Caterva

Why Caterva achieves more

We take the sun home to you – night and day

Germans have harnessed the power of the sun for many years. But this works only as long as it shines. As soon as clouds appear, much of the sun’s power no longer reaches us – and in the night, it cannot be used at all. How would it be if we had our own sun at home? This was the initial question that prompted us as engineers and programmers to continue asking. How would it be to have a little sun at home? How would it be if many such small suns mutually supported each other and distributed power in a solar system such that everyone had enough power at all times? Regardless of whether the sun shines, whether it’s cloudy, and even in long winter nights?
So, we went to work – and today we present you a sun for your own home.


What a Caterva Sun can do for you

Flexibly consume the power that you yourself have generated

Caterva has developed a sun for you for use in your own home. It consists of powerful, long-life, and highly efficient lithium-ion batteries, and is combined with power electronics in accordance with top German engineering standards. Each Caterva Sun operates intelligently in a network with other Caterva Suns, and in a powerful and centrally controlled Solar System. In addition to 20 years of free power, this also provides you a claim to a community bonus. Why? – because the many distributed Caterva Solar Systems thus in operation actively promote the Energiewende. In this way, you reduce your power costs permanently by significantly greater consumption, and you also help achieve shared energy goals by implementing the Energiewende at home.

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Caterva App – your data always in view

The Energiewende on your smartphone.

Monitor your energy flow in your home with the Caterva App – whenever you would like to check your data. The power generated by your solar panels, the power feed into your Caterva Sun, and the feed from your Caterva Sun into the power grid: you can easily read off all these data. Be impressed by the Caterva App with its clearly organized displays and simple navigation. In addition, the Caterva App is automatically updated. With the intelligent Caterva App, you have your own Energiewende at the touch of your finger – day and night.

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How energy management pays off

Earn more together, day by day

Caterva has developed an operating system for power storage networks. The basis for this operating system is a small control system for each storage unit, which features intelligence similar to that of a smartphone, as well as a central energy management system.

All Caterva Suns are intelligently networked. The Caterva Energy Management System generates revenue from the large-scale virtual energy storage system created in this way. All owners of a Caterva Sun sustainably profit from this system.

On the basis of its power storage units, Caterva enables power-generation companies to set up new business models for end customers. This arrangement results in major benefits for all parties involved.

In addition, Caterva offers companies the possibility of its managing large-scale virtual energy storage systems on behalf of these companies – and of fully automatically marketing the networked systems in Intraday power trading. Caterva energy management can likewise assure the availability of the individual Caterva systems to provide balancing power for the power grid.


Your questions deserve precise answers.

FAQ

What is the company Caterva GmbH?

The company Caterva GmbH, is a limited company with registered offices in the town of Pullach im Isartal, in the district of Munich. It was founded in 2013. The concept of a multifunctional solar power storage system that would stabilize the power grid is based on a development of the company Siemens next47 GmbH (formerly Siemens Novel Businesses): a solution that was further developed in various departments of Siemens Corporate Technology. Caterva GmbH was founded with support of next47, with the purpose of allowing this innovative solution to be further developed and marketed by a small and flexible company. next47 GmbH, which is a Siemens subsidiary, is a minority shareholder of Caterva.


How is Caterva related to Siemens AG?
The Caterva idea was originally based on a development by the Siemens subsidiary next47 GmbH (formerly Siemens Novel Businesses). The company Siemens next47 GmbH is today a shareholder and technology partner of  Caterva GmbH.

Who founded the company Caterva?

As is the case with many young companies, the members of management at Caterva represent a perfectly complementary team. Markus Brehler, the Caterva CEO, had already gained long years of experience as a startup businessman. He had obtained the wherewithal for these challenges at TUM, MIT, Stanford, Insead, and the Indian Institute of Management. The Director of Engineering at Caterva is the physicist and energy expert Dr. Roland Gersch, and the CFO is the econometrician Gabriele Ellenrieder.

How many staff work for Caterva?

Caterva presently has 20 permanently employed staff, and it additionally calls on the services of freelance copywriters, graphic designers, programmers, and technicians.

What does the name Caterva mean?

The word “Caterva” originally comes from Latin and means 'the swarm'.

How is Caterva related to Siemens AG?

The Caterva idea was originally based on a development by the Siemens subsidiary next47 GmbH (formerly Siemens Novel Businesses). The company Siemens next47 GmbH is today a shareholder and technology partner of  Caterva GmbH.

What products does Caterva offer?

The Caterva Sun
The Caterva-App
The Caterva Energy Management System

For which users is the Caterva Sun designed?

Homeowners can directly purchase a Caterva Sun. A homeowner who does not yet own a solar panel system can plan such a system and have it installed together with the power storage unit. Combined with the power storage system, end-user customers can take advantage of the agreement model “20 Years of Free Power” (see below), for which networking of the power storage system to form a large-scale virtual energy storage complex enables additional earnings for the end user. These users share the resulting earnings in the form of an annual community bonus.

Why is the Caterva Sun designed to be networked?

