Converting renewable energy into scalable power
Whether it’s running your television at home or operating a major assembly line in a modern factory, modern electronics and appliances waste a lot of energy. But it’s not entirely the device or factory’s fault, as low power quality, interrupted use and maintenance are all contributing factors. In fact, it is estimated that low power quality costs EU industrial facilities over EUR 150 billion every year. One solution is to make the switch from fossil fuel-based energy to renewable energy. But doing so requires being able to efficiently – and cost effectively – convert renewable energy into scalable power, which is what the EU-funded GreenVerter project set out to. “With the support of EU funding, we developed an innovative smart energy management solution,” says Balázs Horváth, founder and CEO of CoreComm SI, a Hungarian low-voltage power manufacturer. “Built into the local electrical grid, this device can efficiently and reliably convert renewable energy while improving power quality and reducing electric-related waste.”
No more, no less
The device, called Greenverter, is a smart controller. Installed in the local electrical network, it can calculate the necessary optimal compensating current. Once calculated, the power converter unit then injects the required amount of power – no more, no less. “Instead of sending the same amount of power to run an electric kettle as say a heavy industrial site, with Greenverter, each application gets exactly the amount of power it needs,” explains Horváth. Demonstrations showed that by reducing unneeded and wasted energy, Greenverter can lower electric bills by as much as 25 to 40 %. “In our sector, this represents a significant advancement,” adds Horváth. According to Horváth, such a development was only possible with the support of EU funding. “Our company runs a large operation with a relatively small and very specialised team, making it difficult to find the time – or enthusiasm – for R&D projects,” he explains. “But with the EU funding, we were able to outsource some R&D activities to a team at the University of Pannonia.”
The smart energy era
By enabling virtual power plant connectivity, Greenverter is the first household, intelligent energy solution capable of leveraging the potential of the smart grid. “If the last decade was the age of the smart device, this decade will be the age of smart energy,” concludes Horváth. “Thanks to the support of EU funding, Greenverter is now well positioned to be a key enabler of the smart energy era.” Although the project itself is now over, work continues. CoreComm SI is currently in negotiations with potential investors for funding to build a dedicated production facility. To help accelerate the product’s commercialisation, the company has applied for funding via the EIC Accelerator Pilot. In addition to the Greenverter device itself, CoreComm SI is also working to develop solutions for energy storage, electric vehicles and virtual power plant connections, amongst others.
GreenVerter, renewable energy, smart energy, smart grid, electronics, energy, electrical grid