Business Cooperation for the Development of Intelligent Use of Batteries

Salo-based SADE Innovations Oy and Sensoan Oy offer IoT and cloud solutions for the needs of various industries. Their data analysis methods are also well suited for energy companies, whose operations are changing as a result of electrification and digitalization.

19.03.2021 News
Companies at Salo IoT Campus offer data based solutions also for the energy sector. Jukka Kontulainen (left) and Jari Suutari from Sensoan Oy and Anssi Saarikko, Juha Kuosa and Tero Nordström from SADE Innovations Oy encourage the customers to tell about their needs. Picture: Tuomas Lieskivi

In recent years, Salo IoT Campus has been a focal point for the development of intelligent energy solutions. In this field, SADE Innovations Oy and Sensoan Oy stand out. With regards to services the companies share similarities, albeit with different emphases.

“Our solutions for IoT and data analysis allow the customer’s device to be connected to the cloud, where its status and potential problems can be interpreted. In the energy sector, new possibilities for data analysis can be found in the real-time remote control of batteries. We have done a lot of product development in this area,” says Juha Kuosa, the CEO of SADE Innovations Oy.

For several years now, in cooperation with their customers, Sensoan Oy has looked into how batteries could be used more efficiently and how their condition could be optimized. ”We have also surveyed the maintenance of power grids, i.e. how to increase efficiency and savings in generating electricity,” says Jukka Kontulainen, the company’s business developer. ”With accurate measurements we can better understand the condition of the batteries, so they don’t have to be replaced just for the sake of changing,” adds Jari Suutari, the CEO of Sensoan Oy.

Sensoan and SADE Innovations have developed together an IoT solution that has a data collection device and a cloud service. The system listens to RuuviTag bluetooth sensors found in the picture, too. Picture: Tuomas Lieskivi

Smart Batteries Last Longer

As batteries transmit data, they also become more active. The main function of batteries is to provide backup power during power outages, but they can also help regulate production and consumption of the power grid with the intelligent features provided by IoT connections.

“Such solutions stand out in systems of renewable energy production, because weather conditions, when the wind blows or the sun shines, are difficult to predict. With reliable and secure remote control solutions the optimization of data measurement becomes easier. The need for these solutions is found especially when renewable energy is integrated to the power grid and the balance of the grid is optimized also on the demand side” says Tero Nordström, Chairman of the Board of SADE Innovations Oy.

Smart data can directly affect the life cycle of batteries, too.

“When we understand how to replace certain parts of battery systems at the right time, we can extend the lifespan of batteries. As a result, the life cycle of battery packs can be extended beyond the first target of application, for example into the harnessing of solar energy at home.”

The data analysis for smart batteries should therefore be designed so that it would cover all the stages of the battery life cycle. Already in the production phase, the functionality of the battery data collection system becomes crucial. On the other hand, when brought into use, smart batteries can tell what the potential problems are, providing insight into maintenance work. Upon recycling, certain parts of the batteries can still be used elsewhere.

“During the battery life cycle, data is collected in different ways. The obtained data tells what the battery’s expected life cycle is and how its length can be optimized. So far, this is all still new, but I believe that in years to come measurement capabilities are expected to be found in all competitive devices that run on batteries,” says Nordström.

An Ecosystem Is A Product of Networks

Sensoan Oy and SADE Innovations Oy have frequently collaborated, not only with each other but also with other IoT Campus entrepreneurs. “Networking has been easy, as many companies in the industry operate in the same premises. The corporate ecosystem has formed naturally,” says Kuosa.

Sensoan’s Kontulainen states that many of their customer encounters have come about through networking. Occasional help from other companies has resulted in many productive projects. Indeed, that is how the collaboration with SADE Innovations started.

“There are a lot of small businesses on the IoT Campus, each with their own expertise. When we all come together, we can start bidding on ever larger projects,” says Anssi Saarikko of SADE Innovations.

SADE Innovations’ Booster IoT solution, a service in which its development Sensoan has also contributed to, helps in launching the projects. It allows the client to literally “boost” the project to full speed right from the beginning of the project.

When developing ideas, companies expect willingness from their customers. “It is exactly the energy sector that may include companies with a great need for the data solutions we offer. The problem is that they may not even recognize their own needs. We are just the ones to help them find ideas and offer solutions,” says Kuosa.

Sensoan’s Jukka Kontulainen adds that customers can suggest possible targets for saving or ideas on how to increase the service life of equipment. “Whatever the idea, we can provide consultation. Then together we can consider whether the idea is feasible.”