The Energy Storage Report 2024

Now available to download, covering deployments, technology, policy and finance in the energy storage market

Breaking communication barriers between asset management and O&M is essential for ESS operations

By Venkateshwer Acharya

Asset management and operations & maintenance (O&M) teams should be able to work collaboratively to ensure project success, writes Cellect Energy’s Venkateshwer Acharya.

The energy industry is undergoing a transformative shift. Renewable energy sources like wind and solar are rapidly gaining traction, promising a cleaner and more sustainable future.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Enjoy 12 months of exclusive analysis

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Annual digital subscription to the PV Tech Power journal
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

However, a hidden challenge lurks behind the scenes: fragmented communication between asset managers and operations & maintenance (O&M) teams. This often leads to the formation of data silos, hindering optimal performance and creating unnecessary friction within energy storage operations.

Data silos: A barrier to asset efficiency

Data silos occur when critical information is isolated within specific departments. In the context of energy storage, this manifests in two distinct data sets:

  • Asset management data: This data focuses on the financial and operational aspects of the storage system. It includes information like operational schedules, financial models, historical performance metrics, and energy market trends. Asset managers leverage this data to make informed decisions regarding revenue generation, scheduling energy sales, and optimising battery configurations.
  • Operations & maintenance data: This data delves into the technical health and performance of the battery system. It comprises operational data, maintenance logs, and equipment performance reports. Engineers rely on this data to ensure the system’s smooth operation, identify potential problems, and schedule preventative maintenance.

Without a seamless exchange of this information, both asset managers and O&M teams operate with an incomplete picture.

Imagine this scenario: The asset manager identifies a lucrative opportunity to sell energy back to the grid during a peak demand period. However, they might be unaware of a planned maintenance window for the same period due to a lack of communication. This missed opportunity highlights the cost of siloed data and its detrimental impact on maximising revenue potential.

High cost of miscommunication between asset management and O&M teams

The consequences of siloed data go well beyond just missing out on opportunities. Inefficient downtime management, for instance, results from delayed incident responses due to unclear communication channels, leading to prolonged downtime and significant revenue loss.

This situation is heightened when maintenance opportunities are missed because asset managers are not informed of potential issues the operations & maintenance team flagged during routine checks. Similarly, energy production shortfalls occur when assets are underutilised because O&M teams might need to take systems offline for maintenance when assets are to be marketed, leading to financial penalties and reduced energy output.

Moreover, the lack of transparency around operational schedules and conflicting priorities can result in friction and frustration among teams. O&M engineers face difficulties in knowing when the system should be operational.

At the same time, asset managers are restricted by maintenance activities that interfere with their plans for generating revenue, creating a cycle of tension that stifles progress and diminishes overall efficiency.

From silos to symphonies

Energy storage professionals can benefit from fostering collaboration and secure data exchange. Real-time optimisation allows asset managers to utilise operations and maintenance insights on asset performance and health to adjust configurations to increase revenue.

Informed decisions will always be the key to success for ESS assets. Image: Cellect.

This includes modifying charging/discharging cycles, optimising for ancillary service markets like Frequency Containment Reserve (FCR) and Automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve (aFRR), or responding to energy price fluctuations.

Planned maintenance enables O&M teams to schedule maintenance during low-demand periods, reducing downtime and ensuring peak system efficiency. Shared dashboards, communication platforms, and coordinated workflows accomplish unified goals in energy storage projects by aligning departments toward common objectives and fostering shared responsibility.

This setup empowers stakeholders to make informed decisions, thereby enhancing project success.

“Client feedback demands a centralised platform for seamless communication and data exchange, which optimises projects and fosters a collaborative energy ecosystem,” says Leon Gosh, managing director at Cellect Energy.

Creating a positive ripple effect

Reducing data silos leads to optimised energy production and storage, creating a more efficient and reliable grid. Such advancements allow for a higher penetration of renewable energy sources, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels.

Moreover, a collaborative approach enhances knowledge sharing and engagement among teams, empowering energy storage professionals across the landscape. With access to a wider range of expertise, the energy ecosystem becomes more innovative and dynamic. Additionally, breaking down data silos within the energy storage sector highlights the effectiveness of collaboration in addressing complex sustainability challenges.

Looking ahead: Charting a collaborative course

The energy storage industry is a critical player in achieving global sustainability goals. Centralised cloud platforms with secure data exchange are key enablers. These platforms empower real-time monitoring, historical analysis, and predictive maintenance, optimising system performance and lifespan.

Working together, operations and maintenance (O&M) teams and asset managers can tackle minor issues before they escalate, gain valuable insights for informed decisions and increase return on investment (ROI).

Cellect Energy recommends establishing a centralised hub to gather real-time operational data from energy storage systems (ESS), tracking metrics like depth of discharge, energy throughput, and C-rates. User-friendly dashboards for data visualisation play a vital role in this setup, facilitating the monitoring of key performance indicators (KPIs) and early issue detection.

Breaking down data silos is important, not just technologically, but as a cultural shift. Enhanced energy storage management includes secure data sharing, leading to smoother operations and simplified collaboration. This fosters a scalable approach, paving the way for a more efficient, reliable, and sustainable energy future.

About the Author

Venkateshwer Acharya is marketing manager at Cellect, a Spain-headquartered company providing solutions to manage, monitor, and optimise utility-scale and commercial and industrial (C&I) energy storage systems, leveraging data analytics with control capabilities. Acharya has an engineering and marketing background.

12 November 2024
San Diego, USA
As we see more storage projects become operational, the big question is “how to maximize your assets?” This event will prepare the industry for the road ahead, looking at the core fundamentals of asset management, understanding operational challenges, along with the latest optimization and software development. You can expect to meet and network with all the key industry players from major US asset owners, operators, RTOs and ISOs, optimizers, software and analytics providers, technical consultancies, O&M technology providers and more.

Read Next

Most Popular

Email Newsletter