Power Generation

Rolls-Royce expands Berlin start-up Qinous into Microgrid Competence Center

Posted on 18 June 2020

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  • Self-sufficient, distributed energy systems for the world market
  • Focus on decarbonization and economic efficiency
  • Renamed Rolls-Royce Solutions Berlin
  • Made in Germany: Battery storage technology from Bavaria

Rolls-Royce has expanded the business formerly run as Qinous GmbH into a Microgrid Competence Center. In January, Rolls-Royce announced that it had acquired a 73.1% majority stake in the Berlin-based electricity storage specialist. The renaming of the Berlin start-up to Rolls-Royce Solutions Berlin GmbH in June 2020 and the simultaneously expansion to the Microgrid Competence Center sees the Group investing even more heavily in its distributed energy systems business.

“With its solutions, our Microgrid Competence Center in Berlin is making a major contribution to decarbonizing energy systems and, with immediate effect, is now offering our customers a comprehensive solution portfolio. It ranges from simple storage solutions to complex microgrids that intelligently combine battery storage with renewable energies, and with diesel or gas gensets,” explained Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce's Power Systems Division. “We are convinced that microgrids are among the optimum solutions for tomorrow's environmentally friendly, high-efficiency power supply systems. With Qinous, we are expanding our microgrid expertise and combining the dynamics of a start-up with the security and reliability of a large corporate group.” The start-up has already proven the functionality and reliability of microgrid solutions in over 50 projects across the world.

Made-to-measure turnkey microgrids

The new competence center's portfolio includes energy supply systems that are connected to the public power grid or are fully independent of it. “The microgrids complete our product and solution line-up for distributed power generation. From battery storage and intelligent electronic control systems to diesel or gas gensets – we're not merely a supplier of modules from the MTU product range, but rather we're offering our customers tailor-made total solutions featuring things like solar and wind power generation,” confirmed Andreas Görtz, Vice President of the Power Generation business unit.

“Because Rolls-Royce itself develops and produces key components such as the battery storage facilities, the microgrid control system and the generator sets, we possess in-depth knowledge of their features and characteristics, thereby giving the customer a turnkey total solution that is integrated perfectly from both a technical and economical perspectives,” said Cordelia Thielitz, who heads up the Microgrid Solutions business unit at Rolls-Royce.

Microgrid market: diverse and global

“We're seeing great global demand for microgrids in a wide range of application areas,” added Cordelia Thielitz when asked about the market prospects for this business segment. In countries such as Germany and the US, the microgrid solutions are particularly attractive for industrial applications, among others, as a result of their CO2 reduction and secure energy supply credentials. Microgrids are offering grid and power plant operators new sources of income and opportunities to save money. Used as self-sufficient, distributed power grids, these power systems enable remote mines or villages without public grid access to cover their electricity needs in a way that is both economical and sustainable.

New prospects with Rolls-Royce

“Under the Rolls-Royce umbrella, we're seeing new, previously unattainable opportunities opening up, helping us realize our vision of delivering sustainable, climate-friendly and environmentally friendly power supply solutions. We're proud of having turned this start-up into a competence center for a global company, and are looking forward to using our knowledge and experience in battery storage to help fully-featured microgrids become a success,” said Qinous founder Steffen Heinrich, who remains Managing Director and shareholder of Rolls-Royce Solutions Berlin.

Battery containers – made in Germany

Rolls-Royce is growing its portfolio of battery storage systems which will be produced at its Bavarian facility in the town of Ruhstorf. The storage solutions are rated from 40 kVA to 2,000 kVA, and have capacities ranging between 50 kWh and 2,600 kWh. The MTU-branded products are being offered as 20-foot and 40-foot containers, and are also available as compact versions. They are scalable, allowing them to be adapted flexibly to meet customers' performance and capacity requirements. Battery storage is a core component of microgrids, and is also used as integral equipment in solar parks for ensuring grid stabilization, or as charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

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About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc

  1. Rolls-Royce pioneers cutting-edge technologies that deliver clean, safe and competitive solutions to meet our planet’s vital power needs.
  2. Rolls-Royce Power Systems is headquartered in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany and employs more than 10,000 people. The product portfolio includes MTU-brand high-speed engines and propulsion systems for ships, power generation, heavy land, rail and defence vehicles and for the oil and gas industry as well as diesel and gas systems and battery containers for mission critical, standby and continuous power, combined generation of heat and power, and microgrids. Medium-speed engines from Bergen power ships and power generation applications.
  3. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 70 navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.
  4. Annual underlying revenue was £15.3 billion in 2019, around half of which came from the provision of aftermarket services.
  5. In 2019, Rolls-Royce invested £1.45 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 29 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.
  6. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills.
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