Nunam, a second-life battery energy storage developer, has won EDF’s first Pulse India competition.
Bangalore-based Nunam has developed a storage solution incorporating lithium-ion batteries from smartphones, PCs and other devices to give them a second life before being recycled.
Batteries are collected from a variety of sources including electronics waste dealers and are first stripped down and characterised. Those that are still usable are reassembled into a module and integrated with a battery management system, which is then incorporated into a product for delivery into the field.
Small ‘integrated energy centres’ with solar PV run by rural entrepreneurs provide charging facilities and users are able to power smartphones or fans or other domestic equipment with the batteries.
One group of small user among whom the batteries are proving popular is fruit and vegetable vendors for powering the lighting on their pushcarts to enable them to continue their trade after dark.
The performance of the batteries is monitored over time so that their replacement can be forecast and the old batteries collected and sent for recycling.
Nunam has found that the average residual capacity of the batteries it receives is around 65%, which is amply sufficient to make a difference for those otherwise lacking access to reliable electricity.
“We are participating in EDF Pulse India 2020, because we see the EDF group and its deep expertise in the energy sector as a perfect match for what we do in the sustainable energy storage domain,” says Darshan Virupaksha, co-founder of Nunam.
“Winning the competition and the support by the EDF Team would help us reaching the next level on our journey.”
The Pulse winners were selected from among nine companies shortlisted from an initial line-up of 80 projects covering e-mobility, improvements in the standard of living and improvements in the performance of the electricity assets.
Second place was awarded to Charge+Zone for an app-based automated electric vehicle charging network enabling reliable charging services. The company aims to build a more than one million charging point network by 2030.
In third place was Solavio Labs, which is developing solutions to improve the performance of solar PV plants. One of these is an autonomous solar panel cleaning bot with a modular design enabling it to work on any structure type and in any environment.
A special prize also was awarded to Temperate Technologies for a low power, low cost cold storage solution for off-grid use by farmers.
Winners receive a cash prize and a marketing campaign to boost their public visibility.