How commercial coffee machines will help balance out the fluctuations of renewable energies.

The share of renewable energies is on the rise worldwide. What might sounds positive has posed major challenges for governments and energy providers. Because maintaining the security of supply has become, more than ever, a complex task as new strategies and innovative solutions are needed to balance out the fluctuations in the electricity grid caused by wind and photovoltaic power generation systems.

The Freischwimmer start-up power2coffee has found such a solution. With their innovative idea, Manuel Armbruster, Pirmin Boch and Malcolm Yadack provide energy suppliers with a new possibility to directly actuate the existing flexible electricity current of small machines in the electricity grid. The idea behind it is to make use of end user operated appliances with a high electric power output and heat storage capacity that already exists due to technical reasons. Their unique system enables these small machines to contribute to permanently balancing the electricity grid and to thus reduce the need for the expansion of further expensive power stores.

The individual machines are intelligently networked and operated using excess energy. Although many machines would be highly suitable, the guys are developing their technology based on commercial coffee machines. “Coffee machines have an extremely high connected load. But they need it only for very brief intervals – we use this natural flexibility to stabilize the power grid, and at the same time the café owner will save money,” says Manuel. This actively supports the integration of further renewable energies into the European electricity grid. Regarding the successful realization of their product, the team rely both on their high qualification and extensive experience in the energy industry and technology well as on a good, dynamic management structure: while Manuel and Pirmin are responsible for operations and technical development, Malcolm, who has an extensive network in the energy market, is responsible for the strategic orientation and the communication with partners.

The goal of these three men is to make the Internet of Things a reality for energy providers and commercial companies – and most of all, to make the resulting advantages tangible for the energy providers. They are from Reutlingen, Freiburg and Lexington (USA) – but now they all live in Stuttgart and they enjoy spending time in hipster cafés with noble wood paneling, reading magazines about the energy transition and sustainable living. Now they burn for really bringing the two things together – their product makes drinking coffee more energetic and more sustainable than ever!