Blue Nova Energy has revealed its MegaBoy Intelligent Energy Storage Solution (iESS), a battery-inverter system that can provide a massive amount of backup power.
Speaking at the launch of the MegaBoy on Wednesday, Blue Nova Energy CEO and Co-Founder James Verster said the solution can be used for load-shedding, load-shifting, peak-shaving, voltage and frequency stabilisation, and power factor correction.
A single MegaBoy is capable of storing up to 1MWh of electricity with a maximum output of 250kW.
For high-demand on-grid applications, the solution can be scaled to multiple units to store up to 800MW with an output of 200MWh, while off-grid applications can get up to 80MW storage and an output of 20MWh.
The MegaBoy can draw power from multiple sources, including PV solar arrays, wind turbines, fuel-based generators, and the grid itself.
The container was designed to be moved and placed for use in residential, commercial, industrial, and electric vehicle charging applications.
The maximum capacity ensures it is transportable and can be dropped in locations in Africa where access by road is difficult, Verster said.
It measures 6m long, 2.4m wide and 2.8m tall. It can weigh up to 14 tonnes when specced to maximum capacity.
For operational safety, the container is divided into two compartments: the DC Bus which holds the batteries, and the AC Bus where the inverters and control systems are located.
An integrated air conditioning system keeps the battery compartment’s ambient temperature between around 25 and 30 degrees Celsius. The inverter has a forced-air cooling system and is capable of running in 60-degree ambient temperature.
The solution includes a built-in fire suppression system, access controls, and Remote Management and Control (RMaC) for monitoring and control while off-site.
Batteries and inverter
Blue Nova employs self-developed EMS and lithium iron phosphate (LiFePYO4) batteries which can store up to 1MWh of energy.
These packs use 240 1,250Ah cells placed in series. The batteries can operate in ambient temperatures from -20 to 85 degrees Celsius and have a 25-year lifespan.
Verster said these batteries are used by the US Navy and in two Chinese Nuclear submarines.
For the MegaBoy’s inverter, Blue Nova Energy partnered with Chinese company Kehua Tech, a company that supplies components to Tesla and SMA Solar Technology.
Round-trip efficiency (RTE) for the system is an impressive 91.75%.
The system uses a patented adaptive algorithm which leverages a number of variables such as a load profile estimate and the probability of supply interruption to ensure the batteries are charged efficiently to sustain electricity supply during load-shedding.
Power supply is not the only use-case, however, as the company said users can expect to save around R8,000 per month with load-shifting.
The system is designed and can be set to charge during low-demand hours and discharge power in peak-demand times when electricity from the grid is more expensive.
Verster said the estimated cost of the MegaBoy would be just over $400 (R6,000) per kWh.
This would amount to around R6 million per unit with a storage capacity of 1MWh, but options are available to downscale on capacity. The price per kWh decreases significantly when requirements run into the tens of MWh.
Below are images of the MegaBoy storage solution.