Skysense BESS units help airports cut costs and increase reliability




Through peak shaving, Mexican power engineering company Skysense® helps airports and other companies stay operational round the clock and achieve savings. The secret: development of products, a variety of financial solutions, and the Skysense® Skycontrol energy management system powered by DEIF devices and backed by fast and competent DEIF support. “The projects we are doing with DEIF controllers are an important part of the energy transition,” says the satisfied CTO.

Just imagine if the runway lights suddenly went out while your airplane was approaching – it’s not a very pleasant thought. Airports are important infrastructure, and all electrical systems must be running round the clock to keep traffic flowing and prevent accidents. This requires a stable power supply, but in some regions of the world, the utility grid is unable to deliver.

This is the case, for example, in many areas of Mexico where power demand is expected to increase as a result of economic growth, putting a strain on the grid. Climate change is not making the situation any better; in June 2023, a heatwave placed the grid under significant stress.



“The projects we are doing with DEIF controllers are an important part of the energy transition”



Skysense® BESS relieves the problem

Batteries, however, can relieve the reliability problem and help realise savings. More than 15 airports across Mexico are enjoying the benefits of having battery energy storage systems (BESS) installed and operated by Mexican power engineering company Skysense®.

“The last time I was waiting for my airplane in Cancún, I suddenly realised that all the energy I was experiencing was coming from our battery,” says Skysense® CTO Luis Becerra. “Electricity at the airport is going through our systems, so they really need to be reliable.”

Consumers can cut costs by charging the batteries when electricity is cheap and use the stored energy during peak hours, and because batteries reduce peak load demand, consumers are eligible for lower capacity charge rates. Finally, batteries can store energy from renewables such as PV panels, facilitating the adoption of clean power.


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Foto BESS 14


Reliable control partner needed

Skysense® was founded in 2014. The company made a name for itself installing PV projects all over Mexico for residential, commercial, and industrial applications. When some of its customers asked for ways to cut costs, Skysense® concluded that with BESS, customers would be able to save 15% to 35% on their electricity bills depending on the profile.

The company entered the BESS market and today offers its customers various business models, from try-and-buy and shared savings (where the customer does not initially invest in the BESS solution) to upfront CAPEX investment where the customer purchases the system. Nowadays, Skysense® is a reference in the Mexican storage market and one of the main players.

Skysense® operates and maintains the BESS system using its proprietary Skycontrol energy management system. This makes the project easy to handle for the airport operator who does not need to worry about the technical details. Skysense® provides reliable operation and expert maintenance. To do that, they need a control partner they can trust, and they found one in DEIF.



Good collaboration from the very beginning

“We found an excellent partner in DEIF. Using DEIF controllers, we developed our own screens, and we developed a lot of the technology and logic of how to operate our systems,” says Luis Becerra. “From the very beginning, our collaboration was very efficient. We make a great team, and that’s why we prefer to use DEIF controllers.”

Each individual battery is controlled using DEIF ASC-4 Battery controllers. The ASC-4 can interface with a wide range of BMS (battery management system) and PCS (power conversion system) brands, controlling battery charge and discharge operations based on various control strategies. The ASC-4s are interconnected in a network with a DEIF AGC-4 Mk II Mains controller which can sense when the grid power is unreliable and switch to feed the load on battery power.

IMG 0415 Skysense Team

Luis Becerra, Alejandro Manfred de Benito Galindo, and Omar Pruneda Torres. 



"What I like the most about these DEIF controllers is that they are intuitive and almost plug-and-play," says Luis Becerra. "When we build a new BESS unit, we start with all the cabling and then set the IP addresses for each device. It is straightforward; we spend most of the time designing the control screens and ensuring everything works."



Compatible with several PCS and BMS brands

To avoid being dependent on one hardware manufacturer, Skysense® works with different PCS and BESS brands. The ability to work with different hardware vendors is critical for the Mexican power specialist, and it is one of the reasons why Skysense® is using DEIF controllers.

“When we start using a new PCS supplier, we work with them to clarify the content of our Modbus communication tables, which can take some time,” explains Luis Becerra. “We’re getting the support we need from DEIF to get a new PCS up and running. We always have an open discussion with the DEIF technical team. They hear us and try to support us as much as possible. Once the logic is uploaded in the DEIF controller, the system operates smoothly.”

"What I like the most about these DEIF controllers is that they are intuitive"



Competent backup is a key point

When the systems are running, the controllers do not require much maintenance, and they keep working even in corrosive environments. This is an additional benefit as some of the airports are located near the coastline.

“The people on the DEIF team are what we value the most,” says Luis Becerra. “This collaboration manages to resolve any problem or challenge that we face. The most important thing for us is customer satisfaction, and we believe that DEIF can back us up in case we have any issue. That’s a key point for us.”



Skysense®

Founded: 2014

Headquarters: Mexico City, Mexico

Activities: PV, microgrids, BESS solutions for peak shaving, fast backup and UPS for commercial and industrial applications

Employees: 62

www.skysense.com.mx

DEIF devices used

ASC-4 Battery automatic sustainable controller

AGC-4 Mk II automatic genset controller





Branching out into different industries

Airports are not the only locations where saving and reliable energy projects are required. Skysense® has branched out into other industries.

“The targets for many customers are the same as the airports: reliable power and savings,” says Luis Becerra. “For some customers, the cost of losing one hour of production could cover the investment in a BESS solution. We’re working closely with customers in automotive, food & beverage, glass, and paper, just to mention some.”

“The most important thing for us is customer satisfaction, and we believe that DEIF can back us up in case we have any issues”


Skysense® operates the BESS systems using its proprietary Skycontrol energy management system which uses DEIF AGC-4 Mk II and ASC-4 Battery controllers

Skysense® operates the BESS systems using its proprietary Skycontrol energy management system which uses DEIF AGC-4 Mk II and ASC-4 Battery controllers

More than 15 airports across Mexico are enjoying the benefits of BESS installed and operated by Skysense®

More than 15 airports across Mexico are enjoying the benefits of BESS installed and operated by Skysense®



DEIF controllers help along the energy transition

Skysense® is also working with its airport operator customers to reduce carbon emissions by installing more PV panels; a move that is perfectly in line with its company policy. Skysense® is working to contribute to the energy transition of the power generating industry.

“We are in a dialogue with a couple of major companies to install more solar power at Mexican airports, and we have built a good relationship because we have successfully executed many projects with the airports already,” says Luis Becerra. “It is our vision to reduce emissions as much as possible while offering reliable projects. The projects we are currently doing with DEIF controllers are an important part of the energy transition. In a perfect world, I wish that we could bring all the experience that we have as a company, and all the experience that is built into the DEIF devices, into reality. If we could succeed with that, we would be in a better position to provide better solutions to our end customers and accelerate the energy transition process worldwide.”

Luis Becerra concludes that Skysense® is definitely planning to use DEIF devices for its future projects with PV panels and BESS solutions.