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Synergy and Innovation: The CE+T and PowerPlus Partnership Journey

Company life • 13.03 2024

CE+T’s journey towards forging a meaningful and dynamic collaboration with our cherished partner PowerPlus is a story of shared vision and mutual growth.

Located in Melbourne, PowerPlus stands as a testament to ingenuity and resilience, crafting batteries, cabinets, and Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) solutions.

As we navigate the narrative of this partnership, Shane, the General Manager and finally, Bradley, the CEO and Founder, each answered our questions. Wald Kerschot, Managing Director of CE+T Australia, also joined the conversation, sharing his insights on this fruitful collaboration.

Today, we turn the spotlight on PowerPlus, a manufacturing hub of innovation in the field of energy storage.

CE+T Team Joeri and Ian with Power Plus during exhbition with Sierra cabinet

Could you provide a detailed description of your company, highlighting its history, core values, and key areas of expertise?

Shane: “Our company’s journey began around eight years ago, officially launching six years ago. It started quite modestly and has grown rapidly since then. In those six years, we’ve expanded from a storage shed to an 8000 square meter factory. We’ve evolved from a family business to now employing close to 75 staff. This growth has been driven by our CEO and founder, who has done an amazing job. I joined the company about a year and a bit ago, and as part of our evolving processes, we’ve transitioned from supplying modular batteries to also offering comprehensive solutions. This includes BESS (Battery Energy Storage Systems) and other energy storage options.”

Could you share the story of how your collaboration with CE+T initially started?

Bradley: “I have been in the industry for 45 years, and CE+T has built a reputation for quality, primarily in the telecommunications industry. I feel strongly about the user experience, and CE+T’s ethos of simplicity in usage and maintenance aligns well with my own. This made them an appealing partner for doing things the way I prefer. I was aware of CE+T before I started working with them, and I had previously sold some of their products, specifically for UPS and telecommunications applications. With the introduction of the Sierra module, it became enticing to explore potential collaborative opportunities as partners.”

Could you provide an example of application?

Bradley: “Well, with my previous company, I bought some of the Flexa shelves, and we used them as UPS. We’ve only just completed our first project with Power Plus Energy and CE+T. Incredibly, it’s a 460-kilowatt, 1.9 MWh off-grid solar system. So, we really dove into the deep end from day one.”

Wald: “That’s exactly what you did, Bradley. And to make it even more challenging, you didn’t even do it in the factory; you did it on-site.”

Shane: “And to add to that, we chose an island.”

Bradley: “So, yes, we really pushed CE+T’s engineering team to their limits. There are 192 Sierras, and we have 84 solar Maximum Power Points Tracking (MPPTs). We currently have 250 batteries in there, although there’s capacity for another 240 batteries. It powers an eco-resort and island off the coast of South Australia. The system is modular and easy to install. The idea is that we can set it up in multi-storey buildings or in plant rooms.”

Power Plus batteries and Sierra CE+T in a complete system for Louth Island

What aspects of your partnership with CE+T are you most pleased with?

Bradley: “The modularity of the multidirectional converters is like a magic bullet for all sorts of different applications. I appreciate it because it’s DC coupled, which means it’s fairly future-proof. This ensures that the customer’s investment remains flexible. If there’s a need to attach a different solar charger, battery charger, or a different battery, we can accommodate that. It’s not just about CE+T or PowerPlus; it’s about understanding the customer. Working with CE+T, we offer more flexibility than most companies, which is really appealing to me. I believe that when we use PowerPlus Energy with CE+T, we’re not just focused on the sale. We genuinely care about the customer experience. It’s not only about the product we’ve created; it’s about doing right by the customer.”
Shane: “Whenever anyone from the company visits us at the factory, or whatever the occasion, it’s been fantastic. The interactions are really productive, and our engineers collaborate effectively on problems they’re trying to solve. From a general manager’s perspective, that’s probably the most gratifying aspect. When we encounter a problem, we seem to work our way through it quite well.”

What are your future plans with CE+T?

Bradley: “To us, CE+T is a diamond in the rough. CE+T has grown and established a reputation as a quality supplier of telecommunication products, and they’re becoming more aware of the competitive nature of the solar industry. Although we may be more expensive, if we can educate customers on the features of CE+T’s products, like the Sierra, and possibly the Stabiliti (though I haven’t used it yet), there’s potential there. By educating the market on these benefits, I believe CE+T is a solid foundation and a good partner for our business.

Wald: “Yes, I agree. I think our relationship with PowerPlus, especially the projects and systems completed with them, is truly a partnership. As Bradley mentioned, we’ve both contributed significantly. When challenges arise, we try to resolve them together, sometimes with solutions coming from our side and sometimes from PowerPlus side. This collaboration has forged a strong partnership, and if we can continue this way in the future we can maintain this trust. Their success is our success, and that’s key to our past achievements. Bradley has always tackled the most challenging projects in the toughest locations, but we’ve all come to the table and managed to succeed. Hopefully, we can use this as a blueprint for the future.”

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