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Abstract 

This challenge provides contribution to the following sustainable development goals (SDGs) to transform our world:

  • SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

  • SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

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Description

Energy Storage Systems and their related technologies are a very broad topics ranging from chemistry to data science. The storage systems technological growth is continuing development. For this reason, we promote a neutral approach from a technological point of view, so that the content of the challenge is applicable to all types of energy storage technologies: electrochemical, mechanical, thermal \ thermodynamics, etc. The aforementioned technologies can be seen as complementary according to the various use cases, depending on the charging/discharging hours (intra-day, multi-day, seasonal storage) and market services (from the fastest, such as inertial type responses, both mechanical \ rotating and "synthetic" through converters, to the slowest ones for pure energy shifting).

Innovation and R&D are essential to significantly advance both existing storage technologies and new technologies and the related application.

 

THE CHALLENGE

We are looking for new technologies, architectures and control strategies to lower energy storage costs considering the whole lifetime, to improve the way our Energy Storage assets are built, operated and maintained, in order to maximize their profitability and sustainability overall the whole value chain.

We target all the energy storage applications and all the related technologies suitable for the electricity sector: integration with fossil and renewable power plants, use as stand-alone asset for grid support, integration with commercial & industrial and residential customers Behind-The-Meter, grid services participation Behind- and in Front-Of-The-Meter, integration in mini/micro-grid for remote or industrial areas, vehicle to grid applications, data-center integration.

We are particularly interested in the innovation areas outlined below:

  • Next Gen Storage:

    • New technologies and architectures to achieve energy storage system cost (LCoS) lower than 80$/kWh for specific use cases, (e.g. for a typical duration of discharge), with a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of at least 5-6 (Technology validated\demonstrated in relevant environment) and a commercial availability within a maximum period of 18-24 months.

    • New technologies with abovementioned requirements with a specific focus on long duration storage (e.g. >6-8 hours)

    • Li-ion cathode, anode chemistry separators and electrolyte innovations: new materials and evolutions of existing ones.

    • A specific interest for technologies that have an intrinsic circularity and sustainability (e.g. reduced use of critical raw materials, low safety risk, low environmental impact, good end of life management)

    • Innovative solutions for Battery Management System, and embedded sensors for improved real time diagnostics

  • Advanced tools to optimize BESS (Battery Energy Storage Systems) sizing by simulating actual degradation in relation to the defined use.

  • New ESS designs:

    • Mobile ESS and flexibilization concepts for the prompt realization, relocation of ESS, flexibilization capacity where it is needed the most. Innovative approach to secure and fast deployment and roll-in / roll-out of the ESS and flexibilization solutions;

    • Firefighting and suppression systems – at BESS design (via sectioning) and at chemistry levels;

    • PCS design with significant over-load capacity maximizing system reliability, but decreasing the overall system costs. Methodology and matrix for optimum PCS design to match maximum reliability / minimum costs;

    • Rapid maintenance systems – tools and methods and approach to deign to execute rapid, hot maintenance and replacement of the broken modules / racks / PCS modules;

    • To reduce footprint of BESS plants by stacking container solutions, while keeping safety and fire regulations of different geographical areas.

  • Energy storage system diagnostics: solutions to enable real-time state-of-health monitoring for lithium-based energy storage system as well as predictive diagnostics (anomaly and fault detection, capacity derating estimation and prediction, thermal runway prevention), in particular:

    •  Not intrusive sensors and measurement devices for real-time State of Health estimation;

    • Algorithm of predictive diagnostic for the prevention of critical scenarios or events (eg. thermal runaway);

  • Advanced BESS control systems to enable:

    • grid forming capability through specific PCS; indeed, increasingly network operators are requiring inverters, mainly connected to storage systems, with innovative performance and functionalities for frequency regulation/control (VSM, synthetic inertia, or similar) to compensate for the reduction of connected rotating machines and guarantee the stability of converter-dominated or isolated networks;

    • an optimal synergic use of a hybrid system based on different type of storage technologies (i.e. brand new and second life batteries modules, battery system and supercapacitor system; integration of electrochemical and kinetics systems, etc.);

    • different combination of array configurations (also foreseen series and parallel configuration modification during the operation phase of the system)

    • Design Technologies for efficient o reuse/dismantle of batteries for EVs;

  • Technologies for Batteries to be used in DC High power charging for EVs;

  • End-of-life management and circular economy: processes that guarantee sustainable end-of-life management of batteries and avoidance of rare raw materials, through the development of automated dismantling and highly efficient recycling processes and reuse of end-of-life batteries;

  • Technologies, designs standards/pattern and system integration approaches (and related software components) able to allow and facilitate the 2nd life batteries reuse for stationary application (Behind or Front of the Meter).

