Elcon Solutions Participates in Global RESPONSE Project
The city of Turku aims to be carbon neutral by the year 2029 and to be climate positive from there on. This was one of the many factors for Turku to apply to the EU funded RESPONSE project, which aims to establish a strategic vision for smart cities energy transition towards climate-neutrality by 2050.
During the RESPONSE project Turku and another lighthouse city – Dijon in France – will develop positive energy blocks (PEBs) and districts (PEDs) with six other fellow cities. These positive energy blocks mean areas which produce at minimum as much energy as they consume. Turku and Dijon will build the solutions, which will be introduced to other fellow cities during the project.
Global Development and Research Collaboration
The RESPONSE project is remarkable because its scale. The project will last for five years from which three will be used for design and initialization and the last two for monitoring and analyzing. The budget for the project is 23 M€ and the project in Turku will receive 6,6 M€ of EU funding. The project unites several collaborators across the Europe. Approximately 10 companies participate from Finland. One of these companies is Elcon Solutions. Elcon decided to participate when Senior Lecturer of Energy Technology, Samuli Ranta, from Turku University of Applied Sciences reached out for them.
– We have earlier collaborated with Elcon Solutions, for example in laboratories researching of energy distribution infrastructures. We have used measuring devices delivered by them in our research and in testing electric cars’ chargers. We knew that they have the know-how and interest in the development of energy storage as well as resources for the system deliveries, Ranta tells.
Ranta works as a Research Group Leader in New Energy research group in the Turku University of Applied Sciences. His main fields are energy technology, production management and development, work life collaborations, automation, and environment technology. In the RESPONSE project Ranta is one of the “main architects” of DC Microgrid and he participates closely to the different parts of the project. Collaboration between different parties is big part of the role.
– The Turku University of Applied Sciences brings the newest information and know-how of energy production, energy storage, direct current microgrids, and sustainable mobility to the RESPONSE project. The University of Applied Sciences works also as an expert when these energy solutions are piloted.
Salvaging and Using Renewable Energy Without Extra Conversions
Batteries connected to DC microgrids are in key position when renewable energy is stored. Elcon Solutions has developed suitable solutions for this purpose.
The fluctuation in the production of solar energy makes stable energy distribution challenging. When DC Microgrid is used to divide energy between several real estates, the battery capacity used must be large enough. When DC power is stored efficiently it is possible to store it in the microgrid as a direct current without extra conversions. This means, that there is no loss of the power.
– We have four different energy storages in the project. Two of them are piloted for storing electrical energy and other two are piloted for storing heat energy. Elcon has delivered an electrical energy storage, which can be attached directly to direct current grid. The energy storage is one of these piloted solutions.
The Future of DC Microgrids
At this point direct current grids are quite unknown in the electricity field. During the project the functions and benefits of DC grids must have been explained even to professional electricity design offices.
– We have had to justify our solution to get the design offices to understand the benefits of the comprehensive functions. I am sure that the DC is here to stay because the growth in the use of renewable energy and battery technology. That is why this project and the results it reveals are important.
The RESPONSE project is now in its halfway. The initialization phase has been reached in the summer of 2022 and Elcon’s batteries have been delivered to the site for initialization.