Develop IIoT part solution for energy transition startup Borg.Energy
That an energy transition is underway cannot have escaped anyone’s notice. This was set in motion years ago e.g. through the large-scale construction of wind turbines, solar panels and parks. And later also because of the rise of the electric car. Recently, the scarcity of natural gas in Europe has further confronted us with the need to drastically revise energy consumption and generation.
Several things play a role in this energy transition, and they are interrelated:
- Develop other energy sources and carriers, such as wind turbines, solar farms and H2
- exploiting other energy sources for existing applications; think electric car and the use of heat pumps in households
- adapting and expanding existing energy distribution capabilities in the form of new sections of electricity networks and the conversion of gas networks to H2 networks and
- finally, opportunities for energy storage and buffering, e.g., in the form of home batteries
However, these home batteries have not yet been received enthusiastically by everyone. On the one hand, because of economics. On the other hand, because the mostly used regular Li-ion or LiFePO4 batteries, have scarce resources. And some battery manufacturers also use conflict minerals, including Cobalt.
It was interesting for us to get in touch in November 2022 with a Dutch start-up that has chosen a different route for household energy buffering: water/heat buffering. Borg, based in Harderwijk, is developing a solution for energy buffering in the form of a multi-day slow process of heated water. That hot water is then used long-term to help domestic heating with a heat pump.
The water itself is brought to temperature in a barrel and kept there by the relatively new residential pricing model: dynamic pricing, which means you use low off-peak rates to reheat the barrel of water.
A first prototype of Borg in practice, has been working for some time. A next phase is coming up with a limited number of installations. To make this innovative idea a further success, different disciplines of expertise are needed. Over the past few years, Borg has managed to develop a working prototype and form the necessary team. However, something was still missing. And for that, we entered the picture.
What have we been commissioned to do?
Borg asked us to realize an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution, for part of the whole for the next practical phase, complementary to existing control electronics. Having our part be complementary is also important because lead time and budget are limited at this stage. As a result, there is insufficient room to develop a complete end 2 end IIoT-based control solution.
What do we deploy and realize?
From the various solution options available for the issue, we designed the following:
- An Industrial Single Board Computer “on device”
- With a standard TimeseriesDB
- Node-RED for partial logic and I/O including public APIs
- Interfacing to sensors and actuators for operation of “the vessel” via existing control electronics
- APIs interfaces to obtain data on weather, weather forecast and energy price forecast to process
- 4G Internet access in a secure manner
What does Borg do?
Borg itself also does a significant part, requiring an intensive form of collaboration to forge this whole thing into a functionally desired result:
- Borg itself develops the required machine control model and software, which is then integrated on the SBC
- We provide the necessary interface for this purpose
We are proud to contribute to this start-up with this innovative idea, in the field of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), secure connectivity and device software development.
By mid-March at the latest, this should be delivered completely working. Then we can tell a little more about it again.