Exhibitor Interview: Dr John De Roche, CEO and Co-Founder, Aentron Energy Solutions

Aentron interview headshotAentron GmbH is an innovative manufacturer and an energy solutions provider of industrial lithium-ion batteries for e-mobility, e-industry, e-building, and e-maritime applications based near Munich, Germany. We had the chance to speak to Aentron’s CEO ahead of their exhibit about its role in the design of optimal energy storage systems and the automotive industry’s growing demand for modular and scalable battery solutions.

Could you please say a little about your road-ready systems for full electric and hybrid?

Our modular and scalable battery solutions are automotive ready. Our technology is currently being utilised by notable Tier 1 suppliers for electric and hybrid as well as autonomous applications. Our success is based on the compliance readiness of our ECE-R10, IEC 61508 / ISO 26262 technology. This allows our customers to rapidly integrate our batteries and go straight on the road.

How are you helping the mobile machines sector of industry transition to electric drivetrains?

The mobile machine sector is currently an extremely diverse and exciting area. Aentron is providing battery solutions to enable classic diesel-powered machines to transition to clean low-cost electric drivetrain solutions. Aentron projects vary from underwater mining vehicles, industrial robots, remote power for wind turbine lighting during construction, and low-emission refrigeration. The applications are endless and the main priority for Aentron is to make the customer aware of the potential and that the transition can be easy with the right partner such as Aentron.

A key theme at The Battery Show Europe is always the design of optimal energy storage systems – what role can Aentron play in this?

Since its foundation, Aentron has set itself the goal of providing industry with modular, scalable, easy-to-integrate flip-of-a-switch lithium-ion batteries. A key aspect is that the battery systems must be robust with a long projected lifetime. This was our goal from the outset and this is what we have achieved. At the same time, we provide our customers with a streamlined service from conception to integration, and later disposal with a recycling concept. The modular design of our technology is unique, enabling our customers to order systems from 12 to 900V DC with unlimited capacity without the need for any special development. This eliminates development risk in the special area of battery compliance.

Are you able to offer solutions for both stationary and mobile?

Yes, we provide standardised solutions that are equally at home and operable in stationary and mobile applications.

How important, overall, is the combination of modular capabilities and scalability?

This is extremely important and an essential aspect of our technology. Fundamentally all our customers require a turnkey solution that is modular in voltage and scalable in capacity requirements. By means of our CAN-based master controller and modular BMS architecture, we can provide almost any battery configurations between 12 and 900V DC up to 500A with potential maximum power capability of 400kW.

Can you explain how Aentron products find applications in e-refrigeration, and the environmental impacts?

After heating, refrigeration is one of the most energy-intensive and carbon-prolific applications. Aentron is part of a revolution within e-refrigeration and our technology is playing a key part. For example, refrigeration vehicles must often run onboard generators 24/7 to maintain their low-temperature requirements. These systems consume immense quantities of diesel and often very inefficiently emit large amounts of fine dust particles in conjunction with CO2. The fine dust particles make inner cities unhealthy, which means that delivery of perishable goods during the daytime in many European cities is difficult, if not impossible. Furthermore, the generators can produce a continuous noise of up to 110dB, thereby precluding the possibility of night deliveries in residential areas. To get around these challenges, Aentron provides onboard high-voltage battery-powered systems for electric cooling generators that provide cooling power with zero emissions and low noise (< 30dB). This solution slashes operating costs due to elimination of diesel, and reduces servicing costs up to 70% as well as enabling cool logistics companies to make night-time deliveries.

What new trends do you anticipate and what market demands do you see evolving/changing over the next five years?

Rapid expansion in home storage take-up as well as industry for peak shaving and cost reduction. Rapid growth in the maritime sector.

AENTRON GMBH will be exhibiting at The Battery Show Europe 2019 in Stand 284