Circular Economy Based Uninterruptible Power Supply Battery System for Greener and Sustainable Remote Working

Lead Participant: Alp Technologies Ltd

Abstract

The internet's energy and carbon footprints are estimated to exceed those of air travel with around 1.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year produced in the manufacture and running of digital technologies (climatecare.org and BBC 2020). Computers and network hardware such as data centres must be powered and cooled drawing electricity from non-renewable fuel sources.

During the height of COVID19 lockdown, UK's internet usage surges to record levels. Time spent online due to working from home is up by 67% compared with pre-lockdown usage (Opinium April 2020 survey). Remote online work has significantly increased the energy and associated carbon footprint that power the internet and the equipment that support it such as the data centres and server networks at companies and offices that enable remote working.

A promising solution to address this problem is to transform an idle backup energy storage device into an asset with an investment return and carbon savings potential.

UPS - Uninterruptible Power Supply - systems are commonly used in commercial buildings and industries to protect hardware such as computers, data centers, telecommunication equipment or other electrical equipment in case there are any unexpected power disruptions that could cause injuries, fatalities, serious business disruption or data loss. UPS can be used as energy storage systems additionally to their primary use in order to generate additional benefits to their users.

Alp has developed a utility scale smart battery system called BRIC which reduces total system cost by over 30% by using smarter electronics and AI. With environmental sustainability and circular economy principles in mind, BRIC is designed and tested to utilize new or second-life cells and substantially increase useful life.

Our game changing innovations accomplish this by an electronic design, AI and software that proactively monitor and manage the battery at the individual cell level to anticipate issues before they can escalate. Combined, these solutions will not only optimise performance and prolongs useful life but improve safety while simplifying maintenance, servicing or replacement. These unique features give the BRIC the ability to better handle older and second-life cells.

This project will involve research and development to improve the server level design (Mega-BRIC) and demonstrate that the tech and logic design can meet the requirements of a UPS system with regards to safety, efficiency and availability of the system.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Alp Technologies Ltd, LONDON £100,000 £ 100,000

Publications

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