For more than a dozen years, Digi-Triumph Technology chairman Tai-An Lee and his team have been focusing solely on energy storage and conversion. Starting with lithium battery modules used in MP3s and tablets, the company is now tapping into the modern renewable energy trend, with ventures into solar power storage and EV lithium batteries.
In April 2022, Shinfox Energy established the largest single energy storage field in Taiwan, the first storage system capable of storing 7MW. The turnkey contractor behind this system was Digi-Triumph. Overall, Digi-Triumph has 10 energy storage field contracts with a total capacity of over 50MW. Its clients include green energy and renewable energy EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) companies. As long as it's related to energy storage, Digi-Triumph will be there.
20 years of experience in battery management systems
Lee believes that battery management is an ongoing trend, and that "energy will be stored in different carriers depending on the era and the environment." Regardless of the carrier, there's always space for energy storage.
In the early 2000s, Taiwan's ICT industry dominated the global market. The constant stream of new 3C (computer, communications, consumer electronics) products has helped push the development of the battery industry. Lee, with his previous experience in the tech industry, saw the opportunity and invested in battery management systems.
In the early days, Digi-Triumph produced rechargeable batteries in products like Bluetooth earphones, MP3s, and mobile phones. Later, Digi-Triumph also moved into niche markets like army/industrial/medical-grade battery sets for electric bicycles and machine tools, solar power, and mid-to-small-scale energy storage system.
In 2018, Lee returned to Taiwan after several years in China just in time for the renewable energy trend. The government was actively promoting offshore wind power and solar power. Noticing the trend in the energy storage sector, Lee and Digi-Triumph utilized their R&D experiences in lithium battery storage systems and put their focus on renewable energy storage solutions.
The era of green energy arrives; the focus is on energy storage systems
"For Taiwan to develop renewable energy, a certain proportion of energy storage is required. Business in Taiwan alone is enough to last until 2035," stated Lee. He believed that with the government's renewable energy policy growing clearer and Digi-Triumph's experience in installing small energy storage systems, it's not a tall task for the company to find a place in this sector.
With many companies looking to take a piece of the energy storage cake, Lee believes that Digi-Triumph's advantage is its full dedication to energy conversion for the past 19 years. Competitors like Delta Electronics, Taiwan Cement, and FPCC have other businesses to tend to, while Digi-Triumph can focus solely on developing its energy storage technology.
In the early stages, Digi-Triumph's position in the energy storage market will be as an EPC provider, according to Lee. "The benefit of EPC is that you don't have to worry about funds, which makes for good practice," he stated.
For Taiwanese suppliers to find success in the renewable energy sector, they rely on three things: policy, technology, and funds. Digi-Triumph already has the battery technology and plans to follow policies and actively cooperate with the financial sector. Once the resources are all in place, it'll take the next step of becoming a developer.
He then hinted that Digi-Triumph has already planned four storage fields with a total capacity of over 10MW, with 3.6MW in Keelung, 3.8MW in Xizhi, 2MW in Tainan, and 2.5MW in Taoyuan. These fields are set to complete in 2023. Digi-Triumph's advantage is its ability to offer an all-encompassing solution for storage fields due to its years of experience in the battery sector.
An energy storage system has four major sections: battery, systems, electrical grid and software control, and material production operation/maintenance. Lee admitted that among them, the electrical grid and software control are weak points for Digi-Triumph. The company is working with a team from NTUST (National Taiwan University of Science and Technology) to improve the application of its energy management system.
Regarding the energy storage business opportunities for the EV market in Taiwan, Lee pointed out that while EVs are a strong item, it's not viable for small companies. This large capital demand, the high initial investment in manpower and time, and EVs' limited popularity in Taiwan are all factors that caused Digi-Triumph to pause its plans for the EV market for now.