On May 10 & 11, 2017, the annual IDTechEx Europe event was held in Berlin, Germany, where the latest emerging technologies in various technology fields were presented. The event, attended by over 3,000 visitors, brings together different players in the value chain, from material & technology developers to integrators to end-users, providing insights on forthcoming technologies, material selection, market trends and latest products.
The event offered a combination of Masterclasses, Conference and Exhibition. One of this year’s conference topics was Energy Storage, assessing the most exciting battery technology developments from world-leading companies, start-ups and research institutes. A unique selection of the main available battery chemistries being investigated and deployed were showcased. Elestor was invited to present on the subject ‘Cost Leadership with HBr Flow Battery Technology’.
During the award ceremony on Wednesday night, Elestor’s CEO, Guido Dalessi, received from Dr. Fanny Barde (Toyota Motor Europe) the prestigious IDTechEx award for the ‘Best Technical Development in Energy Storage’. Dalessi: “After receiving several Dutch awards in 2016, we are very pleased to be recognized internationally by winning this important award in Energy Storage. It’s a great achievement and compliment for the Elestor team!”
The jury was formed by Jonas Deitschun MSc (Fraunhofer IFAM), Dr. Fanny Barde (Toyota Motor Europe), and Dr. Giuseppe Antonio Elia (TU Berlin), commenting: “This company is betting on a utility-scale stationary storage system that does not require a hydrogen compressor, thereby enabling lower LCoS than its competition.”
On Monday, November 7, 2016, the first pilot of Elestor’s Hydrogen Bromine Flow Battery (HBFB), operating under real life conditions has been officially started in Deventer, the Netherlands. The consortium, consisting of Elestor, Witteveen+Bos, Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) and the HAN University of Applied Sciences (HAN), investigates with this pilot the optimal way of applying this storage technology on a large scale. The pilot is a first in Europa.
Witteveen+Bos facilitates the pilot: The storage system is installed at one of their office buildings in Deventer and is connected to a set of innovative solar panels. These panels have been developed by ECN, based on their Back Contact (BC)-technology. In contrary to conventional solar panels, these BC modules are only interconnected on the rear side, resulting in less shadow effects, a more efficient use of active area, lower production costs (higher yields) and a much more aesthetic design. HAN University has taken care of system integration and power electronics subjects of the project.
Furthermore, Witteveen+Bos, being a specialist in this field, has taken the lead in the definition of safety procedures and in obtaining formal approvals from the Dutch authorities.
During the ceremony on November 7th, Karin Sluis, Managing Director of Witteveen+Bos, emphasized on the importance of the joined effort as made by all consortium partners: “In our projects, we apply 6 sustainable design principles, based on the by the United Nations defined ‘Sustainable Development Targets’ “says Karin Sluis. “This Flow Battery pilot is a beautiful example of how we can jointly accomplish these targets”. After an introduction of the working principles and features of the Flow Battery by Wiebrand Kout, CTO of Elestor, and a lecture about the innovative Back Contact technology by Nico Dekker, Senior Advisor at ECN, alderman Frits Rorink of the city of Deventer underlined the importance of this pilot for the city.
At the end of the presentations, the pilot was started symbolically with a joint push on the start button, illuminated by an nice firework act.
On Monday, October 4 2016, Kiemt foundation held the annual autumn conference. With its network of innovative enterprises, Kiemt focuses on accelerating the Energy Transition and Circular Economy, and works as such closely together with companies, government, researchers and institutes in the eastern part of the Netherlands, in order to concretely realize innovations.
The Jan Terlouw Award ceremony is traditionally on the agenda of the annual Kiemt conferences. The jury consists of 4 industry experts from the Kiemt network and is presided by Dutch politician, physicist and author Dr. Jan Terlouw. “The award is granted to the company that has introduced the most promising innovative solution in the field of Energy and Climate, having a high market potential. The purpose of the Award is to support its commercialization, to help the winner in making further steps, and to put the innovation on the map”, says Dr. Jan Terlouw.
The potential economic impact forms the central point for the selection of the winner. As one of the 3 finalists for this award the jury decided to grant Elestor BV, founded by Wiebrand Kout, the ‘Jan Terlouw Ambition Award 2016’. With 58,8% of the audience’s votes – a marked majority – also the ‘Public Award’ went to Elestor.
