Blog 27. 07. 2022 Written by: Eva Almašiová

What do Železiarne Podbrezová and National Football Stadium have in common?

From the moment we decided to start the project FUERGY, we knew that we wanted to do energy differently accordingly to today's digital era. Not with the same tools that were used in the previous century. Most of our team members have been working in this industry for many years, so we know exactly where its limits are, and where there is room for improvement.

Our mission is to enable customers to participate in the entire process of production and consumption of electricity and thus become an active part of the energy market. We have adapted everything to it – our software, hardware, architecture of our solutions as well as our business models.

Our offer has been recently enlarged by the new product, or more precisely service, called flexibility brAIn, thanks to which companies can make a profit just by producing or consuming the electricity at the time when it is "the most suitable".

With the currently high electricity prices, companies are searching for all available options to pay less. Until now, however, not many alternatives were available apart from the installation of photovoltaics, storage, or passive energy-saving measures. To benefit from the service flexibility brAIn, all they need is to operate the flexibility-eligible technologies.

How does flexibility brAIn work?

Briefly explained, flexibility brAIn regulates the power output of energy sources and energy-intensive systems with the potential for regulation and accumulation – such as HVAC systems, heat pumps, reservoirs, tanks or compressors, that companies normally use for their daily operation. The increase or the decrease of the power output of each technology takes place within the predefined conditions and limits so that the operation of the delivery point or the quality of the manufacturing processes are not affected.

By the well-timed production and consumption of electricity that adapts to the needs of the transmission system and the contracted electricity supplier, companies provide so-called non-certified ancillary services, i.e. they withdraw electricity from the power grid when there is a surplus of electricity or supply it when there is a shortage of electricity in the power grid. For providing these services, companies get remunerated.

The flexibility brAIn thus represents an additional revenue for companies. This income is subsequently cleared in the monthly invoice from their contracted electricity supplier, which reduces the company’s total electricity bill. Best of all, companies don't pay a single cent for this service!

In other words, it's like owning a car and using it to provide taxi services. The flexibility brAIn would be a software that autonomously starts the car during your downtime and makes a quick food delivery in the nearby area. Based on a variety of input data, the software assesses that by the time it can make a food delivery, you most likely won't have any potential customers for the taxi service and the car would simply stay unused.

For customers of all sizes

You might think that such an IT solution is nothing exceptional nowadays. But the energy industry is a special and very dynamic sector in which everything is constantly changing. Flexibility itself is nothing new on the market either. However, it used to be a relatively expensive service, with complicated software and with the need for supervisory staff to make manual interventions when necessary. Thus, it was not always financially profitable and, due to its complexity, it was implemented mostly by larger companies.

We have built the application for flexibility brAIn on our own software development platform mosAIc, created specifically for the needs of energy management. The advantage of this app is that it works in real-time, in fully automatic mode, it is simple, fast to deploy, and easy to customize. It is also designed to be implemented for any size of customer – whether it is a large manufacturing company with its own energy department, a smaller business, or even a household.

In the last-mentioned customer group, we also see growing demand for green solutions and their intelligent control systems. In the near future, we plan to start offering the flexibility brAIn to smaller, regulated delivery points as well. The system remains the same but the regulation of household technologies will require a slightly different approach – in particular, the need to aggregate the individual delivery points and manage them as one group. The architecture of our software has this functionality built-in.

Residential buildings, steel manufacturer, or football stadium

The flexibility brAIn has already been successfully implemented for various customers. After initial small pilot projects for residential complexes, it has been deployed at one of Slovakia's largest electricity consumers – the steel manufacturer Železiarne Podbrezová, where it regulates arc furnace and the small hydroelectric power plant Jasenie. Together, these technologies offer a maximum regulation power of up to 37.5 MW.

Arc furnace. Source: Stock Adobe

In cooperation with the supplier Slovenské elektrárne - energetické služby, this service is being used also for the Slovak National Football Stadium, where it regulates water-to-water heat pumps with a maximum regulation power of more than 3 MW, which serve, for example, to temper the football field or to provide cooling of the premises. The building can thus proudly boast the title of the most modern and "greenest" stadium in Central Europe.

Slovak National Football Stadium. Source: ASB, Ing. Milan Jursa

For all flexibility projects, we achieve extraordinary financial effects, regardless of the type of delivery point. The crucial is the technology’s potential for regulation, not the size of the delivery point. That is why a smaller company with more suitable technologies and consumption diagrams can easily reach higher profits than a large manufacturing plant with minimal regulation potential.

An unpretentious service cleaning the air

The term sustainability has more been associated with greenwashing than real actions. Because not everything that looks “green” is actually good for nature. The flexibility brAIn is the exact opposite. Although it may not seem like it at first glance, this service has great importance both in terms of sustainability and the transition to greener energy. It gives the existing technologies a new purpose, thanks to which they can participate in stabilizing the transmission grid and thus replace fossil fuel ancillary service providers in a zero-emission or low-emission manner. Just like the smart battery storage brAIn by FUERGY. Not only do the fossil-burning ancillary service providers still prevail, but they are also gradually declining, which increases the pressure on the transmission system.

Expensive electricity means that the difference between the price of ancillary services and the price of the commodity itself is not as great as it used to be, therefore power sources often earn more from generating and selling electricity on the market than from waiting for an order and being rewarded for the availability. Flexibility can thus play one of the key roles in ensuring power grid stability and maintaining the quality of the supplied electricity.

Thanks to flexibility brAIn, we are now able to eliminate the imperfections of the energy market even faster and more efficiently, simplify and automate processes and, most importantly, prevent unnecessary electricity waste. Because that is the only way we can ensure cheap and sustainable electricity for everyone.

We are living in the future of energy. Are you?

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