ENEL OPEN INNOVABILITY CHALLENGE® | Energy Storage Systems: technologies to optimize costs, profitability and sustainability

05/08/2021 - Enel

Challenge Expiration Date: ALWAYS OPEN

Reward: Collaboration & testing agreement


Enel is looking for new technologies, architectures and control strategies to lower energy storage costs considering the whole lifetime, to improve the way our Energy Storage assets are built, operated and maintained, in order to maximize their profitability and sustainability overall the whole value chain.

This challenge provides contribution to the following sustainable development goals (SDGs) to transform our world:

  • SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Meet our challenge!



Energy Storage Systems and their related technologies are a very broad topics ranging from chemistry to data science. The storage systems technological growth is continuing development. For this reason, we promote a neutral approach from a technological point of view, so that the content of the challenge is applicable to all types of energy storage technologies: electrochemical, mechanical, thermal \ thermodynamics, etc. The aforementioned technologies can be seen as complementary according to the various use cases, depending on the charging/discharging hours (intra-day, multi-day, seasonal storage) and market services (from the fastest, such as inertial type responses, both mechanical \ rotating and "synthetic" through converters, to the slowest ones for pure energy shifting).

Innovation and R&D are essential to significantly advance both existing storage technologies and new technologies and the related application.


We are looking for new technologies, architectures and control strategies to lower energy storage costs considering the whole lifetime, to improve the way our Energy Storage assets are built, operated and maintained, in order to maximize their profitability and sustainability overall the whole value chain.

We target all the energy storage applications and all the related technologies suitable for the electricity sector: integration with fossil and renewable power plants, use as stand-alone asset for grid support, integration with commercial & industrial and residential customers Behind-The-Meter, grid services participation Behind- and in Front-Of-The-Meter, integration in mini/micro-grid for remote or industrial areas, vehicle to grid applications, data-center integration.

We are particularly interested in the innovation areas outlined below:

  • Next Gen Storage:
  1. New technologies and architectures to achieve energy storage system cost (LCoS) lower than 80$/kWh for specific use cases, (e.g. for a typical duration of discharge), with a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of at least 5-6 (Technology validated\demonstrated in relevant environment) and a commercial availability within a maximum period of 18-24 months.
  2. New technologies with abovementioned requirements with a specific focus on long duration storage (e.g. >6-8 hours)
  3. Li-ion cathode, anode chemistry separators and electrolyte innovations: new materials and evolutions of existing ones.
  4. A specific interest for technologies that have an intrinsic circularity and sustainability (e.g. reduced use of critical raw materials, low safety risk, low environmental impact, good end of life management)
  5. Innovative solutions for Battery Management System, and embedded sensors for improved real time diagnostics
  • Advanced tools to optimize BESS (Battery Energy Storage Systems) sizing by simulating actual degradation in relation to the defined use.
  • New ESS designs:
  1. Mobile ESS and flexibilization concepts for the prompt realization, relocation of ESS, flexibilization capacity where it is needed the most. Innovative approach to secure and fast deployment and roll-in / roll-out of the ESS and flexibilization solutions;
  2. Firefighting and suppression systems – at BESS design (via sectioning) and at chemistry levels;
  3. PCS design with significant over-load capacity maximizing system reliability, but decreasing the overall system costs. Methodology and matrix for optimum PCS design to match maximum reliability / minimum costs;
  4. Rapid maintenance systems – tools and methods and approach to deign to execute rapid, hot maintenance and replacement of the broken modules / racks / PCS modules;
  5. To reduce footprint of BESS plants by stacking container solutions, while keeping safety and fire regulations of different geographical areas.
  • Energy storage system diagnostics: solutions to enable real-time state-of-health monitoring for lithium-based energy storage system as well as predictive diagnostics (anomaly and fault detection, capacity derating estimation and prediction, thermal runway prevention), in particular:
  1.  Not intrusive sensors and measurement devices for real-time State of Health estimation;
  2. Algorithm of predictive diagnostic for the prevention of critical scenarios or events (eg. thermal runaway);
  • Advanced BESS control systems to enable:
  1. grid forming capability through specific PCS; indeed, increasingly network operators are requiring inverters, mainly connected to storage systems, with innovative performance and functionalities for frequency regulation/control (VSM, synthetic inertia, or similar) to compensate for the reduction of connected rotating machines and guarantee the stability of converter-dominated or isolated networks;
  2. an optimal synergic use of a hybrid system based on different type of storage technologies (i.e. brand new and second life batteries modules, battery system and supercapacitor system; integration of electrochemical and kinetics systems, etc.);
  3. different combination of array configurations (also foreseen series and parallel configuration modification during the operation phase of the system)
  4. Design Technologies for efficient o reuse/dismantle of batteries for EVs;
  • Technologies for Batteries to be used in DC High power charging for EVs;
  • End-of-life management and circular economy: processes that guarantee sustainable end-of-life management of batteries and avoidance of rare raw materials, through the development of automated dismantling and highly efficient recycling processes and reuse of end-of-life batteries;
  • Technologies, designs standards/pattern and system integration approaches (and related software components) able to allow and facilitate the 2nd life batteries reuse for stationary application (Behind or Front of the Meter).
  • Solutions for efficient e-Bus batteries second life usage.

Please note that we are looking for solutions that have a real interest for energy storage end-users, i.e. we’re not considering solutions that have still a very low TRL ( at least >5-6, Technology validated \ demonstrated in relevant environment) or that are focusing not on functional system but only on a specific sub-component.


The submitted proposal should consist of a detailed technical description including:

  • Examples of technology application or prototypes and reference industry if any;
  • Advantages and weaknesses of the proposed solution compared to the current way of working;
  • Constrains or technological gaps for the solution adoption;
  • Data, case studies, patents and journal references or any additional material that supports the proposed solution;
  • Cost estimation and Technology readiness level (TRL) of the proposed solutions;
  • Development plan towards commercialization of the solution
  • Description of the most suitable use-cases accordingly to the performance and characteristic of the proposed solution ( e.g. application field, operation way, potential revenues stream)

If you think you have an interesting proposal that could bring value exploitation for Enel as a utility, the time to propose it is now!

We do believe that energy storage will be part of our future energy and we are willing to explore and pioneer the best options to be integrated in our value chain.

Meet our challenge!


Tipologia: Bando/Avviso

Fonte: https://openinnovability.enel.com/projects/energy-storage-systems

Paese: Brasile, Messico, ITALIA, Svizzera, Spagna, Australia, Norvegia, Repubblica Ceca, India, Regno Unito, Danimarca, Cina, Germania, Cile, Sudafrica, Serbia, Francia, Finlandia, Austria, Giappone, Vietnam, Federazione Russa, Paesi Bassi, Egitto, Argentina, Singapore, Malesia, Lituania, Svezia, Israele, Canada, Corea del Sud, Stati Uniti d'America, Belgio

SSD: 01 - Scienze matematiche e informatiche, 02 - Scienze fisiche, 03 - Scienze chimiche, 04 - Scienze della terra, 05 - Scienze biologiche, 06 - Scienze mediche, 07 - Scienze agrarie e veterinarie, 08 - Ingegneria civile e Architettura, 09 - Ingegneria industriale e dell'informazione, 10 - Scienze dell'antichità, filologico-letterarie e storico-artistiche, 11 - Scienze storiche, filosofiche, pedagogiche e psicologiche, 12 - Scienze giuridiche, 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche, 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali