From high value and high volume manufacturing to data centres and healthcare, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is critical for many companies and organisations and this need will only grow as we move forward with Industry 4.0, smarter cities and a net zero world.
The operational effects of power disruption, such as a blackout or a brownout, cost 3% of all working days in the UK for manufacturing alone. Traditional UPS solutions provide power for your downstream demand in the event of a disruption to the grid supply. Most of the time, a UPS will work effectively if properly maintained but equally, most of the time it also sits idle. And while it’s idle, it’s still using power and costing money – generally between a 10% and 15% loss of capacity. With a 1MW system, that will typically cost around £200k a year, as well as adding to your carbon footprint rather than helping to reduce it. Add to this the issue that you’ll only know if your UPS is working when you really need it. It’s a sobering thought that, within the UK, power failures risk an average loss of £2.8 million per business per year.
Given these issues, a battery energy storage solution (BESS) is a compelling proposition, offering greater energy security, cost savings and additional benefits – a solution we’ve developed as Resilience+ to help future-proof energy storage and efficiency.
A BESS works as a smart microgrid, meaning your critical processes and sensitive equipment are protected in the event of a power disruption from the grid and, since there’s no conversion from AC to DC and back again as with a traditional UPS, the loss of capacity is significantly lower – at less than 1%.
As we collectively move away from fossil fuels – and last year nearly 40% of the UK’s power came from renewables – a reliable energy supply will only become more significant. Moving from traditional UPS as a sunk cost to a resilient BESS allows for greater flexibility and security, as a part of an overall net zero strategy. Renewable firming is a vital element of a BESS and, in the move to net zero, investment in this technology gives companies a built-in capacity to harness renewable energy generated on-site. This allows solar- or wind-generated power to be stored and used when needed, or potentially to be sold back to the grid as an additional revenue stream.
Perhaps one of the biggest issues UK organisations will face, imminently, is the need for EV charging. Moving to an EV fleet is one of the easiest ways a company can contribute to sustainability, while employees will be shifting more and more to EVs themselves. Our Resilience+ solution, harnessing the benefits of BESS over traditional UPS, can help solve the problems around a massive increase in on-site power demand. The same system that manages UPS can support EV charging capacity through battery storage, avoiding potentially high-cost requests to your DNO and further helping meet sustainability targets.
The countdown to 2050 and net zero means a shift from a UK-wide reliable energy supply to less secure renewables. It also brings the opportunity to move away from sunk costs to potential revenue generation. Mitigating the risk of costly outages through a resilient BESS while offering a host of additional energy strategy options is the driving force behind all our research and development at Powerstar. To find out more about how Resilience+ can help your business, contact our team.
19 August 2021