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Brill Power

Problem

State-of-the-art lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are expensive and lose their ability to hold charge as they age. This is, to a large part, due to the way that conventional batteries are connected and controlled – their performance and lifetime are limited by the weakest cell in the pack. Once the weakest cell no longer holds enough charge, most battery packs become useless and are discarded. This is the reason for high lifetime cost and large amounts of battery waste – more than 50% of cells from discarded battery packs are still useful.

Solution

We have developed battery control and management technology, which fully utilizes the available capacity of each cell in a pack. Initial results show that we are able to extend the cycle life of a multi-cell Li-ion battery by up to 60% while retaining a higher energy storage capacity than conventional battery packs. We have so far filed three patent applications and will protect our software through copyrights and embedding on microcontrollers. Current industry leaders focus on active cell balancing with low balancing currents, whereas our technology enables complete energy management, which unlocks the benefits of longer life, improved reliability, safety, and faster charging.

Uniqueness, Technology overview, barriers to competition

Our first product will be a printed circuit board (PCB) supported by specialized battery control software, which ensures optimal utilization of every cell in a pack. The product is modular and can be integrated with any size of battery pack for both stationary energy storage and electric vehicle (EV) applications. We will supply our first product to battery system integrators for stationary storage applications. Our solution will allow the owners of grid-scale batteries to generate 60% more revenue from grid services thanks to the extended asset lifetime. We expect to miniaturize our technology before entering the EV market. Product margins are anticipated to be 50% for stationary storage applications and 30% for EVs. Our technology will enable OEMs to match the lifetime of the vehicle with the lifetime of the traction battery, avoiding the need for costly battery replacements.

Market size and analysis

Our first target market is grid-scale energy storage. This market is estimated to reach a size of $1B globally by 2019, growing by 33% annually. We will enter this market by developing a pilot system in partnership with a battery system integrator for small to medium sized gird-connected energy storage systems. We are currently in the process of formalizing a partnership to that end. We anticipate the completion of the pilot in 2018 and first sales in 2019. We expect to enter the EV market in 2022, which is estimated to reach a size of $250B globally with an annual growth rate of 42%. We aim to supply our technology to a manufacturing line of EVs by 2022, which typically produces 200,000-500,000 vehicles per year.

Traction

We have signed our first commercial pilot project to be launched by the end of 2018

Core Team

Christoph Birkl, CEO Christoph is an expert on lithium-ion batteries and their use as a technology for storing clean energy. He obtained a PhD in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford investigating ways of extending the lifetime of batteries, thus reducing the need for energy-intensive production of new cells. Christoph has a Masters in Sustainable Energy Engineering and Bachelors in Environmental Engineering. Christoph gained experience in energy systems modelling as a student research assistant in the Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy in Denmark and took part in the Shell Eco Marathon as a member of team PEGGIE for Oxford University. Christoph’s enthusiasm and commitment to Brill Power make the team a success. Carolyn Hicks, Head of Finance and Operations An engineer by training, Carolyn has adapted her knowledge of funding and operating large transit projects, to the world of battery entrepreneurship. A recent graduate of the Oxford MBA programme, Carolyn leads Brill Power’s finances and operations. Carolyn has worked in both public and private-sector companies in Canada and the UK. Her ability to advance projects and communicate complex concepts has allowed Brill Power to move from idea to reality. Damien Frost, Head of Technology Damien is a power electronics engineer and currently finishing his PhD in smart-battery technology. The same technology at the core of Brill Power solution. He has an undergraduate and graduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto. Damien is also the co-founder of a successful solar-start-up company, where he worked for five years before returning to research at the University of Oxford. Damien is an all-around tech-geek, but also manages to bring people together. He is wonderful to work with and is constantly striving for perfection in all that he designs. Adrien Bizeray, Head of Software Adrien is an expert in Battery Management System modelling, allowing more accurate understanding of battery performance and improved battery safety. He obtained a PhD in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford, having completed a Masters in Advance Mechanical Engineering and Bachelors degree in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Adrien’s attention to detail results in extremely high-quality work. His knowledge and experience with battery mathematical modelling and data management provides Brill Power the skills needed to pave the way to smarter, more sustainable batteries.
First Name Last Name Job Title Impressive Facts
Christoph Birkl CEO DPhil
Carolyn Hicks CFO MBA
Damien Frost CTO DPhil

Ask, use of proceeds, milestones

Our next funding round will enable the development of our first stationary energy storage product by the end of 2019, it will help finance a large-scale energy storage system pilot (commercial/industrial or grid-scale energy storage), which we aim to complete by 2020, and it will fund further development of our technology for electric vehicle applications. We will achieve these milestones by leveraging existing relationships and collaborations with battery system makers, developers and OEMs as well as building new relationships through our extensive professional network. In addition, we will grow our team and hire experts in engineering, buisness development and sales to execute our strategy.

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