At Moixa, we witness the continued acceleration of the adoption of energy-storage technologies, led by global mega-scale drivers, with optimism. As climate change drives the adoption of distributed renewables, the related extreme weather events are disrupting electricity distribution, as we saw with the fires in the USA and Australia in 2020. Little wonder California has seen a four-fold increase in battery-system sales (Bloomberg). The transition from fossil-fuel-powered transport to electric vehicles is also reaching a tipping point. In Norway in 2020, EVs accounted for more than 50% of all car sales.
These accelerating trends will be deeply disruptive for the energy industry, forcing change at the speed that people upgrade their mobile phones, not the 40-year planning horizons that the industry is used to. As energy systems decentralise and decarbonise, the infrastructure needed to keep the lights on must become more dynamic and digital. It must make use of innovative technology solutions that bring value to customers and the energy system as a whole. One such technology platform is Moixa’s GridShare. We are working with large global corporations such as Honda, ITOCHU and Hitachi to deliver these solutions at scale.
In October 2018, Moixa launched a partnership with ITOCHU in Japan, bringing GridShare (the machine learning optimization technology developed by Moixa) to ITOCHU’s customers for their Smart Star battery system. There are now more than 26,000 battery systems in homes across Japan connected to the platform, aggregating to more than 260MWh of storage. GridShare collects data from all of these systems every minute, using our machine-learning algorithms to predict consumption and generation in each home for the following 48 hours, taking into account data feeds such as weather forecasts, location and system design. From these predictions, we use our agile, responsive AI technology to generate a plan for how the system should perform the next day to deliver the greatest saving, factoring in costs of energy across the day, and when solar generation will be available.
When we conducted a data-science analysis of the benefit, we found that GridShare was delivering on average a 14% saving on customers’ energy bills, compared to the default mode of the battery, which is a very significant saving.
In order to deliver this benefit, the battery must be able to cycle, to discharge down to a low state of charge – but if the battery is discharged when a storm hits and causes a power cut, then it won’t be able to provide backup energy for long. In order to manage this whilst still delivering savings, GridShare monitors the alerts published by the Japan weather service. If there is an alert for a customer’s location then it automatically charges the system up to full in case of a power cut. With the benefits of GridShare and advanced Smart Star ESS hardware, ITOCHU has become the market leader in Japan.
Over the last few years, Japan has been gradually deregulating its electricity system. This has brought a large number of players into the retail market, from large ones like Softbank to smaller innovative offerings. The next step is for Japan to expand its flexibility-services market. This would enable distributed systems such as batteries in people’s homes and EVs to respond to changes in energy demand at a regional and national level, rather than this being necessarily provided by a carbon-intensive gas peaker power station. Customers can be paid for providing this service back to the Grid. GridShare’s AI technology gives it a unique advantage in managing this service. Because we predict how each home will behave the next day, we are able to optimize how this flexibility is delivered to the Grid at the lowest cost, with the least impact on customers.
Moixa is now expanding this technology to deliver the same benefits to EV drivers, partnering with Honda to launch the e:PROGRESS service to Honda e customers, optimizing when the cars charge to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions, using our AI to deliver this value.
At Moixa, we believe that by adding intelligence to batteries at home and in cars through the GridShare platform, we can be an important part of the global energy transition, enabling the world to embrace renewables and the new economic opportunities they open up.
Contributed by: Moixa
If you want to know more about this and other topics directly from end users of energy storage technologies join us at one of these annual events: The Energy Storage World Forum (Grid Scale Applications), or The Residential Energy Storage Forum, or one of our Training Courses.