On April 13, 2016, Elestor moved to its new headquarters at the industrial park ‘Arnhems Buiten’, from building H40 to the monumental building B31.
‘Arnhems Buiten’, also known as the Dutch ‘Energy Business Park’, accommodates a number of important and innovative enterprises in the fields of Energy and Environmental Technology.
With the move to the new offices, Elestor anticipates further growth of the team and expansion of activities. The new location at B31 offers extensive laboratory facilities for R&D and Engineering, and has an infrastructure for large-scale production of Elestor’s storage systems.
Just before the end of 2015, the closing of the Shareholder and Participation Agreement with Enfuro Ventures and KIC InnoEnergy took place. The agreement forms a very important milestone in the development of Elestor BV, and covers the scale-up of the company during the next years.
In the words of Wiebrand Kout, founder and CTO of Elestor BV: “We were delighted to experience such a great deal of interest from the industry and financial markets. Our storage technology and business proposition received a lot of attention, from several, also international, parties. It therefore turned out that identifying funding opportunities was not our most challenging task. Instead, finding investors, not only capable of funding but also sharing and supporting Elestor’s philosophy and business strategy, indeed was.
Apart from providing the financial means to develop Elestor, we considered of equal importance that our investors themselves have a track-record as entrepreneurs, and as such act as our sparring partners and sounding board. In this respect, both Enfuro Ventures and KIC InnoEnergy are the perfect partners for realizing the anticipated growth of Elestor BV”.
In the same financial closing, Guido Dalessi, CEO of Elestor BV, joined the group of investors.
Enfuro Ventures invests in companies which are active in the field of renewable energy. Founded by Ruud Rijbroek and Erik Schut, two experienced entrepreneurs, Enfuro Ventures’ mission is to actively contribute to the transition to renewable energy. The companies in which Enfuro Ventures invests, get access to support in the fields of strategy, marketing, management, networking and finance. www.enfuro.nl
KIC InnoEnergy supported the founding of Elestor BV, so was already involved in the earliest days of the company. KIC InnoEnergy’s mission is to build a sustainable long-lasting operational framework amongst the three actors of the knowledge triangle in the energy sector: Industry, Research and higher education, and ensure that this integration of the three is more efficient and has a higher impact on innovation (talent, technology, companies) than the three standing alone. www.kic-innoenergy.com
Elestor BV forms DOAblE Consortium to investigate maximum economic value of electrochemical storage
‘Decentralized Storage of Alternative Energy’
(Dutch : ‘Decentrale Opslag van Alternatieve Energie – DOAblE)’
The ability to store electrical energy has become a precondition to maximize the generation of renewable energy. The technology to generate the various forms of renewable energy is widely available, however, the economics for integrating storage technology in order to maximize its added value is a very complex topic. The DOAblE project offers a unique opportunity to combine the knowledge and experience of top-level industry partners and knowledge institutes to create a scientifically underpinned picture of the highest potential options for electrochemical storage of electricity.
Early 2015, Elestor formed a consortium referred to by the name ‘DOAblE’ (a creative acronym for the Dutch translation of ‘Decentralized Storage of Alternative Energy’). The consortium partners Elestor, DNV GL, Alliander and TU/e (Group: Electrical Energy Systems), have entered a cooperation, which is funded by RVO under the ‘TKI System Integration’ program, for a period of 2.5 years. The program started in March 2015.
The 4 partners all hold an own unique knowledge position in the Netherlands, having extensive experience with model-based analysis of the electricity supply, with electrochemical storage, as well as with knowledge of the interfaces between storage and electricity networks.
The main challenge of the consortium is to investigate the value creation by integrating electrochemical electricity storage in the electrical energy systems. In other words, the question to be answered is where exactly in the value chain, electrochemical storage will create maximum economic value, and how this can physically be integrated into the value chain.
The individual knowledge and expertise of each consortium partner have shown to be highly complementary, though in overall fragmented.
The resulting reports offer guidelines for developers, legislators, investors and users, who are or will be in any form involved in electricity storage technology. These guidelines will describe how to optimize the application of electrochemical storage systems and how to realize a profitable business case by combining revenue streams.
On 20 August, 2015, KIC InnoEnergy Benelux invited all its partners and colleagues for an inspiring Business Community Day, followed by dinner and a ceremony on the “Belem”, a sailing ship at the nautical event ‘SAIL’ in Amsterdam.
