Rolls-Royce expands capacity for battery container production


Rolls-Royce’s business unit Power Systems is increasing its capacity for producing battery containers. From 2021 the MTU EnergyPacks are to be manufactured in the Siemens-Technopark in Ruhstorf, Bavaria, where Rolls-Royce already has a production site.

The plan is for the three former factory halls of Siemens AG to be rebuilt, following which the fitting of battery modules to several 40-ft containers simultaneously, with subsequent testing, is to be possible from early 2021. The facilities will also include a showroom for customers, a warehouse, offices and adjoining rooms.

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The expansion of the production site is to form part of Rolls-Royce’s new Microgrid Solutions division, established by Rolls-Royce at the beginning of the year when it acquired a majority stake in the Berlin-based energy storage specialist Qinous, now operating under the name Rolls-Royce Solutions Berlin.

Microgrids are smart local power networks that combine power generated from renewables such as solar and wind energy with conventional power generation and storage batteries. Currently, most MTU EnergyPacks are produced in Ruhstorf at Rolls-Royce subsidiary MTU Onsite Energy Systems, whose main speciality is series production of large MTU-brand electrical gensets.

Besides li-ion batteries, the MTU EnergyPack container houses an electronic control unit, transformers, and cooling equipment. In other words, it constitutes a complete and integral energy storage solution.

MTU EnergyPacks are already in service around the world – close to home in eastern Germany for example, where they store the electrical power produced by solar parks, as well as further afield in Costa Rica or the Seychelles.

“We see growing demand for MTU EnergyPacks, since more and more customers are seeking on-site power generation solutions that use renewables. But when you use solar or wind power to generate electricity, you often need an interim solution for storage until it is actually consumed,” said Cordelia Thielitz, vice president of the Microgrid Solutions division.

Dr Armin Funck, general manager of MTU Onsite Energy in Ruhstorf, said: “To respond to the importance that microgrids are assuming as a young but highly promising line of business, we’re setting up a new production facility just for our battery containers.”

“We’re delighted to have a renowned high-tech pioneer like Rolls-Royce join us in our Technopark,” said Stefan Florenz, head of Siemens Technopark Ruhstorf. “With its forward-looking battery technology, our new tenant will be a real asset to the park in the field of energy technology and systems. With Rolls-Royce here on site, both of us stand to gain from the creation of synergies and a strong trust-based partnership.”