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