distributed battery platform

Do you know where your energy comes from? The truth about your electricity is that it all comes from the same energy 'pool'. You can't separate them but you choose your power company to be on a greener mission. Momentum Energy is passionate about renewables. And that makes sense, they are powered and owned by Hydro Tasmania, Australia's largest renewable energy generator. 

client

Momentum Energy

focus

distributed battery platform

result

successful pilot


the challenge

The price of energy is very volatile and depends on how much energy is generated and how much is consumed. In Australia the price of energy on a hot day goes through the roof and even power failures due to extreme demand, are sometimes happening. 

What if we could utilize the stored power inside batteries to deliver energy when prices are high, and charge them with green energy, when prices are lower? What if we could manage large scale batteries, and control it’s capability to store, or deliver energy to the grid at the right moment.

The Momentum Energy innovation team had done some thinking about this and challenged We are you to build a pilot that could showcase a distributed batteries platform with trader dashboard.

bidding engineĀ 

To prove that this was possible, a pilot program was developed. We created a ‘bidding engine’ program which continuously monitors both the AEMO published market prices, as well as simultaneously interacting with Powertech’s interface, provider of the Virtual Power Plant (VPP) and its cloud API.

headless approach

Control of the core program is abstracted through a secure REST API. This headless approach allowed us to design the user interface in a way that is decoupled from the underlying implementation. This can be leveraged in the future to easily create something like a mobile app, or another frontend using completely different technologies and frameworks.

trader dashboard

The configuration of the bid engine is easily achieved through the React web interface we created which allows bidding rule definitions to be uploaded and modified when desired. These rules set the thresholds at which to buy or sell energy back to the grid at any given time during a day.
 
A trader dashboard inside the web interface provides an overview of any connected energy resources, current AEMO pricing data, and controls to override any predefined bid rules. The design and functionality of this was devised with the help of We are you’s designer, alongside feedback from a trader at Momentum.

constant data collection

Comprehensive logging and reporting of the Battery and AEMO data were also necessary to meet this challenge. Constant data collection and processing were built upon a cloud-hosted PostgreSQL Instance. This allowed us to provide powerful and flexible reporting through both the web interface and via integration with Google Data Studio.
 
The bid engine components were hosted with Azure Cloud Functions, providing great reliability, scalability and cost-effectiveness.
 
In order to design and successfully implement the bid engine in a timely manner, We are you had to remain flexible and engage in constant communication with Momentum and Powertech. Working with Momentum at their offices, as well as being onsite at Powertech working directly with their API developers and engineers was crucial in developing the required integrations for the project.

results and next steps

A test scenario was conducted with one of Powertech’s advanced batteries. The pilot program was left to run by itself, and successfully commanded the battery based on market conditions. All of this was done after initially setting bidding rules through the carefully designed trading dashboard.
 
In the future, the software will be expected to interface with many more VPP integrations across Australia. Quick and easy integration will be expected as the norm. Because of the amount of reporting data being stored from the integrations, more mature reporting and prediction tools are possible.

Working with We are you has been a joy from day one. They brilliantly undersold their services and then just got on and did the job, proactively working through any issues as they arose, to deliver our scope ahead of budget and schedule.

Nick Sisson, Head of Emerging Technology at Hydro Tasmania