One of the main challenges in the field of disaster recovery and ensuring operational continuity in the event of an attack on the nation’s rear area is the need to provide a regular supply of energy sources for the most vital installations.
Nation-E of Israel has just completed the development of an energy storage and management system, through an investment of tens of millions of US dollars, following a five-year development process.
“The idea came up pursuant to my becoming familiar with the field of aviation during my years in the titanium industry,” says Nation-E owner and entrepreneur Daniel Jammer, who sold a giant family-owned German corporation specializing in that sophisticated metal in 2006.
“In the last decade, I understood the need for energy management and for minimizing energy consumption. Subsequently, it turned out that significant applications involving these capabilities are required in defense-related fields, such as the supply of energy sources to soldiers on the battlefield, as well as for Business Continuity Planning (BCP) in the civilian world, including financial institutions.”
Among other things, Nation-E developed installations that store energy from different sources, such as solar energy or wind power – which could not be stored until now. The core of the system is a state-of-the-art software element, capable of incorporating different sources of energy and consumers into a single grid, ensuring that the energy is utilized in the most efficient manner and in a way that would ensure supply to vital installations.
“We created an energy line that can be protected against cyber attacks, for example,” says Jammer. “It is not merely a closed production line, but a kind of platform to which we may connect more and more instruments in order to establish an energy network of sorts. You can establish connections between different infrastructure systems.”
Jammer draws a comparison between the development of the technology that makes energy storage and management possible, and the development of mobile telephones. “In recent years, a new buzzword has entered the industry – ‘smart’ – so everyone is talking about ‘smart phones’, ‘smart TV’ and so forth. If anyone had told you, about twenty years ago, that a mobile phone could be used for a lot more than just talking, you would not have believed it. If anyone had told you that you would be able to connect to WhatsApp, Facebook and so on, you would have said that this would have to be the work of 20 telephone sets, not just one. So, the important word here is integration.
“This type of integration is happening right now in the field of energy, as well. No one had believed that energy could have more layers in addition to the ‘on’ and ‘off’ buttons. However, energy is just like the telecommunication industry – if you could find a way to integrate different energies, it would be excellent.
“In my opinion, the most problematic bottleneck in the field of energy today concerns the ability to manage and supervise the distribution of energy and to know how much energy you have at any moment. You know how much energy you have at the start, but after thirty minutes you do not know how much you have left. With our technology, you will be able to understand how to harness the amount of energy you have for your needs, regardless of the type of energy you use – nuclear, diesel or another. Take the electrical powered car for example, which can connect to the mains grid from any location and recharge (Nation-E did, indeed, develop an electrical car powered by software-managed batteries. The car was designed by Swatch of Switzerland).
“Similarly, we would be able to produce energy reservoirs for soldiers, so that they can recharge their batteries from any location. This would be a sort of mobile power station, capable of connecting to the energy reservoirs through any possible communication device – satellite, standard radio transceiver and so forth. Anything you may need, we would be able to supply. This will be a gateway for communicating energy, a link to the infrastructure systems that would enable you to know, at any time, where you are in terms of your energy reserves.”
One of the new systems by Nation-E is in operation at the company’s offices in Hertzliya, for demonstration purposes. It consists of an electrical grid, which includes state-of-theart, highly efficient batteries that would be able to manage an alternate, software-based electrical grid in the event of a main failure. So, in the event of a power shortage, only the systems specified in advance by the software would be activated. The company’s office system is just an example of what system integration should accomplish in the new energy network.