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"Electricity can be the major energy to run all known electric applications" | INTERVIEW with ees Award finalist FENECON GmbH

FENECON is a German engineering and manufacturing company for energy storage systems founded in 2011. What started out as a consulting company in a garage has since developed to be one of the leading suppliers of energy storage systems for any application with small to multi-MWh capacities. The storage systems are integrable with electricity, mobility, heating systems as well as future intelligent sector coupling options. FENECON works with customer and partners across Europe.     

FENECON GmbH is a finalist for the 2020 ees AWARD. The company has developed a special modular storage system that can be made of up to sixteen 41 kWh BMW electric vehicle batteries, each of which has its own heating and cooling system. The entire container can be transported without being classified as dangerous goods. An integrated low-voltage switchgear ensures quick connection to the grid.

 

ees International: Thank you very much for this interview and congratulations to being a finalist for the ees AWARD! You wish for a soon energy supply from 100% renewable energies. What needs to happen in Germany so that we can reach this goal faster?

We need a flexible energy infrastructure including storage systems, manageable loads and an open and integrated energy management system to take over the 100% energy supply without fossil/nuclear backup. Electricity can be the major energy to run all known electric applications, mobility and heating. And therefore, we need distributed storage systems of electrical energy close to where it is needed.
And we also need flexibility in the storage systems themselves: I believe that many systems will change in size or moved from one spot to another during their at least 20 years of use. Load curves will change, e-cars and e-heating will come and additional applications are needed. We need in Germany the understanding, that no energy is cheaper and more sustainable than renewable energies, what is already proven. Some legal adjustments, that discriminate renewable energies so far should therefore be stopped as well.
The economy, nature and the climate and with them all of us will benefit the most from the energy transition.

ees International: Tell us more about the special storage system that earned you the nomination for the ees AWARD.

Since our first second-life project five years ago we saw that at a certain time there will be plenty of e-car batteries – but we were not sure if utilizing them industrially would work, because integration was more expensive than for stationary battery modules. But when we did the first zero-life-systems (flexible e-car battery spare-parts warehousing with energy market integration), we thought the whole thing completely new and realized that we could turn the specifics from disadvantages to strong advantages. The result is a new era of container systems with an unprecedented level of modularity, mobility, bankability, multi-use ability, compactness – at still low CAPEX and even very low OPEX. The design allows the use of new batteries to stay in that stationary storage, but also for second-life- and spare-part-projects. In the end we created an absolutely flexible basis for e-car batteries.
So I believe we could convince with the combination of hardware and software innovations in our containerized system FENECON Industrial and the outlook to millions of e-vehicle batteries, which can based on this be efficiently used for another stationary life.

ees International: What does the nomination for the ees AWARD mean for your company?

First of all – we are very proud! We are a young, international team and are highly motivated to develop real innovations to bring the energy transition forward and to think and act in new dimensions. The nomination means to the team that our efforts and creativity are seen an honored. It means for our company that we are now powerfully industrializing the product with many new jobs in our team as well as at our suppliers. We also see the nomination as an honor to all our partners who accompanied our way and believed in us and the better way to handle energy for the prosperity of all as mentioned before. Renewable Energies, flexibility and decentralized storage are the basis of secured, democratic, price stable, independent, eco-/climate-friendly energy. In our point of view it is the one and only alternative for future energy supply. We have to understand that 100% Renewable Energies is one of the key factors to keep our planet green and blue and habitable.

ees International: Are there any other products you are particularly proud of? How do they contribute to the energy transition?

Yes, for sure! Our product portfolio mainly consists of three hardware platforms, from which the Industrial series is the latest. Out FENECON Pro series for residential use is based on the BYD Battery Box Premium, for which we co-developed the initial series several years ago and introduced it to the European market. We are proud that this battery is now market leading and also nominated for the ees Award as well. And our FENECON Commercial series is a flexible platform for systems from 30 to 300 kWh with indoor and outdoor option and therefore very popular for farms, company charging solutions and a broad commercial customer range.
All our platforms use the FEMS energy management system. As being an energy storage system manufacturer almost mainly means to be a software company, we have quite a lot software architects and developers in our team and we are involved in many research projects with renowned universities and institutes. Together we initiated the OpenEMS energy management system, which is now the leading European EMS software. The code value meanwhile is more than 9 mn USD, which means that anybody developing this himself, would have to invest this sum and several years of time – while OpenEMS is open source and freely available to anybody including hardware manufacturers, utilities or grid operators. For this powerful contribution to a fast and decentral energy transition we were honored with different awards already.

ees International: What is the composition of your customer base?

Our residential storage systems are distributed with specialized wholesale partners and “storage professionals”, means companies who deeply understand storage and energy management requirements and value a broad application variability. These customers are right now also entering the commercial storage sector, in which we mainly supply the strong general contractors (EPCs) as part of their project specific energy solution. The Industrial series is attractive to larger EPC projects, utilities and grid operators and even asset investors, who provide storage-as-a-service models. Among this we closely cooperate with e-car and other e-vehicle companies as our platform approach and the FEMS energy management is what they need for fleet-charging, spare-part-warehousing or second-life-projects.

Thank you very much for the interview, Mr. Franz Feilmeier!

 

The interview partner:

 

Franz Feilmeier

Founder & CEO

FENECON GmbH

www.fenecon.de

 

The ees International Magazine is specialized on the future-oriented market of electrical energy storage systems, not only from a technological-, but also a financial and application-oriented point-of-view. In cooperation with ees Global, the ees International Magazine informs the energy industry about current progress and the latest market innovations.
Contact: Xenia Zoller - zoller(at)ees-magazine.com