The revolution on the energy storage market has started in Saxony-Anhalt

The company Tesvolt from Wittenberg develops battery systems with an effectiveness level which is ten percent higher than that of other storage systems

The energy revolution is raising several questions. The company Tesvolt Speichertechnologie GmbH from Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, has some answers – particularly for trading businesses, industrial companies and municipal authorities. The start-up company develops battery storage systems for electricity generated from renewable resources and has gained a foothold on the international market. At the trade fair HANNOVER MESSE 2017, Tesvolt will be presenting an energy storage battery which is of the latest generation at the joint stand of Saxony-Anhalt.

Mathias Zdzieblowski places photos of a Tesvolt project on the table: a giant-sized storage system is bathed in the red-coloured light of the sunset in Africa. “Tesvolt” is emblazoned on the engineers’ overalls. The technology from this young company from Lutherstadt Wittenberg is being used in order to store energy generated from natural resources and guarantee a stable supply of electricity – a huge boost for regions in which reliable power networks are frequently unavailable. Mathias Zdzieblowski is the company’s Key Account Manager. He manages Tesvolt’s important customers. “We developed this mega storage system together with a team of engineers from Africa. It supplies electricity to water pumps and sprinklers on a continuous basis, irrigating a 2,000 hectare plot of land,” he explains. Agricultural businesses are currently developing which are set to provide some 1,200 farmers with both work and food in the near future.

Daniel Hannemann is the Business Director at the company that he founded together with Simon Schandert, the current Technical Director, in 2014, with the goal of further advancing the use of renewable sources of energy – solar power, wind power, hydropower and biogas. Their starting capital included their in-depth experience they gained from several years spent working in the photovoltaic sector.

“With its international projects in the area of energy storage, Tesvolt GmbH is an example of commercial success.” Such were the words of the congratulatory speech when the company was awarded the Hugo Junkers Innovation Prize of the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt in 2016. “We also see ourselves as being a pacemaker for our customers’ commercial success,” says Hannemann. Tesvolt currently has projects in Germany, Siberia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Great Britain, Spain, the Philippines – and, of course, Africa. In Mali, 50 battery storage units are now supplying 50 villages with electricity.

The inventors of the battery, Nikola Tesla and Alessandro Volta – after whom the young company is named – would have certainly been as impressed as the expert jury of the Hugo Junkers Prize which awarded Tesvolt with first place in the category of "Innovative product development". The company’s lithium-iron-phosphate-based batteries are characterized by their considerable efficiency of 92 percent and their service life of approximately 20 years. "We have developed a battery management system which distributes the stored energy more efficiently and quickly between the cells. When charging and discharging our battery systems, almost no energy is lost, as the energy flow doesn’t flow from cell to cell, but each cell is controlled directly by the system," explains Daniel Hannemann.

The Tesvolt team, which now counts some 30 employees, is rising to the challenge of the energy revolution by creating storage solutions that are specifically designed for trading businesses and industrial applications. The battery management systems designed by the innovative company from the town of Wittenberg can be connected to all generators of renewable energy in the low-voltage supply network. Their sizes range from small cabinet units, the shelves of which can contain any number of batteries, to full-size container units.

“The discussions that we have had at the trade shows we have attended demonstrate clearly that a change has taken place in our customers’ outlook. Business owners no longer want to be exposed to variations in the price of electricity,” explains Mathias Zdzieblowski, adding that it is more financially lucrative for independent generators of electricity from solar or wind energy to store the electrical power for their own requirements than to sell it. In addition to this, it is also possible for long-term storage systems to operate as emergency power systems and to back up possible sub-areas of production.

So far, 2017 has been a year of progress for Tesvolt. Together with Samsung SDI, the company has developed a battery module system with a life span of 30 years. “BMW is using this battery in its electric cars – and we are using it in our new storage system,” explains Daniel Hannemann proudly. He demonstrates the battery, which consists of individual modules – the battery cells – with which the customers are able to create the capacity that they require.

You certainly can’t tell the sensation that these modules amount to just by looking at them. “Our new storage battery has an effectiveness rate of an unbelievable 98 percent, because we have also optimised the charging currents from module to module. At the same time, our battery management system monitors the status of each individual cell. In this way, it is possible to prevent damage from happening in advance,” explains the company’s director.

Financial support from the IBG Risk Capital Fund III (IBG), managed by bmp Beteiligungsmanagement AG (bmp), is now making sure that the Tesvolt technology can be further developed. Several million Euros are being invested at the storage systems manufacturer TESVOLT. In addition to this, the production lines are also being expanded so that they can respond to the growing demand. Further funds are being used to fund the company’s national and international marketing and sales activities.

At the Energy Storage Europe trade fair in March in Düsseldorf, Tesvolt presented its latest generation of storage systems for the first time. The company will also be attending the Hanover trade fair and the Intersolar in Munich, and will also be attending foreign trade shows, for example, in Cape Town and Jakarta. "We are starting from Europe and heading out into the world with the goal of revolutionising the energy storage market", says Mathias Zdzieblowski.

Image caption: the latest generation of energy storage systems from Tesvolt was presented for the first time at the Energy Storage trade fair in Düsseldorf.

Photo: Tesvolt GmbH

Author: Kathrain Graubaum