A power failure may have expensive consequences for a machine that manufactures plastic packaging. The Tiratex packaging systems from Windmöller & Hölscher are typical examples. Without electricity, the drives would not move and the heating elements would fail. Machine parts that have become stuck in this way have to be painstakingly cleaned before production can be restarted. As a result, a costly loss of production occurs that may last for hours. However, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) will remedy the situation. Rittal, as a supplier for enclosure systems, provides the basis on which UPS specialist Wöhrle Stromversorgungssysteme and Commeo, the solution provider for industrial energy storage solutions have implemented an industrially compatible UPS for the mechanical engineering company. The result of the collaboration is the development of an online UPS system with a modular lithium-ion energy storage that guarantees uninterrupted 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.