GridBlock flexible energy router for EV fleets can reduce infrastructure cost and space requirements by more than 65%.
NEW YORK and DURHAM, August 17, 2021 - PowerSecure, a Southern Company subsidiary, today announced a new strategic partnership with sustainable infrastructure company Endeavour to roll out Endeavour’s patented GridBlock platform for utilities. GridBlock technology simplifies integration of photovoltaics, energy storage and advanced DC services such as electric vehicle fleet charging, while also providing new tools to improve grid resiliency.
Jakob Carnemark, founder of Endeavour, stated, “As the market leader in advanced microgrids, with a long-term record of providing best-in-class industry reliability, PowerSecure is an ideal partner to work with our team in scaling this exciting technology.” GridBlock hardware manufacturing will be fully US-based, with PowerSecure performing integration and assembly in its state-of-the-art microgrid technology campus in Durham, North Carolina, with the remaining manufacturing performed by manufacturing solutions provider Jabil Inc. (NYSE: JBL) in its extensive US factory footprint.
GridBlock is a software-defined energy router that dynamically manages the flow of energy between multiple sources and loads and has the ability to create and operate a self-contained microgrid. GridBlock packetizes and routes electrical energy 250 times faster than the traditional grid frequency. The precision technology enables a bidirectional power flow on multiple ports or channels concurrently, bringing the flexibility and control of Internet routers and switches to the electrical grid. Increasingly, electrical installations require smart integration of EV or e-truck charging, battery storage, solar panels and critical loads, with custom design and build for each location adding to the cost of implementation. GridBlock simplifies all of this with a flexible, software-defined, modular solution that can manage a wide variety of end-use configurations and applications.
The core GridBlock unit, rated at 500 kW, is designed to expand by adding modular units to the multi-megawatt range and directly connect to the utility distribution grid at 4,000-34,000 volts, making it uniquely suitable for simultaneously charging multiple EVs and trucks, and utility scale installations with batteries, solar farms, fuel cells, hydrogen generation and/or generators. GridBlock can serve up to 16 DC or AC truck or car chargers—instantaneously switching to the voltage and output needed by each charger and allowing the infrastructure to be shared by multiple charging platforms at once. A single multi-function GridBlock unit can replace all of the expensive inverters, transformers and distribution units typically needed to support EV charging, solar arrays and battery storage systems. Multiple GridBlock units can automatically “swarm” together to service multi-megawatt EV truck loads and can interact with the truck’s charging system. Carnemark, an industry leader in mission critical infrastructure, says, “GridBlock is a real step change in how we can build tomorrow’s electrical infrastructure—at 1/3rd the space required to perform the same function with existing hardware, and 1/3rd the cost.”
The patented technology underlying GridBlock was developed at Georgia Tech’s world-renowned Center for Distributed Energy (CDE) in coordination with multiple utilities and has been exclusively licensed by Endeavour. Dr. Deepak Divan, the Director of CDE and inventor of the technology, says “The primary aim was to build a flexible, robust and massively-scalable energy management solution for a grid that is undergoing rapid change and becoming far more diverse and dynamic. We needed to take a fresh approach and think of long-term needs, and most importantly, the ability to adapt to unknown conditions.” The CDE team has worked with many end-use applications including microgrids, EV charging stations, data centers and more, to harden the technology so it would be ready for scale up. “We couldn’t be happier with the resources and partners brought onboard by Endeavour, and the speed at which they are scaling the GridBlock technology,” says Dr. Divan. “Our team has been working closely with Endeavour, PowerSecure, and Jabil engineers over the last year.” Several core team members involved in the project at CDE now work full time with Endeavour’s GridBlock group on bringing the technology to market.
Chris Cummiskey, CEO of PowerSecure, adds, “Our PowerSecure team leads the industry in successfully integrating multiple grid interactive energy systems, and knows that the future grid will need the type of dynamic control that is provided by GridBlock. We have supported the development of GridBlock since inception, and are happy to see this new technology developed for the benefit of all utilities and large energy users, in building the future of energy.”
“Endeavour is dedicated to advancing sustainable infrastructure at scale. GridBlock is foundational to that mission,” says Carnemark. “This sort of flexible, smart and cost-efficient infrastructure is the right long-term approach to address the massive needs in transforming the US and European grids for a low-carbon future. But it can also address the issue of grid resiliency in emerging markets where current approaches to maintaining and managing the ever-changing grid simply don’t work.” Divan further adds that “GridBlock can support critical loads, act to stabilize the grid, and prevent faults from propagating—from grid-to-load or vice versa.”
The GridBlock platform, which will roll out globally, integrates hardware, software and financing into a turnkey infrastructure-as-a-service model that eliminates cost barriers and allows partners to realize savings immediately. The platform is designed to support utilities adapting to the changing needs of the grid, and to reduce cost and risk for charging network providers and electric transport companies. Endeavour has a large pipeline of active projects for the technology and is supporting companies that are accelerating the move to sustainable transport.
More information is available at www.gridblock.com.
PowerSecure, a Southern Company subsidiary, is the nation’s leading distributed energy innovation company. Our team of experts has developed, installed, managed and serviced 2+ GW of microgrid capacity over the past 20 years, as well as implemented over $800 million of energy efficiency upgrades. We take a full-facility, lifecycle approach through production and management, delivering clean and resilient energy to our customers at the best possible value. By combining our product innovation capabilities with our 360 integrated processes, we offer the best custom solution for your needs, backed by an unmatched level of expertise, quality and service.
Additional information on PowerSecure’s solutions can be found on the company’s website: www.powersecure.com.
Endeavour is an innovation platform that builds sustainable infrastructure companies for the journey to make clean water and renewable energy affordable and accessible to all. Endeavour. Inspired Infrastructure.
Additional information on Endeavour solutions, including GridBlock, can be found on the company’s website: www.endeavourii.com.