Mobile battery solution supports drones in fossil-free thinning of forests
Vattenfall’s 'Power-as-a-Service' solutions for mobile energy storage continue to develop. Together with Uppsala-based company, AirForestry, a one-year pilot project is now underway in which drones are charged using a mobile energy storage system.
The company, AirForestry, has developed a new technology for thinning forests with the help of drones. Vattenfall Network Solutions has hired delivered a 100 kWh mobile energy storage system that enables the drone to be charged fossil-free. The energy storage system is placed on a trailer for mobility, for ease of access and transport. The project is planned to continue through 2022 and if it goes well, additional energy storage systems will be delivered.
"This partnership involves us hiring out a mobile battery storage system that creates opportunities in the field, where there's no power supply. This is good for both the climate and the forest environment," says Anders Skarin, product manager for energy storage at Vattenfall Network Solutions.
AirForestry thins the forest from the air. A 60 kilo lightweight harvesting tool is flown out with the fully charged high-capacity drone directly to the area to be thinned. Once there, the tool grips the top of the tree, hugs it tightly, then delimbs the tree so it can shear off the trunk. The tree is then held in the tool’s grip and the drone flies the tree and tool all the way to the nearest road.
"With the battery from Vattenfall, we've the last piece in the puzzle for a completely fossil-free thinning system," says Gösta Forsén, Chief Integration Officer at AirForestry.
Demand is growing for Vattenfall’s mobile battery solutions. At present, Network Solutions has a number of energy storage stations hired out to various companies, and the product range enables them to keep in line with Vattenfall’s strategy of enabling fossil-free living within one generation. The strategy covers the entire value chain, leading to collaborations with companies that are also putting in significant efforts to minimise their carbon footprint.
Power-as-a-Service is an energy solution whereby Vattenfall takes full financial and functional responsibility for the customer’s electrical network. This includes investment, ownership, project management, responsibility for electrical safety and responsibility for operation and maintenance of the electrical network infrastructure.
Facts about the mobile energy storage system
- Capacity: 100 kWh
- Max. output: 35 kW
- Battery type: Lithium Iron Phosphate
- Size: 2400 x 1200 x 2400 mm
- Weight: 3500 kg
AirForestry was founded in 2020 and provides solutions for thinning forests with the help of electric drones that can harvest trees from the air.