  • Solutions for efficient e-Bus batteries second life usage.

Please note that we are looking for solutions that have a real interest for energy storage end-users, i.e. we’re not considering solutions that have still a very low TRL ( at least >5-6, Technology validated \ demonstrated in relevant environment) or that are focusing not on functional system but only on a specific sub-component.

 

PROJECT DELIVERABLES

The submitted proposal should consist of a detailed technical description including:

  • Examples of technology application or prototypes and reference industry if any;

  • Advantages and weaknesses of the proposed solution compared to the current way of working;

  • Constrains or technological gaps for the solution adoption;

  • Data, case studies, patents and journal references or any additional material that supports the proposed solution;

  • Cost estimation and Technology readiness level (TRL) of the proposed solutions;

  • Development plan towards commercialization of the solution

  • Description of the most suitable use-cases accordingly to the performance and characteristic of the proposed solution ( e.g. application field, operation way, potential revenues stream)   

If you think you have an interesting proposal that could bring value exploitation for Enel as a utility, the time to propose it is now!

We do believe that energy storage will be part of our future energy and we are willing to explore and pioneer the best options to be integrated in our value chain.

Challenge rules

All proposers are invited to read carefully the Challenge and the Regulation of this Challenge, attached below in the Attachments section, before submitting a solution.

By submitting a solution they automatically accept the attached Regulations other than the Terms of Use of this platform.

Explain your proposal clearly in English, with the help of documents and papers (max 5 files, 25MB total size) .

 

Reward and IP rights

A Non Disclosure Agreement will be signed in case technology insights are needed.

Collaboration and testing agreements will be signed with the proposals that will be interesting to deploy our business strategy, to prove the technologies on field.

The selected proposals will be rewarded with the possibility to sign a collaboration and testing agreement with Enel and/or the relevant company of the Enel Group.

In particular, Enel will provide the winner with:

  • the technical support to test the solution proposed, granting access to infrastructures and high-tech locations;

  • the chance to being connected to international stakeholders, thanks to the global network of physical Enel Innovation Hubs around the world (eg. Italy, Tel Aviv, Madrid, San Francisco, etc..).   Enel will bear the costs of the testing activities: for each project the necessary amount and the modalities will be evaluated together with the applicant.

If the test/PoC will be successful, Enel, directly or indirectly through a company of the Enel Group, might offer a concrete opportunity to scale-up the solution by adopting it through commercial agreements.

If the winning Proposal is submitted by an employee of a company of the Enel Group, the winner Applicant will be awarded with the possibility to be involved during the internal POC set-up activities.

In the Annex “Enel S.p.A. Storage Competition Regulations” you can find the complete Regulation of the Challenge, that you will accept once you submit your solution to this challenge.

Regulation

Enel S.p.A. Storage Competition Regulations

PDF (0.2MB) Download

What happens next?

All proposals will be valued by internal Scouting Committees and select a short list every 3 months.

You might be contact to gather additional information and at the end of the assessment, you will receive feedback.

In case of success, an Enel contact person will get in touch with you to discuss the next steps.

All Participants that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions.

Enel will evaluate the proposal using the following criteria:

  • Overall scientific and technical feasibility of the proposed solution;

  • Economic potential of concept (e.g. Total Cost of Ownership);

  • Business potential for Enel;

  • Novelty and creativity;

  • Potential for proprietary position (i.e., is the technology novel or protectable);

  • User's capabilities and related experience;

  • Realism of the proposed solution;

  • Maturity level of the proposal.

In case the reward includes "Collaboration with Enel", once suitable solution/s have been identified, Enel will reserve the opportunity to start a collaboration, by way of example, all or part of the following activities:

  • Test execution;

  • Supply of prototypes (if an equipment);

  • Installation and site tests;

  • Follow up and monitoring of the proposed idea behaviour.

Upon completion of the evaluation, you will receive feedback.

 

Attachments

Enel S.p.A. Storage Competition Regulations

PDF (0.2MB) Download

Enel Open Innovability User Guide

PDF (0.66MB) Download

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