Ecoult recently launched a new laboratory and office space in Sydney’s Macquarie Park, where the company tests its innovative energy storage products and applications. The laboratory is being used for fundamental research, battery characterization, inverter integration, product prototyping, and application simulation.
CEO John Wood said the engineers in the company’s CBD headquarters were focussed on software and electronic hardware development, but the team also needed a test site to support fundamental development activities and to set up simulations of dozens of configurations of energy storage products.
“Ecoult has consistently been at the forefront of large-scale and small-scale energy storage projects worldwide. As these applications become more demanding, the ability to rapidly integrate solutions becomes ever more important,” he said.
One important new area of energy storage is the on-grid microgrid. This application requires continuous high-rate partial charge operation and advanced logging and monitoring. This application emerges naturally from Ecoult’s previous work, since the various elements—high rate partial charge operation, monitoring, continuous charge and discharge, low maintenance and safe, remote operation—have been embedded in the company’s product range from the start.
John Wood explained that to benefit the wider grid, grid-connected battery solutions should be outward facing most of the time, providing the grid with high-power ancillary services whenever the grid is operating. However, microgrid solutions using the Ecoult technologies go to the next level, where the batteries can instantly switch to an islanded mode if the grid fails, giving zero down-time to a critical site. In islanded mode, the batteries are usually tasked with smoothing renewables and minimising diesel run time on a renewable-battery-diesel microgrid.
“The new lab has both software simulations and real-battery tests running numerous UltraBattery configurations,” John Wood said. “The various stations within the lab are custom built for testing any given application under different conditions and have exponentially increased our ability to bring the unique UltraBattery chemistry to new customers.
Ecoult has expanded both its Australian and its global presence (with a particular focus on India and North America) over the past 12 months and the Macquarie Park laboratory is the perfect location for us to create simulations for our customers and show them both software simulations and actual battery data for performance against their requirements.”