CORDIS - Forschungsergebnisse der EU



Berichtszeitraum: 2016-12-01 bis 2017-05-31

The development and penetration of renewable energies, particularly solar photovoltaic (PV) in the EU, plus the expected growth in installed power, is demanding new features and capabilities to manage PV power plants. Although PV permits a low carbon electrical system, introduces a high level of unpredictability and a lack of manageability in the power grid, what is a handicap against the conventional fossil fuel powered plants. The PV plants are not capable to give ancillary services to contribute to the grid stability: frequency and voltage regulation, peak shaving and black start. Additionally, in a zero carbon energy generation scenario, PV plants must substitute conventional fossil fuel powered plants at his totality. This challenge is solved providing PV plants with storage capacity plus a smart plant management system: STORM.

STORM reduces the carbon foot print giving low-cost low-carbon electricity supply, supporting a Smart European and worldwide grids and at same time contributing to the security of supply.

1. Technical & Technological objectives:
• Detail the necessary techniques and technologies in order to reach TRL9 of STORM in 2019
• To protect the HW and SW components of the STORM device, perform a FTO analysis.
• To outline the manufacturing process for STORM device including Quality and Certification plan.
• Extend technological key partners such as suppliers and industrial partners.
2. Market objectives:
• Improve and extend the actual market to find strategic segments through a Marketing analysis.
• Delve the barriers to enter into these markets: regulations, policies and social issues.
• Categorise customers’ requirements and needs, use as feedback to STORM features.
• Competitor analysis: deepen it the study already done to update the competitor analysis.
3. Company strategic objectives - Business plan:
• Comprehensive detailed business model.
• Marketing strategies and commercialization plan.
• HHRR strategies and recruitment plan.
• Manufacturing strategies and plan.
• Validate financial forecast and economic goals. Dissemination and exploitation of results).
Work performed:

* Technical and Technological assessment: STORM is mainly based in IT technologies. Therefore hardware and software technologies, methods and processes have been analyzed.
The main results is that there is no need for special hardware developments, the basic hardware will be based on single board computers commercially available and free of IP rights or royalties. Software development technologies have been analyzed and one of them (Spiral) has been selected as the one that fits on the STORM development needs. At same time operating system issues and programming languages are analyzed, Linux open source operating system and Python, also open source, are selected as development tools.

* Freedom to operate analysis was carried on. Searching on patents databases for patents on functionalities or devices like STORM. The main result is that there is nothing similar patented and also the individual functionalities are no patented.
* STORM protection rights have been analysed. As is mainly software not in all countries can be patented. Then a double strategy will be used: patent where is possible and in other a Utility Model protection will be used.
* The manufacturing process has been analysed. STORM will not need a high and specialised assembly line. The model that will be used in a first stage is the Assembly by One (AbO) model. There one person is in charge of all the needed assembly operations.
* As per the use of open hardware and software, there is no need to extend the key partners.
* Certifications. The need for certifications and homologations has been studied. To be sold in target countries, STORM must have CE and UL certifications. Also will be certified as grid code compliant in each country.
* Quality management analysis. All the procedures and processes that STORM will introduce, will be added to existing company's ISO 9000 certification. For software quality management the CISQ model has been selected, that will be included into the ISO 9000.
* Market analysis. First the main market players have been categorised. Then a direct survey with in person or telephone interviews has done. In total, there were 22 interviews: 12 developers, 4 EPCs, 1 TSO/DSO, 1 specialized engineering company, 2 battery manufacturers and 2 inverter manufacturers. Geographically, the developers come from: Denmark, Spain and Germany, also developers from India, and from South America, Chile and Colombia. The EPCs come from Spain, Germany and China, all with worldwide operations. TSO/DSO is a Spanish one. Specialized engineering comes from Spain, with activities world-wide – mainly in EU, USA and South America -. Battery manufacturers, are well known multinational companies that come from France and Spain. Inverters manufacturers are multinational companies that come from Germany and Spain. An extensive and detailed view of the market has been obtained, the particular vision of the different segments on the PV market and with a geographical extension that covers the main world PV markets. The main conclusions are:
i. The main customer for STORM will be the developers, as there are involved in obtaining maximum profit of their investments and STORM gives a complete solution for that.
ii. EPC, although there are not directly involved in plant operation, due to the relationship with the developers, can have a role as prescriber.
iii. Battery manufacturers are key partners for STORM, development and commercialization.
iv. Inverter manufacturers are more competitors than key partners, because they are offering grid support services in his products.
v. Special Engineering Companies are a clear competitor.
vi. Main markets are in EU – UK and Italy mainly, and also Germany -, USA – California – and in LATAM.

* With the results of the market analysis, the value proposition and the business model has developed. Customer segments identified. Customers relationships defined as the channels to arrive to customers. Also, key activities are outlined and clearly defined.Key resources and key partners are identified. Finally cost structure and revenues streams are identified and analysed. Price structures and different services and categories are also defined.
STORM, plus storage, gives a higher degree of flexibility and balance to the grid not only providing backup power to the intermittence of the renewable sources but also complete ancillary services. All this factors combined together will easy the growth in penetration of PV
and accelerate the de-carbonisation of the electrical system, reducing the total CO2 emissions, improves the security and efficiency of electricity transmission and distribution by reducing unplanned loop flows, grid congestion, voltage and frequency instabilities, collaborating actively to market prices stabilization while also ensuring a higher level of security of supply and helping the transition to the zero carbon scenario.

Based on that, we believe that STORM will suppose a break point in the deployment of the renewable energy, introducing manageability, eliminating uncertainty and contributing directly to grid support, will situate PV plants at same level that any other generation facility based on fossil fuels. This will help to create a high amount of skilled jobs, both in the batteries segment and in the PV one.