Affordable Energy Worldwide: Autarsys is building storage batteries for decentralised energy supply

25. October 2017

Affordable Energy Worldwide

Autarsys is building storage batteries for decentralised energy supply

Autarsys-Team. Bild: © Adlershof Journal

Full of energy: The Autarsys Team in Adlershof

Small Third World villages, islands cut off from the rest of the world, remote luxury wellness resorts: Autarsys can deliver noiseless and clean energy to every corner of the earth. Their idea is ready to take over the globe.

The technicians just finished putting the remaining connections into the high-power batteries. The cooling units and ports are up and running. The small computer managing everything is running at full speed. Mission accomplished! The container is ready and can embark on its journey to the United Kingdom. Decentral energy on six-and-a-half metres, ready to be shipped to a remote luxury resort in England. The days of grid dependency are over. Whenever all the hotel’s guests take a bath or go to the sauna, the cooks put on their ovens and thousands of lights are turned on in every pool and corner of the resort at once, there will be no fluctuations and no blackouts. All thanks to an inconspicuous container behind flowery hedges at the back of the resort taking care of everything, instead of a loud and smelly diesel generator, which is a nuisance for vacationers and bad for the environment.

The next container is already waiting in front of the Autarsys gates in Adlershof. Destination: Philippines. But this time it’s not heading for luxury resort but a remote village, which is fulfilling its dream of a normal life. The women can finally cook using electricity and own a fridge for the first time. The children at the local school will finally be able to use the computers that have been lying around for a long time. Lastly, electrical light burning in every house at every hour.

The idea is genius and fills a gap in the market. Matthias Roß, one of the founders and CEOs of Autarsys GmbH, describes what his company does: “We make storage batteries for decentral energy supply. They come into play when villages, small towns, islands or hotel resorts do not have access to or only have volatile energy supply. Photovoltaics systems can produce electricity at affordable prices but not always when it’s needed. These infrastructures are connected to the grid, but are often volatile or unavailable during power peaks. This is where the storage steps in. Power plants do not have to withhold energy reserves; 98 percent of energy can be utilised.”

The aforementioned “storage” is a container, which is developed by Autarsys and available in various sites. It contains lithium-ion batteries, like the ones used in mobile phones and laptops, but with much larger modules and power between 30 kilowatts and 10 megawatts. It also contains special software, controlling systems, monitoring systems and air conditioning, which are developed exclusively by Autarsys. The temperature in the container is always 23 degrees Celsius, which extends battery life to 15 to 20 years.

“In the near future, batteries will increasingly dominate the grid. The will act as a medium to control and optimise a permanent balance between electricity production and consumption. They are thus paving the way for efficient use of renewable energies,” says Roß, who is actually pedagogue for environmental and social issues by training.

From their computers in Adlershof, engineers monitor the inside temperature of storages in villages across the globe, their charge levels and whether the communication with the solar panels and the grid is working.

Autarsys was founded in 2013 in Adlershof. The team has since grown from two to thirteen full-time employees, including engineers, programmers, electricians, industrial mechanics and business economists. Outside of Germany, the company works together with a network of freelancers, subcontractors and other partners. Things are taking off right now: projects in Indonesia, the Philippines, Madagascar, Cameroon, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Greece, France, Cyprus, Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile. There are partners all over the world. The company has local branches in many of those countries, including India. A new challenge already awaits: an order for the energy supply of a small Australian city.

Isn’t this a very big deal? “Yes, it is,” says Matthias Roß happily, “there’s not enough room and we will need to rent additional spaces in Adlershof.” He would love to be on-site at all their projects if it were up to him. Unfortunately, it is not. He is needed back home in Adlershof.

By Kathrin Reisinger for Adlershof Journal

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