Interviews

Jaromír Holub: The field of energetics is preparing for major changes

Published: 14. 7. 2021
Author: Redakce / Editorial Staff
Photo: Photo Lukáš Zmátlík and archives of Power Tech Ltd.
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Clean energy is an important topic nowadays and poised to become even more so in the future. Businesses and households should already be taking an interest in its use, which goes hand in hand with energy storage solutions. This, among others, is the area of expertise of Jaromír Holub, owner of Power Tech Ltd.

When and how did you first encounter this technology?

Since its inception in the year 2000, our company has been working in the field of design and implementation of reserve power supply structures that help protect backup systems from power outages. Therefore, the fitting of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) sources is something we do regularly, and energy storage is not far off from these systems. Our decision to start operations in this field is a logical conclusion and links up well with the work we have been doing for a long time.

Which market sector do your current customers come from?

As I have stated previously, we began in the field of reserve power supply systems. The majority of our customers were companies from areas such as telecommunications, IT, banking, and industry who would suffer fatal operational and economical consequences in the case of a power outage. As time went by and with respect to the kind of customers we had, we established ourselves as a supplier of complex non-IT infrastructure solutions for server rooms and data centres. This means that we take care of complex layout designs of server rooms and data centres for our clients, starting with spatial structuring with regard to personal and operational safety all the way up to specific technologies. Those can be 19” racks, systems that deal with power supply and delivery, cooling, monitoring of operations and environment, automatic fire extinguishing, etc. We still operate in this field, and I would like to think we have made a name for ourselves with our clients and established a foothold thanks to providing high-quality solutions with considerable added value.

What is an interesting project that you have executed?

Actually, each project is unique and always tailored to specific conditions and requirements for operational safety and capacity. The process of designing a solution is always a major challenge during which we try to communicate with our clients as much as possible to tailor the solution to their particular demands, be it technical or financial limitations. The provision of a data centre for the needs of scientific teams in the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry AS CR was a very interesting project with a priority on the overall benefit-cost ratio. It gave rise to a space with a capacity of 400 kW spread throughout sixty 19” racks. Those are separated into several closed-off rows where InRow air-conditioning units are used for cooling. Additionally, there is a complex monitoring system that tracks a number of environmental parameters as well as whether the technologies are in working order and immediately alerts the user to any deviations. The strong suit of this solution is its complexity, operational safety, and flexibility which also ensures that it will stand the test of time.

Let’s go back to energy storage. Wherein do you think lies its potential and what does its future look like?

The field of energetics is currently preparing for major changes that are coming whether it is ready or not. This primarily means a gradual stepping away from large central sources of energy like fossil fuels towards smaller, more sustainable sources such as solar or wind power plants. The downside of these smaller sources is their unpredictability and our inability to regulate their output across time. We will need to incorporate certain corrective elements into the entire energy infrastructure that will store energy when there is an excess of it and supply it back into the network when needed. Battery storage presents itself as one possible solution to this problem.

So energy storage is a relevant topic right now?

It is still far down the line in terms of global energetics. Precise rules and principles of implementation and mass operation are just now being formed. In terms of operation, we must build automated measuring systems that will provide data on consumption to parent operational networks, which will then operate the entire structure based on this data. We have a ways to go in this area. We could, however, look to foreign countries for inspiration and experience as they are several steps ahead of us in this field. In our conditions, battery storage currently makes sense in applications where it can help optimise the usage of power generated by its owner or potentially help optimise their consumption by minimizing usage during peak hours.

Do these applications of energy storage make sense from a financial standpoint?

Naturally, it depends on each specific application and its configuration. Broadly speaking, it is currently a technology that provides user value as well as a return on investment. Compelling applications in this regard are the ones where the user can take advantage of and appreciate the added value of this solution. That being its ability to protect equipment from power outages, potentially even to actively correct voltage quality. In addition to obtaining a simple device for energy accumulation, the client can solve other issues which would otherwise have to be solved separately and might end up costing a sizeable sum. In household applications, the most viable option is in conjunction with a photovoltaic system. Energy generated during the day is used for concurrent consumption and any excess is continuously stored in the batteries. The stored energy is subsequently used during the nighttime.


Modern server room.

Containerised Battery System.

CV BOX

M.Sc. Jaromír Holub (born October 25, 1968, in Prague) is the owner and CEO of Power Tech Ltd., a company he started in 2000.

He graduated from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague. His company specialises in reserve power supply systems and non-IT data center infrastructure.

He is married with two sons – David (25) and Martin (22).

#He likes sport and is an active skier, hockey player, and golfist. He is also a big fan of Lego.

Tips and fitting

“The fitting and space requirements of energy storage solutions depend on their overall output and capacity. To give a rough idea in terms of space – they range from devices the size of a small wardrobe all the way up to systems that can occupy several rooms. Energy storage naturally has to be appropriately connected to the electrical infrastructure of a given building. There exist options for both indoor and outdoor fitting, the latter typically comes in the form of a container,” says Jaromír Holub.

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