Energy storage systems are vital for future energy networks. The intermediate storage of energy ensures an uninterrupted, stable power supply – even when, for example, green power from the sun and wind is not available or power fluctuations occur on the grid. To this end, Rittal and Commeo have worked together as partners for many years, offering turnkey, flexible and industrial-grade energy storage solutions for indoor and outdoor applications.
Works everywhere: The energy storage solutions from Rittal and Commeo can be used across a wide range of industries and applications. Their modularity ensures an uninterruptible power supply for mission-critical applications in, for example, the IT industry or in high-tech manufacturing processes. Power grid fluctuations can be compensated for by means of their battery buffer and by shifting energy storage and supply over time. Due to their high energy and power density, energy storage systems are also suitable for charging infrastructures in e-mobility or transport applications that use mobile robots or automated guided vehicles (AGVs). By using climate control solutions from Rittal, the energy storage units can also be used outdoors without any problems. Stainless steel housings also make other applications possible, e.g. in food production and processing.
- Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS): The energy storage system from Rittal and Commeo provides the necessary energy in the event of a power failure, thereby creating economic security for companies.
- Peak shaving: A battery storage system designed to precisely meet individual requirements compensates for voltage peaks and can pay for itself in a short time thanks to the resulting lower energy supply costs.
- Charging infrastructure: If an extended grid connection is not possible or economical for electricity charging stations, a battery system offers a viable alternative to increase charging capacity and optimise the energy infrastructure.
Versatility guaranteed: With solutions from Rittal and Commeo, energy storage really gets into gear. The modular, flexible construction system enables simple installation of any energy storage unit in Rittal’s industrial or IT racks. Even large storage challenges are no problem, as several racks right up to containers can be linked and connected together to form a high-performance solution. The result: tailor-made outcomes.
VX25: The platform – from enclosures to cooling
Full industrial compatibility and suitability are the main reasons why the VX25 enclosure system was always going to be used as the basis for Commeo’s energy storage systems. However, there are even more benefits. With a load capacity of 1,500 N, even heavy components can be installed into the frame without any problems. As the frame section has a 25 mm pitch pattern both vertically and horizontally, enclosure expansions are extremely flexible, even beyond the enclosure’s limits. Given the range of enclosure sizes and the option of baying, the enclosures can be scaled up as needed. The protection category is IP 55 as standard, which is ideal if, for example, the energy storage systems are to be installed in harsh environmental conditions. If climate control of the energy storage unit is required, Rittal offers solutions perfectly designed for the specific enclosure system. The use of the compact and test-approved RiLine power distribution system and an IoT connection ensures ideal system monitoring can be put in place for the battery infrastructure.
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Rittal and Commeo: Energy storage for online UPS
As well as charging infrastructures for e-mobility, joint solutions are also available for the emergency power supply of critical production facilities. One such example is the use of energy storage as an uninterruptible power supply in the plastics processing machinery of Windmöller & Hölscher.
Power cuts are a pain and costly, particularly when they bring machines and production to a standstill and can only be recommissioned after complex re-start programmes and costly cleaning processes. An emergency power solution can prevent such horror scenarios. Commeo and Rittal have worked together in an effort to develop a solution for an uninterruptible power supply. Rittal, as a supplier of enclosure system technology, provides the basis on which Commeo, the solution provider for industrial energy storage applications, has built and installed an industrially compatible UPS for the customer: Windmöller & Hölscher, a mechanical engineering company. This collaboration has produced an online UPS system with a modular lithium-ion energy storage unit that ensures a stable and continuous operation.
Rittal enclosure system as a basis
While developing energy storage systems, Commeo has broken completely new ground to create a system suitable for use in industry. “We definitely wanted to integrate the lithium-ion batteries into an overall system in such a way that the finished system would meet every current industry standard,” says Michael Schnakenberg, Managing Director of Commeo, outlining a key requirement. This is a reason, for instance, why his company relies on the VX25 enclosure system from Rittal for its housing technology needs. In addition, system integrators such as Wöhrle also use Rittal enclosures to accommodate their power electronics. The systems are of modular design and consist of individual energy storage blocks, which house each of the battery cells; a battery management system is also included. The systems can be scaled up or down as desired. For this purpose, the number of energy storage blocks required is installed together with a control unit in a VX25 enclosure.
“Unlike other suppliers, we do not use water cooling to cool our energy storage blocks,” Mr. Schnakenberg explains: “This means they need absolutely no maintenance and are less prone to failure.” The individual blocks only have cooling fins on their aluminium housing. Heat management is then performed via the enclosure’s climate control system. The climate control solution can then be adjusted, depending on the size of the energy storage unit and the environmental conditions at the installation site. Here too, Commeo benefits from its partner Rittal: everything is perfectly coordinated, since the enclosure and climate control are from a single source. “And we also benefit from climate control systems that have been tried and tested in industry,” Mr. Schnakenberg adds convincingly.
A world first: industry-standard UPS that uses lithium-ion technology
“This is the world’s first lithium-based and uninterruptible emergency power supply for industrial plants,” Mr. Schnakenberg says proudly. The UPS is made up of modular energy storage blocks, which provide an electric charge of up to 6 C (coulombs) with an output of 200 kW, over a footprint of less than one square meter. With this performance data, the system can maintain the energy supply of, for example, the above-mentioned Tiratex packaging line from Windmöller & Hölscher until the diesel generator set has started up and the generator then takes over the energy supply.
Power cuts are something Windmöller & Hölscher, manufacturers of flexible packaging machinery, cannot afford. If their high-tech systems come to a standstill, hours of production downtime are the consequence. With the joint solution from Rittal and Commeo, however, such power cuts will be a thing of the past in the future. For example, Windmöller & Hölscher’s TIRATEX tape stretching system is supplied with uninterruptible power.