Powin: grid-scale battery breakthrough?

Powin commercializes energy storage solutions. Its hardware and software are branded as ‘Powin Stack’ and ‘Stack OS’. Hence we have used our usual patent framework to conduct a Powin technology review.

Powin — Company and Patent Review

Powin is privately owned. Its roots go back to 1989. It is based in Portland, Oregon. And it has c300 employees at the time of writing. By 2022, the company has delivered 2.5 GWH of storage projects.

Our Powin technology review finds a moat around specific process improvements for the installation and operation of grid-scale batteries. These are described in the data-file.

Overall, the patent library scores well on our patent framework. The patent library is robust enough to deter simple copy-catting. Although there may also be some controversy around the differentiation of some patent claims. (Differentiation is always a question mark for companies in these kinds of supply chains).

Advantages of Powin’s battery systems are their modularity, streamlined installation and software. A guideline is 200 MWH-AC of storage per acre. This is 30% more compact than other solutions. The total time to procure a Centipede system, of inter-connected Powin battery modules, is c50% less than stick-built solutions.

Our patent review found that half of Powin’s IP is software-side. This includes smart features allowing operators to control the way batteries are balanced. The technology also tracks whether batteries are still covered within warranty, on systems envisaged to have a 20-year life.

Context for grid-scale batteries

Grid-scale batteries are growing increasingly important, especially in regions with high renewables penetrations, to backstop the short-term volatility of solar and short-term volatility of wind.

The chart below captures 30 deployments of Powin battery systems. They range from 1 – 90 MW. These deployments have been growing more frequent, and larger.

Interestingly, some recent solar projects have elected to construct 0.2 – 1.0 MW of battery capacity per MW of solar capacity.

Powin technology review

Our full conclusions on Powin’s patents and technology, and the data behind charts, are spelled out in the data-file…

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