S4E, digital technology supporting renewables

Deux techniciens à côté d'une centrale photovoltaïque

The development of renewable energies will not happen without help from digital technologies. The two go hand in hand. For example, Energysoft, the software developed by S4E, allows retrieval of a lot of data for better optimisation and a fair distribution of green electron production. A key tool for more and better renewable energy!

The efficiency of renewable energy depends on digital technology. This is obvious. Today, data and its optimised processing are capable of transcending the efficiency of production processes and energy flow management in the energy world. S4E is an outstanding example.

700,000 files processed daily

“Every day we collect mountains of data and information. To tell you the truth, we process almost 700,000 files daily. Since our launch, we have amassed nearly 8 Terabytes of stored data. This is a huge amount, especially as this figure is evolving rapidly in view of our continuous growth,” says Jean-Marie Hermelin, CEO of S4E. This data is processed and stored in real time on around twenty servers in France and Europe via our service providers. This industrialisation of hosting is an integral part of the company’s digital expertise.

By collecting a wealth of data, S4E can benchmark many sites against neighbouring facilities. “We use this vast amount of data to understand why we sometimes see large differences in production from one site to another, just a few kilometres apart. We send out alerts to establish the causes of such a discrepancy. It’s real added value” confirms the CEO, who is also developing machine learning to integrate new features into the product using artificial intelligence. Data as an accelerator of technological progress!

Continuous improvement and co-construction

With these innovations, Energysoft’s software has become a product that is constantly evolving and improving to the benefit of all of the company’s customers. Thanks to S4E’s flexible process, an average of one version is released each week with one aim: performance efficiency through data analysis. “The evolution of Energysoft is also the result of the co-construction carried out hand in hand with our customers. Together with us, they shape the tool to be the most useful and relevant to their needs. We learn a lot from each other, with curiosity and humility,” adds Jean-Marie Hermelin.

Data as a regulatory tool

In concrete terms, the data collected can be useful in the context of collective self-consumption activities for the most accurate distribution of green electrons produced. This data can also play a role in setting up regulation systems, the volumes supplied and the costs involved. S4E is thus able to remotely control the volumes of electricity fed into the grid and to limit the power in relation to the spot market price at that moment.

“By retrieving the EPEX market prices, when we are notified that these are negative, we’re able to cut off the power plants to avoid our client feeding the network at a loss,” concludes the owner of the software company. The current market for photovoltaic solar energy is no longer limited to simple resale via a feed-in tariff. It is becoming more complex through different models such as self-consumption, sale on the spot market or PPAs, these over-the-counter markets, which require control, distribution and regulation. These are new models where data plays an essential role and where S4E’s expertise is more crucial than ever.

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