“Our integrated solution is quite unique”

Start-up Interview – April 24, 2024

On a mission to make the energy transition easier: the Enfasys team

The Spanish start-up ENFASYS has developed an integrated hardware-software solution that makes it easy to monitor and control hybrid installations of renewable generation and storage technologies. Its customers include system integrators, EPC companies, aggregators and energy suppliers. Find out in the interview what makes the platform solution so special.

Start-up interview with Nuno Taveira, CEO Enfasys

How was ENFASYS founded?

ENFASYS emerged at the end of 2019 as a spin-off of the University of Oviedo. It had its start in the multidisciplinary research group LEMUR, which includes the fields of electrical engineering, power electronics and automation and control engineering. The company's founding partners were and are part of this research group. They began to collaborate on multiple research projects with Spanish companies that were interested in developing lithium ion battery control systems for industrial applications.

ENFASYS was founded to find an easy way to manage hybrid installations of renewable generation and storage technologies with one integrated hardware and software solution. The simplest form of “hybrid systems” consists of distributed generation resources such as PV and Li ion energy storage systems. In more complex deployments, they can also include wind turbines, hydrogen generation or other storage technologies. Our goal was not only to monitor, but to actively manage all assets. In 2021 we came up with our platform solution.

You mentioned that the idea for this product development came from companies. What types of companies do you typically serve today?

Our customers are involved in the organization of the electrical market and the supply chain. We offer our solutions to system integrators and EPCs under a B2B model. This model is typically used for behind-the-meter hybrid self-consumption industrial installations. Our solution has also been employed by aggregator companies that manage residential and commercial energy communities, where, in addition to distributed generation and energy storage, there are flexible loads such as electrical vehicle chargers. When it comes to front-of-the-meter hybrid-installations, our customers are utility-scale companies.

Enfyo acts as an installation controller, enabling control and monitoring of generation and storage systems.

One challenge for an “easy” energy management is that you always need some kind of hardware on site. What products do your customers need to install for your solution?

We developed an architecture, called Enfyo, that can integrate installations of various sizes by using a distributed control approach. The total size of the generation unit may vary from a few kilowatts to dozens of megawatts. Enfyo integrates local assets via communication links, typically relying on Modbus/TCP, but there are also other options. We like to call this concept an “energy router”. This integrated solution is quite unique and makes us a one-stop-shop: You can buy the whole system and start using it right away. This simple approach reduces commissioning time by about 50 percent compared to other solutions available on the market.

Enfyo uses international standards, such as IEEE 1547-2018 and IEEE 2030.5, to communicate with the components. But not all components communicate via standardized interfaces, so we also cooperate with the top manufacturers of inverters, batteries, and other equipment to make sure that everything works together smoothly. For our customers, this means they have a wide range of PV panels, batteries etc. to choose from, because our solution can monitor and manage the entire system.

How much energy can users save?

Customers benefit from our active energy management in several ways. One is that it can reduce energy consumption from the grid by up to 30 percent and save money. It can also reduce battery cycles by 25 percent, prolonging the service life of the battery by up to 35 percent.

The Enfasys Cloud platform allows the users to manage all their assets and facilities from a single location.

You use a cloud-based solution. How does that affect reaction time and data security?

Actually, not all calculations are performed in the cloud. Our mixed edge/cloud solution allows a fast-when-needed approach while retaining the full power of cloud computing. This is possible thanks to a distributed architecture that mixes both worlds. To give you a sense of how fast this is, we’ve achieved sample times of well below half a second in the edge devices. This allows ultra-fast response times of less than 2 seconds for secondary control systems, for example for peak shaving.

It is important to point out that all our edge units can issue several commands simultaneously through a special communication synchronization. High-level forecasting, optimization and market integration algorithms are executed in the cloud, while security is provided at the edge devices by use of SELinux, a version of Linux with an enhanced safety level, and encrypted connections. In response to security concerns of energy companies, our complete software is secured in so-called containers, both at the edge and in the cloud. All our cloud services are hosted in Europe. We also use “western” components in our routers wherever possible.

What are your next steps?

We just closed the financing rounds and are now ready to expand our business. So far, all of our projects have been in the Iberian Peninsula, but we also have our sights on other European markets. Germany and UK are on our agenda for the end of 2024 and 2025.

We also want to offer services that connect today’s behind-the-meter energy management with the grid and the market. The integration of weather and dynamic energy pricing forecasts will provide an added benefit to our customers. We may even implement a direct interface to participate in energy markets. In the medium and long term, we want to continue to grow and market our solutions in different continents, such as South America, North America and Africa.

Start-ups @ The smarter E Europe 2024

Ist Ihr Unternehmen auch ein Start-up? Sie würden Ihre Ideen und Produkte für eine effiziente, saubere und sichere Energieversorgung gern einem großen, internationalen Publikum präsentieren, aber der Aufwand dafür darf nicht zu groß sein? Die Start-up Bühne auf The smarter E Europe vom 19.–21. Juni 2024 in München bietet Ihnen dafür die perfekte Lösung – mit verschiedenen Paketen und zahlreichen kostenlosen Networking-Möglichkeiten.

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