The “xelectrix Power Box XPB Pro Range” has earned its makers, Austria-based xelectrix Power GmbH, a place among the finalists for the ees AWARD. Dominik Hartl, who founded the company with his brother Alexander, tells us why they made the change from the construction industry to the energy industry and what is so exciting about their versatile system.
Your mobile storage system, the “xelectrix Power Box XPB Pro Range”, could be called a jack of all trades. It can be used for on-grid and off-grid applications, for mobile and stationary systems, and indoors as well as outdoors. The storage capacity can be upgraded from 20 kilowatt hours to a maximum of 2.4 megawatt hours. Possible areas of use include construction sites, industrial warehouses, disaster control and much more. In other words: Is there anything your product can’t do? Where is it out of place?
The xelectrix Power Box stems from the hybridization of generators and consequently also off-grid applications. However, we quickly recognized the enormous potential and advantages of this unique storage solution for on-grid applications, particularly in combination with renewable energies such as photovoltaics, wind power, etc. What’s more, a growing need for scalable back-up storage systems for charging infrastructure as well as storage for grid stabilization prompted us to optimize and certify products for on-grid applications with the help of our own Network Analysis Module (NAM). We were able to unite these two worlds in one product when we successfully launched the “award-winning” xelectrix Power Box XPB PRO Series on the market last year.
The xelectrix Power Box’s customers are mainly in the mid-range field of storage systems, meaning industry and commerce. In the market for domestic storage systems, we play a very minimal role. In this area, our dimensions are usually too large, we have too many technical features and for that reason are also simply too expensive.
Your outstanding design was recognized by the coveted Red Dot Award. What makes it so special?
The Red Dot Design Prize recognizes our aim to create a visually appealing, as we like to say “sexy”, look even for a storage system. The customer’s foremost concerns are functionality and technical features, but of course nobody makes purchases with a blindfold on and most are happy to have an aesthetically pleasing product.
Your storage system is meant to be a part of the “construction site of the future”, which you describe as clean and quiet. Do you see construction sites as your main area of use?
The construction site of the future will be carbon-neutral and the xelectrix Power Box Pro is paving the way for this development: in part through hybridization but also through the possible replacement of diesel generators. Our customers will be construction companies and also especially rental parks.
How about the safety of the mobile systems? What important requirements exist for outdoor use? How will you guarantee the safety of the system in combination with diesel generators, also for those in the surroundings, e.g., on construction sites and in remote villages?
Safety was and will remain a priority for all our product developments in the future. On the one hand, we want to mention in particular the product’s fire resistance, which must meet the highest standards for our applications in underground mines and tunnelling. On the other hand, failure protection is an important feature because repair and maintenance is quite difficult in many regions. The motto here is to design the most simple and robust electronics possible using remote maintenance for controllers and software.
In 2020, you announced that two investors were joining your venture with a 49% share in the company. Xelectrix is aiming to become a global player in the energy sector. Which countries and continents are your main targets?
The addition of investors, particularly the renowned Capital Partner Lansdowne, secures us the necessary financial capabilities to manage the substantial growth that we expect. We want to be and must quickly become a global player and therefore we have already established 52 distribution partnerships in 23 countries. Our focus as far as on-grid applications are concerned is on the DACH region and Europe. When it comes to off-grid applications, we operate worldwide and make use of our contacts in the construction equipment sector with whom we have successfully worked together in the past.
How important is the European market for you?
Europe, particularly Germany, is a clear focus in the on-grid area, where we want to establish reliable sales structures in the near future. We are currently actively looking for distributors and want to specifically invest in this area.
What do you expect from your participation at ees Europe?
The exhibition is an important tool for marketing our technologies and solutions to a broad international audience. So, we expect many good networking opportunities and a positive reception.
For many years you worked in the construction industry, and now in the storage and energy sector? What differences do you notice?
In the construction equipment industry, the Hartl family has operated for three generations and has earned worldwide recognition and respect. In the storage and energy sector, we’ve only been active for about five years, and there are no established reputation or long-standing business relationships to fall back on. We have to keep proving ourselves every day and also have to adjust to a different pace - but it’s fun and it’s especially satisfying to be part of the energy transition. We want to make our contribution with xelectrix Power and create a sustainable positive change.
Now to the ees AWARD: You are among the finalists. How do you plan to use this in your communication, what benefit do you see?
It makes us proud to be among the finalists. It affirms our team’s many years of hard work and recognizes our persistent commitment to achieving our vision. Of course, we will try to make maximum use of this in our communication internally and especially externally. It is a great honor and the joy it brings us makes all of the hard work worth it.