The world is becoming more electric. As individuals and organizations look for new ways to bring sustainable practices into business and everyday life, alternative energy sources like solar power are in high demand. Solar power has many advantages—it is a clean, modern and renewable approach to electricity.
However, the advantages of solar power come with a caveat; when the sun isn’t shining, the lights need to stay on. When homes, businesses and infrastructure rely on solar power, there needs to be a storage system in place that allows them to keep running even when the sun is not out. Solar power storage devices fill this need by capturing energy in from solar panels and storing it for later use with as little loss as possible.
One of nVent’s customers in Europe specializes in innovative, sustainable energy storage systems. The company provides complete solutions for energy storage—this includes batteries for energy storage, as well as stacks and cabinets that connect many batteries together, so that customers can store a large amount of energy in one single system. Hotels, electric car parks, laboratories and logistics centers, among others, rely on this company for energy storage solutions.
This customer is focused on innovation and growth and expects to double in size each year by adding new properties and business. Additionally, because it offers a cutting-edge product in a modern industry, it is important to the customer that its products look the part. They strive for a clean design that minimizes visible cables and connections.
Saving Space, Saving Energy
nVent’s customer’s primary goal is to store as much energy as possible in small spaces for its customers. To accomplish this, engineers need to maximize the amount of storage space in their cabinets used for batteries and minimize the space used for other components, such as connections between the batteries.
In its early years, the company used cables to make connections between batteries within power stacks, but that system had several issues. Because the connections need to carry high voltages of electricity in an enclosed space, it was imperative that cables be low-smoke and halogen free (LSHF). However, cables that fit these requirements were not flexible enough and took up a lot of space in the cabinet with their bending radius. Cables were also placed under a lot of stress where they were bent, which concerned company engineers.
Additionally, the cable came in bulk and had to be cut on site, requiring specialized staff and a high inventory of cable. nVent’s customer needed a solution that was tailor-made to its specific needs: a product that was highly conductive, LSHF, easy to install, well-designed and took up very little space.
Solutions For the Present, Solutions for the Future
After many conversations between the customer and nVent design teams, the customer decided to go with nVent ERIFLEX Flexibar Advanced to connect batteries within its power cabinets. The Flexibar Advanced is a made-to-order flat bar that perfectly fits the company’s energy storage cabinets. The flat shape of the Flexibar Advanced minimizes space between batteries and avoids points of stress caused by bending cables. The Flexibar Advanced also is easy to install and can be ordered in exact quantities, and with specific bends, folds and twists already added, saving the company money on inventory and labor. Flexibar Advanced also meets the customer’s need for an LSHF product and its flat shape helps keep the cabinets organized.
The future of alternative energy depends on developments in energy storage. With nVent products in hand, this customer is ready to take on the challenges and opportunities as it works to meet demands in an increasingly electrified world.