That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, speaks to the owners of Range Therapy, about building Range Trailers – for many users, including farmers – with reused battery packs from EVs.
“No noise, no fumes, no CO2 – generating power, not pollution,” is how Range Therapy has summed up its latest release, the Range Trailer, which it launched at this year’s National Ploughing Championships.
Range Therapy CLG is the brainchild of co-founders, Dr. Barry McMahon, an award-winning innovator, and Eamon Stack BAI, BD, M.Phil, MIEI, a computer engineer and award-winning serial social entrepreneur.
They formed this in direct response to the climate change emergency, focusing on reducing transport and energy emissions.
The social enterprise designs, builds and installs range extenders for EVs, Range Trailer – portable power platform and Range Wall Energy Storage unit, all products built reusing battery packs formerly in EVs.
Range Therapy is pioneering the reuse of Irish-owned large battery packs for a range of storage options.
It views the capacity to reuse Li-ion battery packs as “an important step” into the future as Ireland transitions to sustainable transport and a wider sustainable energy ecosystem.
According to the co-founders, its Range Trailer is an Irish-made mobile clean energy platform for use on farms, mobile retail, businesses or homes.
Built with a second-life battery pack, this high-capacity energy storage unit [24-72kWh] makes it “easy” to harvest power when it is free [solar] or low cost and to use it at peak.
According to the firm, it also makes for an “ideal” backup generator, and they believe that it is a “cheaper, more environmentally friendly” alternative to current petrol and diesel generators.
Some of the benefits they outlined include low-cost energy – being up to four times cheaper than a petrol generator, zero carbon emissions, silent operator, high capacity storage (claims to offer enough to power your home or business for days), and a fast charge option.
Eamon Stack, co-founder and managing director of Range Therapy, told That’s Farming that with energy cost and security being “such a major issue these days”, the purpose of Range Trailer is “never clearer”.
“Giving farmers, and many more people, a way to store a large amount of electricity means they can make significant cost savings, help the environment and do a great favour for the National Grid.”
“It makes perfect sense to invest in a large solar project once you have a Range Trailer to store the power. 18,000 dairy farmers milk their cows at 4 pm each day – just at peak demand for the National Grid.”
“Range Trailer would allow farmers to store off-peak low-cost electricity and use it to power their machinery at grid peak.”
Barry McMahon remarked: “While the climate emergency is our biggest challenge, it seems the short-term energy crisis, caused by the illegal invasion of Ukraine, has focused people’s minds.”
“We are proud to design and build this innovative Irish product. And the static version is as important as the mobile unit – same great technology.”
The next stage for Range Trailer is to link several Range Trailers in a local area and build a Virtual Power Plant [VPP].
Already successful in many countries, a VPP, the co-founders outlined, can offer the national grid another alternative to “expensive and polluting peaker” plants.
Stack continued: “We had an amazing time at the National Ploughing Championships, where we spoke to hundreds of farmers.”
“It is absolutely clear farming Ireland is on the sustainability pathway; well informed and open to new ideas.”
“I was truly astounded by the level and quality of response to Range Trailer by farmers and farm families. Many asked about welding, bringing a portable unit into the field.”
“Many suggested integrating a welder into Range Trailer. Others were very keen on back-up and how long the charge would last.”
“Power output was also a probing question; often measured in KVA rather than KW, with my on-the-spot conversion skills well taxed.”
“Most wanted a static version to integrate into their current set-up. They were very happy to hear about the static version, the Range Wall. Overall, we got the sense they meant business.”
“We spoke to several farmers from Kerry and Cork, the midlands and further north. We even met island communities and their attempt to be self-sustainable.”
“It was so exciting to know we are on this sustainability journey together, and together, we can confront new and old problems and find sustainable pathways forward,” he concluded.
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