Artificial intelligence poised to enable accelerated transformation of the energy sector


Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your experiences?

Absolutely, I’m currently the founder and CEO of Sigenergy. Back in 2010, I was in charge of building the solar business for a well-known corporation. Me and my team successfully grew that business to be an industry leader in just a few years. From 2019 to 2022, I was appointed to lead an AI computing business and achieved excellent results once again. These experiences allow me to view the renewable energy sector from a different perspective.

In your view, what are the upcoming trends and innovations for the renewable energy industry?

The solar energy industry has witnessed significant growth and transition over the past two decades, with grid parity achieved in numerous countries. The industry is experiencing a pivotal shift in focus to energy storage, and in recent years, we’re starting to see explosive growth in global shipments of Energy Storage Systems (ESSs). Meanwhile, artificial intelligence, especially the remarkable potential unleashed by ChatGPT, presents unprecedented opportunities for widespread applications across industries. The energy sector could undergo accelerated transformation by integrating AI to enhance efficiency and create customer value. I believe the biggest innovations ahead will be AI-empowered ESSs to improve customer experience.

What challenges in the market do you see that need to be overcome?

Firstly, battery safety issues and quality risk. Unsafe solutions can be disastrous, and we’ve already seen recalls and fire accidents in many countries. Secondly, time-consuming, labor intensive, and costly installation is a problem, especially in Europe where labor cost is high and installers are in serious shortage. The third challenge is low system integration and performance, particularly when devices of different brands are pieced together. Not only does it not look great, but it also creates compatibility issues with potential for system failure. The last challenge is the low level of system intelligence ─ data is loosely captured and reported for system monitoring, but never effectively processed nor utilized to make the system smarter.

Tony Xu, founder and CEO, Sigenergy

Image: Sigenergy

Why did you establish Sigenergy and where does the name come from?

Sigenergy was established from a vision to integrate AI with sustainable energy solutions by adopting the latest Device-Edge-Cloud architecture from the very beginning and to help lead the industry into the next phase while letting more people enjoy green energy. We want to be an energy pioneer and a problem solver, hence the name Sigenergy is a fusion of SIGEN and Energy and represents our core values: Safe, Intelligent, Green, Efficient, and New.

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What are your (key) products for the market?

SigenStor is our signature 5-in-1 energy storage system for this year, and it’s compatible with both home and business scenarios with capacity ranging from 5 kWh to 480 kWh. It is a game-changing solution that seamlessly integrates the PV Inverter, EV DC charger, battery PCS, battery pack, and EMS into one system stack, which reduces installation time to 15 minutes and commission time to five minutes. We’re setting the industry's highest safety standards with SigenStor’s five-layer battery protection and four-tier system protection, and we’re the first to use 280 Ah battery cells with human-safe overall voltage. Via our bi-directional DC charging module, SigenStor enables full charging of EVs in three hours and charging with green energy as well, and it supports both V2H and V2G modes. That means EVs can also serve as large capacity mobile batteries, supplying power to homes and the grid in times of need. What’s more, our Energy Gateway enables 5 ms backup switching. Our AI-driven mySigen APP runs on all four platforms across devices.

What role does artificial intelligence (AI) play in your energy storage systems?

By embedding cloud-native technology along with AI deep learning algorithms, AI-assisted proactive safety protection and a user-tailored energy plan are made possible. Using the data generated, our products and the app get smarter over time. Instant smart VPP functions are also enabled with the help of AI, allowing better engagement in the electricity trading market. Our mySigen App, which we launched at the EES Europe this year, serves as a control hub, enabling monitoring, management, and troubleshooting of energy generation, storage, and consumption. It is the first app in the industry that incorporates GPT-4, enabling it to be a personal energy assistant supporting oral and written commands from the user.

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