Lithium Balance

Lithium Balance is developing a breakthrough energy solution for power storage from solar panels and windmills. The energy solution automatically chooses the most suitable way for each battery to either store or use power locally or sell the power to the grid. Glaze has helped design and develop the cloud and edge platform that enables each Battery Management System to intelligently dispose its energy based on the weather forecast, energy prices and power-consumption.

THE CHALLENGE

Lithium Balance has for many years developed and sold battery management systems, but energy storage systems are a new market for the company. Within the first year, the first test solutions will be installed in 30 different locations in Denmark, Scotland and Spain. These range from small battery systems with a capacity of 10 kWh to single-family houses and large systems of 100-250 kWh for larger properties.
Glaze has helped Lithium Balance with design and development of the IIoT solution, which, in short, consists of edge computing for real-time and offline site control of the battery and the IoT cloud platform that delivers a 24-hour plan for management of the energy storage system. Microsoft Azure is used as IoT cloud platform and its corresponding IoT Edge functionality for connecting the site controller and the cloud.
The solution extends the possibilities from local model only to a more intelligent control of the energy storage system with cloud utilization enabling machine learning and 3rd party data sources.
The cloud solution retrieves real time data, including electricity prices and weather forecasts, and together with data from the individual energy storage system, it is possible to configure the specific energy management model for the next 24 hours of the customer's energy storage system.

QUOTE

“Glaze has delivered outstanding consultancy and they have really applied their knowledge to utilise Microsoft Azure as an IoT cloud platform with a no-nonsense approach”, says Lars Kruse Director, Energy Systems, Lithium Balance.

Positioning technologies currently applied across industries:

Global Navigational Satellite System: Outdoor positioning requires line-of-sight to satellites, e.g. GPS: the tracking device calculates its position from 4 satellites’ timing signals then transmits to receiving network
–    via local data network, e.g. wifi, proprietary Wide Area Network
–    via public/global data network, e.g. 3G/4G

Active RFID: A local wireless positioning infrastructure built on premises indoor or outdoor calculates the position based on Time of Flight from emitted signal & ID from the tracking device to at least 3 receivers or when passing through a portal. The network is operating in frequency areas such as 2.4 GHz WiFi, 868 MHz, 3.7 GHz (UWB – Ultra Wide Band), the former integrating with existing data network, the latter promising an impressive 0.3 m accuracy. Tracking devices are battery powered.

Passive RFID: Proximity tracking devices are passive tags detected and identified by a reader within close range. Example: Price tags with built-in RFID will set off an alarm if leaving the store. Numerous proprietary systems are on the market. NFC (Near Field Communications) signifies a system where the reader performs the identification by almost touching the tag.

Beacons: Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals sent from a fixed position to a mobile device, which then roughly calculates its proximity based on the fading of the signal strength. For robotic vacuum cleaners an infrared light beacon can be used to guide the vehicle towards the charging station.

Dead Reckoning: Measure via incremental counting of driving wheels’ rotation and steering wheel’s angle. Small variations in sizes of wheel or slip of the surface may introduce an accumulated error, hence this method is often combined with other systems for obtaining an exact re-positioning reset.

Scan and draw map: Laser beam reflections are measured and used for calculating the perimeter of a room and objects. Used for instance when positioning fork-lifts in storage facilities.

Visual recognition: The most advanced degree of vision is required in fully autonomous vehicles using Laser/Radar (Lidar) for recognition of all kinds of object and obstructions. A much simpler method can be used for calculating a position indoor tracking printed 2D barcodes placed at regular intervals in a matrix across the ceiling. An upwards facing camera identifies each pattern and the skewed projection of the viewed angle.

Inertia: A relative movement detection likewise classical gyroscopes in aircrafts now miniaturised to be contained on a chip. From a known starting position and velocity this method measures acceleration as well as rotation in all 3 dimensions which describes any change in movement.

Magnetic field: a digital compass (on chip) can identify the orientation provided no other magnetic signals are causing distortion.

Mix and Improve: Multiple of the listed technologies supplement each other, well-proven or novel, each contributing to precision and robustness of the system. Set a fixpoint via portals or a visual reference to reset dead reckoning & relative movement; supplement satellite signal with known fixpoint: “real time kinematics” refines GPS accuracy to mere centimetres; combine Dead Reckoning and visual recognition of 2D barcodes in the ceiling.

LoRaWAN: A low power wide area network with wide reach. An open standard that runs at unlicensed frequencies, where you establish a network with gateways.

Sigfox: A low power wide area network reminiscent of LoRa. Offered in Denmark by IoT Danmark, which operates the nationwide network that integrates seamlessly to other national Sigfox networks in the world.

NFC: Used especially for wireless cash payments.

Zigbee: Used especially for home automation in smart homes, for example. lighting control.

NB-IoT: Telecommunications companies’ IoT standard. A low-frequency version of the LTE network.

2-3-4G Network: Millions of devices are connected to a small SIM card, which runs primarily over 2G, but also 3G and 4G.

Wifi: The most established standard, especially used for short-range networks, for example. in production facilities.

CATM1: A low power wide area network, especially used in the United States.