December 6, 2023

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Solar Energy Magazine – Tipo Energy: The next generation of energy management for power centers

Solar Energy Magazine – Tipo Energy: The next generation of energy management for power centers

What problem are you solving?
“Electricity grids are not designed for energy transmission, or local peaks in wind and solar supply, and mismatches with demand. This is already causing big problems in the Netherlands, but other countries will follow suit. We are creating more space on the energy grid, and thus also for more Green energy production.

What is the core of your technology?
The idea originated at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and came from the mind of Associate Professor Bram Capers and PhD candidate Josh Mengerink – two of the five founders of Tibo. They have developed a machine learning-based program that is very good at detecting anomalies in large amounts of data. The applications of this AI are countless, for example real-time detection of credit card fraud. After much discussion, we chose to focus on the energy transition and founded Tibo at the end of last year.

With added value?
“The energy transition is happening, but it’s not all positive news. We’re already throwing away a lot of sustainable electricity in times of overproduction. Businesses don’t get connections to the electricity grid or it takes too long, while now they want to build a new building or expand.” Boost Networking is time consuming and expensive. We offer a unique solution.

There are more power management platforms on the market…
“These typically relate to a home or other building. It is relatively easy to look at generation, storage and usage at that level, and arrange that intelligently – for example from the point of view of grid load, maximum self-consumption and minimizing costs. However, this is very complex from the point of view of The math is if it’s multiple installations from one or more companies. You’re not going to get there by setting up and filling out some spreadsheets. It requires smart algorithms.

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You’re talking about a collective strategy and approach.
“The new energy law allows the establishment of energy centers from 2024. The main motivation is to coordinate the generation and domestic consumption of sustainable electricity, in order to counteract the consequences of grid congestion. These types of partnerships are currently being trialled between many companies and properties, and many of them are really about to start. This also applies to network operators, which will offer collective connectivity and transport agreements.

And so the old slogan that everyone tells himself is replaced?
This is a completely different game. We actually offer two solutions. The first is the simulation tool. We are creating a digital twin of the collective energy family. We can play with that. This way we can actually roll out different combinations of devices such as solar panels, heat pumps, batteries, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and see what kind of scenarios that produces, and also in response to any growth plans of companies, for example, and in the future. Network impact conditions. The goal is to find solutions that are technically feasible and affordable.

The second is the power management itself?
‘exactly. Perfect control here and now ensures that everything works optimally. We do this based on looking ahead a few days – at factors like weather, expected generation, state of batteries, what energy markets will do and imbalances, consumption profiles, etc. We are now putting the finishing touches on that platform, based on the experiences we have gained from the pilots at Eindhoven Airport and the GreenEnergy Park in Brussels. Not only is this technically complex, but the user interface is also clearly important. You want it to be deception-free, unambiguous, clear and easy for the customer to use.’

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What is ambition?
There are now 17 of us. We have achieved this on our own, in part because we already have paying clients, companies advising companies and industrial cities on sustainable home energy deployment and energy hubs. From 2024 onwards, things will really work out in the Netherlands, with the energy centers and therefore also with us. In addition, there are of course a lot of opportunities abroad. At the same time, growth is not a goal in itself for us. Tibo was founded to marginalize fossil and gray energy as much as possible, and maximize the production and use of green energy. This is the most important measure of our success, and also the reason why people join us when they can easily get a job at a company like ASML.’