Allye forms part of consortium awarded grant to develop home energy storage system

Clean-tech start-up Allye Energy, the smart battery technology platform for distributed energy storage at the grid edge, has been awarded a R&D grant by Innovate UK to develop innovative residential energy storage systems – in partnership with OST Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Science and Negal Engineering AG.

Jack Levy, COO and Co-Founder of Allye commented:

“As project partners we are delighted to receive this award from Innovate UK and Innosuisse. Our R&D proposal successfully demonstrated a disruptive innovation, to create a new type of home energy storage system for an underserved and increasing part of the population. As the energy transition accelerates, we must make sure no- one is left behind. This grant will deliver significant economic and societal benefit to the UK and Swiss economies.”

The objective is to create a completely new type of battery energy storage system (BESS) that supports smaller households and renters, those typically unable to afford or adopt green technologies, who are left behind in the energy transition. The project will develop modular and portable system that can be easily installed and removed, rightsized to the needs of those living in rented apartments across Europe. The system will adopt Allye’s unique software intelligence that provides flexibility services to the grid and takes advantage of time-of-use rates to help households reduce the cost of electricity by up to 50%. This could help an average apartment save up to £500 a year based on typical electricity use and current unit prices.

The grant for Allye is funded by Innovate UK as part of the ‘UK-Switzerland Bilateral: Collaborative R&D’ competition, which is jointly operated by Innovate UK, and Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency. Allye’s project partners, OST Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Science, a leading Swiss research institute, and Negal Engineering AG, a leading developer of power electronics, have successfully won funding from Innosuisse.

Both agencies jointly selected the project proposed by Allye, OST and Negal under the name ‘CURB’ – Compact Urban Battery Storage System – for residential apartments, to support demand side response and reduce energy bills by 50%.

The project partners have been awarded a total of £649,439 (734,840 CHF), with Allye receiving 70% of its total eligible costs from Innovate UK, and OST and Negal receiving 100% and 28% respectively of their total project costs from Innosuisse. The grant will fund an 18-month bi-lateral project to create a compact, affordable battery energy storage system (BESS) specifically targeted at flats and apartment dwellers, including those who rent.

Ralf Negele, CEO of Negal Engineering AG, said:

“Negal Engineering is committed to pioneering high-efficiency power solutions, striving to innovate within the energy sector. Our collaboration with Allye and OST is driven by a shared vision of revolutionizing how households’ harness and manage energy. We will collaborate to develop a cutting-edge energy storage solution that aligns seamlessly with private household needs.”

In Switzerland, over 40% (3.6 million) of a total population of 8.7 million live in apartments as renters or owner occupiers. In England and Wales, 21.7% (5.4 million) live in a flat, maisonette or apartment, rising to 55.9% of dwellings In London – according to 2021 Census data. Renting across all property types is also increasing with more than a third of England’s population now living in rented accommodation demonstrating the rise of ‘generation rent’.

The bi-lateral project will involve the development of key innovations, including novel bi-directional power electronics and modular converters leveraging cutting-edge research from OST and Negal Engineering, integrated with a battery energy storage system (BESS) that incorporates machine learning which will be designed and built in the UK by Allye Energy. The target for converters is to surpass current best-in-class efficiency and current density of converters used in first-generation home energy storage systems available today.

Simon Nigsch, Head of Electrical Energy Systems at OST, commented:

“The evolution of home storage systems is still in its beginnings. Together with our partners Allye and Negal, we are convinced that this project will enable us to develop the best, most compact and efficient home storage system on the market. Equipped with the latest technologies and software intelligence, this product is set to set new standards and significantly influence the home storage market.”

Together the project partners will develop a system that helps to accelerate decarbonisation of the electricity grid, providing demand side response in apartments while also lowering electricity bills for consumers. Most apartments reside in dense urban areas and cities, where the strain and peak demand on the grid is higher. In 2021, 38.9 % of the EU population were living in a city. Europe’s level of urbanisation is expected to increase to approximately 83.7% in 2050. Currently this market is underserved by energy storage. The intention is to network together systems to provide virtual power plants (VPPs), so that large residential buildings have energy intelligence, to operate smarter and more efficiently, while also providing flexibility to DSOs. The project aims to realise commercialisation within two years of the funded project completion.

Image courtesy of Allye.

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