In a network, Caterva Suns offer even more effective performance than a conventional power storage scheme. Many networked Caterva Suns form the Caterva Solar System – a large-scale virtual energy storage complex that provides additional services and that can earn additional revenue. Each power storage unit has its own control system with the computer capacity of a modern smartphone. To qualify for “20 Years of Free Power”, it is necessary to link the solar-panel power storage system with a network. This arrangement links the Caterva Suns via a cellphone network to form a large-scale virtual energy storage system: the Caterva Solar System. By stabilization of the power grid (supply of primary balancing power: see below), the Solar System creates additional earnings. Several times every hour, the central Caterva Energy Management System retrieves the data from each individual home power storage unit. This Energy Management System can automatically carry out power trading on the Intraday market and can manage the charging level of the Caterva Suns such that the large-scale virtual energy storage network can provide grid balancing power. Since both positive as well as negative power balancing can be required, providing power balancing takes place, as necessary, by power export from the Caterva Suns, or by battery charging. To be prepared for charging as well as discharging functions, the Caterva Energy Management System is designed to attempt to achieve a charging level of 50 % in the Caterva Suns. This enables the system to remain “balancing power capable” at all times.

What are the benefits of the Caterva App?

You can use the Caterva App to monitor the power flow in your house – anywhere and anytime. The app shows you the power generated by your solar power system, the power feed into your Caterva Sun, and the export from your Sun to the power grid. The Caterva App offers attractive features in the form of clearly organized displays and simple navigation. The menus offer six options: data on daily, monthly, or annual basis; the display “Present status”; the expert mode “Time series”; and the display “Over”. Navigation arrows allow switching between displays for the day, the month, or the year. The Caterva App is updated automatically.

What does Caterva Energy Management mean, and how does it pay off?

Caterva has developed an operating system for power storage units to network the individual Caterva Suns to form one large-scale virtual energy storage system. In the individual home storage units, a small control system operates with the intelligence of a smartphone, and is connected via cell phone network to the central Caterva Energy Management System. This system monitors each individual power storage unit, thereby earning revenue from the large-scale virtual energy storage network created in this way. All owners of a Caterva Sun profit sustainably from these earnings. Networking of the individual units by means of the Caterva Energy Management System is the prerequisite for these benefits. On the basis of this power storage network, Caterva offers power-generation companies new business models for end customers. This possibility creates major benefits for all parties involved. In addition, Caterva offers companies its services to manage on their behalf large-scale virtual energy storage networks – and, for example, to market the networked Caterva systems fully automatically in Intraday power trading. Moreover, the Caterva Energy Management System assures the availability of the networked systems for provision of balancing power.

What does the concept "20 Years of Free Power" signify?

With its concept of "20 Years of Free Power – with Your Own Sun at Home", Caterva offers homeowners a cost-effective solution with the following benefits:

20 years of free power, around the clock, 365 days a year
20 years of free power, including maintenance
20 years of free power, extensively independent of power prices
20 years of a community bonus

By combination of a solar power system with the Caterva Sun power storage system, homeowners can completely use the solar power that they have generated themselves. By its storage management system, Caterva ensures that every single stored kilowatt of solar power, generated on the homeowner’s roof, can be consumed in his or her own home, regardless of the time of day. This enables a degree of self-sufficiency up to 100 % – compensation takes place for technical losses in the storage system. Caterva remotely monitors the status of the power storage and takes care of the maintenance. Owing to the large share consumed in the homeowner’s household of the power produced by his or her solar system, considerably less power must be purchased by the power-generation companies – which eliminates the fear of rising power prices. Caterva achieves earnings from the networking and the management of the solar power storage units in a virtually interlinked system. End customers share these earnings in the form of an annual community bonus.

What does "balancing power" mean?

Balancing power means the electrical power that is imported to or exported from a power grid to stabilize this grid. Bids for balancing power are solicited on a special trading market. Balancing power is necessary when power supply and demand are not in equilibrium: e.g., when unforeseen fluctuations in generation and consumption occur. Providing balancing power means that power must be quickly imported into the grid, or exported from the grid – by respectively discharging or charging the power storage units. Balancing power is provided by power transmission providers in three products: primary, secondary, and tertiary control reserve (minute) balancing power. The demands placed on primary balancing power are strictest, since it must be supplied within 30 seconds – i.e., before secondary and minute balancing power – in order to react to spontaneous fluctuations in the grid power system. Caterva power storage systems are capable of supplying primary balancing power. The balancing power provided by Caterva Suns is coordinated from the Caterva control center by the Energy Management System developed by Caterva. This power supply is monitored by the control center of the respective power transmission providers – i.e., by the operators of the power transmission networks – on the high- and extra-high voltage levels. For further information, please see www.regelleistung.net

What is unique about the Caterva Suns?

Caterva is currently the only supplier of power storage systems that is qualified to supply primary balancing power from a network of household-sized, privately used power storage units.

Do you have more questions than these? Or do you have specific questions concerning the Caterva Sun?

We are pleased if you have additional questions – after all, this topic is exciting for us as well. For this reason, we have compiled a great number of answers and placed them on our knowledge page at www.energie-wissen.de