US provider of energy storage control systems and turnkey storage projects, Greensmith, has launched simulation and modelling software that the company claims will educate customers on decisions that can “make or break ROI (return on investment)”.
PV Tech Storage spoke to Greensmith CEO John Jung ahead of the release of the StorageView and StorageModel software, announced yesterday. Mostly operating in the grid-scale market in the US, Jung said the company had executed close to 50 projects to date through turnkey delivery of systems as well as through use of Greensmith’s energy storage control and analytics platform, GEMS IV, to which the new software has been added. GEMS IV has already been used as the control software for projects that include the integration of EVs with photovoltaic (PV) generation and for load shifting, as well as for pursuing immediate economic opportunities in the often touted frequency regulation market of the PJM service area in North America’s midwest. There has also been a smaller number of behind the meter projects.
“StorageModel and StorageView are software technologies that are now available to our customers,” Jung said.
“Previously, we used these kind of modelling capabilities internally to do design and to do scenario analysis, trade-off analysis.”
Blending historical data from similar systems and data from Greensmith’s other deployments to date, customers feed in their system design data, technical specifications and information on battery life. Developers and owners of systems can visualise and model their designs for grid-scale systems that could help with fault-finding, preemptive maintenance measures and reducing operating costs as well as, the company claims, maximising ROI.
“A lot of other industries have their own simulators that allow them to test different ideas about how they want to design and build a particular piece of technology whether it is a car, a very tall building, whether it’s a ship or an aircraft so we have our own wind tunnel for energy storage systems and that is what’s reflected in StorageModel and StorageView.”
Jung emphasised that the company is “technology agnostic”, not only in delivering its turnkey solutions but also in its approach to the software. This allowed Greensmith to develop programmes which can incorporate twelve different battery types and leverage different levels of data. More importantly, he says, it can educate users on the economic and technical decisions that will frame the success of their energy storage systems. This includes assessing the performance of the customers’ existing, less-than-successful projects.
“It can really educate the customer on the trade-off decisions that they’re making as they go about their design work,” Jung said, offering the example of how the platform can assess the different spectrum of opportunity in frequency regulation markets.
“These kinds of tradeoffs are important because if you’re aware of these, or model the effects or economic performance, it can make or break your ROI before you’ve actually switched your system on.”
Greensmith has some cause to tout its experience in the field. The company claims that with its energy storage control platforms deployed at 23MW of storage across five projects last year, it was involved in around a third of all energy storage capacity installed in the US last year. This conclusion was drawn based on the findings of the US Energy Storage Monitor, a report issued recently by GTM Research, which said the US deployed 61.9MW of energy storage at grid-scale and behind the meter in 2014.