Facilitated by Frank Steggink, the day was kicked off by KIC InnoEnergy Benelux’ CEO Klaas Schuring who explained about the common ground for the current activities of KIC InnoEnergy. The roughly ninetish crowd gathered at Park Plaza Airport Hotel saw a mix of policy insights and a look into the strategy of the Benelux office, with Javier Castillejos-Alsina (EU Commission) and Ed Buddenbaum (Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs) addressing the former and our own Guy Vekemans and Johan Driesen providing an overview of the latter. As such, the conference part of the event was an excellent opportunity for the Benelux sustainable energy community to catch up with current and future affairs influencing the field.
Apart from these speaker sessions, some of the attendees were invited to pitch their products, for which KIC InnoEnergy Benelux introduced a Challenge Trophy. Each member of the audience had a hundred thousand KIC InnoEnergy Coins to distribute as investments among the presenting teams. As a result, the competition was fierce with quite a few solid performances both in terms of the project content as well as presentation quality. However, in the end there could be only one winner. The one to emerge on top of the others was the venture Elestor BV, presented by Wiebrand Kout.
On June 1, 2015, Guido Dalessi (53) joined the Management Team of Elestor BV, in the position of Chief Business Development Officer. With this step, Elestor BV expands its Management Team in anticipation of business creation and commercial introduction of its flow battery technology.
Originally graduated in Physics, Guido joined in 1996 a Dutch high-tech start-up, OMP BV, which had just reached the prototype phase of their so-called mastering system (i.e. capital equipment for professional optical disc production). The fast success of this company did not remain unnoticed, and within 6 years the company was acquired by the German public listed Singulus Technologies AG.
Guido served the last 7 years of his career as CEO of the new daughter company, Singulus Mastering BV. The company grew to an annual turnover of around 50 M€, 120 FTEs, and gained recognition as the global market- and technology-leader. Now, returning to his real passion – developing high-tech startups – Guido accepted the offer to join the Management Team of Elestor BV.
In his words: “I am impressed with Elestor’s unique technology approach, enabling the supply of electricity storage systems at an unrivaled low cost-level. By doing so, Elestor anticipates the fast growing demand for economic medium and large scale electricity storage solutions. At this moment, the first prototypes are operational and field tests will start soon on a number of locations. Therefore, this is exactly the right time for me to join the company and start working on ramping up its business. It leaves no doubt that Elestor’s proposition for electricity storage contains all essential preconditions to become a great success, commercially as well as ecologically“.
Elestor will move to the newly developed ‘Powerlab’, located at the Arnhem Buiten Energy Business Park. The 1500 m2 facility is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories originally developed by DEKRA. Powerlab will become a cleantech innovation hotspot, combining the efforts of Alliander, Tennet, DNV GL and NRG (all located at the Energy Business Park). Knowledge exchange and education form an integral part of Powerlab. The HAN University of Applied Sciences, SEECE (Sustainable Electrical Energy Centre of Expertise) and Kenniscentrum Bètatechniek will join forces to allow students to get hands-on experience in developing clean energy technology.
Elestor founder Wiebrand Kout commented: “It is really exciting to be the first user of Powerlab. The facilities are perfect for what Elestor does, and there are many relevant industrial and academic partners involved. Powerlab is the right place to be for Elestor and I am looking forward to a succesfull cooperation.”
Autodesk, a leader in 3D design and engineering software, has selected Elestor to become a member of the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program. Under the agreement Elestor has free use of Autodesk software for a period of three years. Autodesk products that Elestor now uses include: Autodesk Product Design Suite Ultimate, Autodesk Fusion 360 and Autodesk Simulation CFD Motion.
“Clean tech companies like Elestor are adressing some of the most important challenges facing our world today, “ said Catherine Doyle, global lead of Autodesk’s Clean Tech Initiative. “We are proud to support their growth and success through the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program.”
Elestor founder Wiebrand Kout commented: “We are really gratefull that Autodesk allows us to use their world-class CAD and engineering software. I have fifteen years of experience in 3D CAD design, and I am impressed by the quality and efficiency of the latest Autodesk products. The software allows us to do a lot of prototyping in the virtual world, resulting in a much faster development process.”
2 Autodesk, Autodesk Fusion 360, Autodesk Product Design Suite Ultimate and Autodesk Simulation CFD Motion are registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.