Pixii makes smart solutions for battery-based energy storage. Innovation Norway is helping the technology company enter the Indian and other international markets.
The Kristiansand based company Pixii was established in 2018 by a group of technologists and executives with extensive experience in power supplies for telecommunications and solar inverters. They wanted to apply their expertise to battery-based energy storage and develop new, innovative solutions. This required extensive technology development, piloting, and market development.
“Innovation Norway and the business support system have been absolutely essential in this development, helping us to progress and become the competitive player in the global market that we are today,” says Ole Jakob Sørdalen, head of innovation at Pixii.
Funding from Pilot-E
“Pixii’s solutions can play an important role in the green transition, and it has significant potential for international growth. Energy storage will help address power requirements and capacity constraints in the power grid. These challenges will increase in the future due to the electrification of cars and society in general, and the development of sources of renewables such as solar and wind, where energy production varies in relation to weather conditions,” says Jon Arne Rasmussen, funding adviser at Innovation Norway Agder.
The company has received funding through the Pilot-E programme. The programme contributes to the faster progress and development of new environmentally oriented technology and the green transition, and is a collaboration between the Research Council of Norway, Enova, and Innovation Norway.
Sørdalen says that Pilot-E is the reason why they won the tenders to supply ‘grid batteries’ to two large-scale demo projects in Norway. In turn, these projects led to the company receiving several commercial orders for ‘grid batteries’ from power grid companies in Norway and India.
Bidirectional power conversion
The energy storage system that Pixii has developed is called Power Shaper. A key component of this system is a bidirectional power conversion unit. It consists of advanced power electronics and processors that allow energy flow to go both ways, from grid to the battery and back to the grid. The desired effect is achieved by putting the necessary number of these components into the system.
Demand for battery-based energy storage comes from distribution networks, commercial buildings and facilities, and micro grids. Norway’s largest power grid company Elvia is one example. It chose Pixii because it wanted to improve capacity and quality in parts of the distribution network.
Won a contract in Australia
Recently, Pixii signed a contract with the Yarra Energy Foundation in Australia. After months of technical analysis and assessments, the Kristiansand company’s system was considered the best solution for utilising solar power and selling flexibility to the grid for a Melbourne neighbourhood.
The 100kW/250kW system will be installed in districts to support local infrastructure, store locally produced solar power, and contribute to the grid during periods of high consumption due to people recharging their electric cars. The battery systems will also be connected to cloud services.
This system will be the first of potentially several hundred installations planned by the customer. Winning this contract and getting to demonstrate the characteristics of the solution is going to mean a lot to the future positioning of Pixii in Australia and around the world.
As well as in Australia and the Nordic countries, Pixii is now represented by its own companies in Slovakia and Germany in order to cover the European market.
Common focus on the Indian market
Pixii manages a corporate network supported by Innovation Norway. Such networks can help SMEs improve their innovation skills and competitiveness and increase sales opportunities in existing or emerging markets abroad or in Norway.
This corporate network has its sights set on the Indian energy market, and it is working closely with Innovation Norway’s office in New Delhi in order to contact relevant actors and potential customers. This has already led to the sale of a pilot system to an Indian grid company, and a collaborative agreement with an Indian energy trader. Pixii is also participating as a partner in a new corporate network targeting the energy market in Vietnam.