We all have to do our part to save the world and combat climate change. That’s why Universal Plastic Mold has embraced cutting-edge artificial intelligence with a new energy storage and control system from Stem Intelligent Energy Storage.
We have to be honest, the biggest draw of this high-tech energy system is the cost savings. But the plastics industry as a whole is working hard to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and its carbon footprint. Stem is a major step in the right direction.
It’s a simple concept that is blindingly complex in its execution. Stem’s Athena system charges a huge capacity battery network at off-peak times, and it then releases the power at peak times and reduces the demand on the grid. If we have spare energy, we can even feed it back into the grid and effectively sell power to the power company.
That’s the environmentally friendly part. At peak times, however, power stations and sub-stations are pushed to the limit, and they have to burn more fossil fuels.
When the system gets stretched, it just isn’t efficient. It has to produce excess power, or your lights would go out. Right now, we don’t have a real storage system, and the excess is lost. That means we’re losing energy, money, and increasing the environmental impact every day.
More companies are opting for systems like ours, and Stem has 700 in the US alone. They are all linked to the central hivemind, and they can all give back. This is a complete step-change for the energy industry. It’s like having zero emissions sub-stations all over the nation that can take the grid’s excess power in a trickle-feed, and then give it back like a flood when it’s needed most.
Stem uses the Powerpack 2 system from Tesla, as well as alternatives from Panasonic and LG Chem. These combine a network of 250W and 400W batteries that can charge during off-peak times. The result is a highly efficient energy storage system that helps to save money while reducing the environmental footprint.
You can order a residential Tesla Powerwall for your own home, together with solar roof panels to help charge it. But the Powerpack and the immense power of artificial intelligence takes the concept to a higher level.
Athena is the HAL-like system that is learning the peaks and valleys of UPM’s energy requirements during a working day. Athena has analyzed old energy use data and combines predictions with real-time analysis to keep the energy flowing as efficient and lean as possible.
When it’s in full-flow, Athena analyzes more than 400mb of data a minute. This gives it the computing power to make decisions on the fly.
That means it can integrate and control environmentally friendly solutions. In fact, California State University is using the STEM system to combine solar panels with traditional power sources.
That’s the future: a system that takes renewable energy and plugs the gaps with power derived from fossil fuels. Solar panels, wind turbines and even geothermal energy can plug into Athena and take the strain off the grid.
“We’ve created a game-changing solution for a problem too complex for humans alone to solve,” said Stem’s Head of Product Innovation, Aaron de Yonker. “With Athena, we can optimize the timing of energy use like never before.”
Timing is everything when it comes to saving power and money. Stem reckons that 60% of the average commercial utility bill comes down to the timing of the power draw, rather than the amount. Athena’s intelligent approach to energy storage and release is saving companies millions.
Plastic Injection Molding is an essential part of the manufacturing process. Without it, society would find itself struggling, but it’s an energy-intensive process. Here at UPM, we are doing our bit to help Mother Earth and cut the power we use, both for our benefit and for the greater good.
We have been in this business for more than 50 years, and we have seen a lot of changes that have made the plastics industry more efficient while reducing the environmental impact.
We’re excited to have this new technology on board. We think it’s going to make a massive difference to our bottom line, and it’s one small step towards a cleaner, greener future. Learn more about Universal Plastic Mold, and all the things the company is doing to benefit its partners and the rest of the world.