Connected Energy

Building a data visualisation platform for sustainable second-life battery solutions
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If you haven't already, explore the first chapter in Connected Energy's innovation story and understand the whole journey around their partnership with the National Innovation Centre for Data. Read the full story here.

The company

Connected Energy specialises in technology systems for grid decarbonisation. This is through design of energy storage systems utilising second-life electric vehicle (EV) batteries. With systems spanning across the UK and Europe, the company champions the circular economy by giving these batteries a new lease of life. 

This approach facilitates a smoother transition to renewable energy sources like wind and solar, which, while sustainable, can be intermittent in nature. By harnessing the power of second-life batteries to store surplus energy generated during peak conditions, Connected Energy ensures a steady and reliable energy supply even when natural conditions are less favourable for power generation. 

The problem

Extracting insights from data

After the success of working with the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD) on understanding the data they had on the state of health of second-life batteries, a new problem prompted the next phase of the collaboration.  

Frazer Wagg, Head of Data Services at Connected Energy said “A big part of the story was understanding what data we have and developing tools. But how do we extract the value? Data visualisation is key to that”. 

This was a multi-faceted problem that required NICD’s expertise: :

  • Data utilisation and visibility: Despite having access to vast amounts of data from second-life EV batteries, the challenge was understanding how to utilise this data to make insights accessible and understandable for customers. 
  • Lack of dynamic reporting and dashboarding: While existing dashboard and reporting solutions were in place, the company lacked a dynamic platform that could provide real-time insights into the health and efficiency of second-life batteries. 
  • Evolving industry standards and technologies: The fast-paced evolution of industry standards and emerging technologies poses a continuing challenge for Connected Energy. Keeping up with changes and integrating new best practices into their operations is essential for maintaining a competitive edge and ensuring the reliability and sustainability of battery energy storage systems. 
  • Scalability of data analysis processes: As the company grew and the volume of data increased, existing processes for data analysis and reporting became unsustainable. They needed to develop a scalable solution. 

                                                        Smart circular economy framework. Credit: Eividnik, Wikimedia Commons. License: CC

The goal

  • Enhanced customer and stakeholder engagement: Increased engagement with internal staff, system owners, and users by delivering monthly reports of key metrics via email, thus improving interaction with system performance data. 
  • Utilising performance data effectively: Create a data product to engage stakeholders in system performance, leveraging the vast amounts of data collected to inform and optimise energy storage solutions. 
  • Developing a scalable data visualisation platform: Build a dynamic, user-friendly dashboard that provides real-time insights into the health and efficiency of second-life batteries, facilitating informed decision-making and improving battery lifecycle management. 
  • Incorporating advanced data science techniques: Use programming languages like R and AWS technologies for automating data cleaning and develop a dashboard where users can generate reports based on specific input parameters, enhancing data analysis, and reporting capabilities. 
  • Improve data quality and accessibility: Automate the cleaning of raw system data and address data quality issues to make data more reliable and accessible for future analysis and visualisation efforts. 
  • Foster continuous improvement and learning: Solve immediate technical challenges while also building a skilled data science team within Connected Energy, setting best practices for data management, and keeping abreast of evolving industry standards and technologies. 

"The state of battery health was around prediction and forecasting, getting the most out of the battery data to ensure everyone gets value.

The goal of data visualisation is around actually cementing that value... It's around building a tool for us to identify problems early before they could become issues.” 

Frazer Wagg, Head of Data Services, Connected Energy



Data visualisation

The implementation phase was marked by an agile development approach, leveraging both R and Python for data processing and analysis.  

  • Pair programming was a key strategy, enhancing the collaborative development of the solution.  
  • The dashboard was built using R Shiny, allowing for interactive visualisation of data.  
  • Deployment was facilitated through Docker containers, ensuring consistency across different environments, and hosted on AWS EC2 instances for scalability and reliability.  
  • AWS services such as Lambda for process automation, CloudWatch for monitoring, and SNS for notifications were integral to the architecture.  
  • Quarto was used for creating dynamic and reproducible reports, integrating seamlessly with the dashboard for enhanced reporting capabilities. 


Data science tools and technqiues

The project utilised a robust stack of data science tools and techniques, including: 

  • Programming languages: R and Python were used for their strengths in data manipulation, analysis, and machine learning. 
  • R Shiny dashboards: Provided interactive, web-based dashboards that enable users to explore data and generate insights in real-time. 
  • AWS services: EC2 for hosting the dashboard, Lambda for running code in response to triggers, CloudWatch for monitoring the operational health, and SNS for notifications, ensuring a scalable and responsive infrastructure. 
  • Docker: Used for containerisation, enabling the dashboard and its dependencies to be packaged into containers, facilitating easy deployment and scaling. 
  • Quarto: Employed for report generation, allowing for the creation of dynamic, data-driven documents that can be automatically updated with new data, enhancing the ability to communicate insights.

"Our projects with the National Innovation Centre for Data have allowed us to explore the new and evolving areas of data science and grow our own team within the company. The guidance and skills developed were invaluable in pushing the team toward our ambitious data goals.” 

Frazer Wagg, Head of Data Services, Connected Energy




Business impact

The development of the data visualisation platform had a significant impact on Connected Energy's operations and customer engagement. By enhancing data quality and accessibility, the company can now offer more accurate and timely insights into the performance and health of second-life batteries.

This has led to improved decision-making processes, enhanced customer engagement through monthly performance reports, and a stronger competitive edge in the rapidly evolving energy storage and grid decarbonisation markets. 


"Turning data into actionable insights is at the core of our mission for sustainability. This project not only solved our immediate technical challenges but also set a new standard for how we leverage data to drive decision-making and innovation."  

Frazer Wagg, Head of Data Services, Connected Energy




Explore the final chapter in Connected Energy's innovation story and uncover the outcomes of their partnership with the National Innovation Centre for Data.
Read the full story here.


With thanks to the North of Tyne Combined Authority Digital Growth and Innovation Programme (NTCA Digital) for funding this project.

To find out more about Connected Energy, visit their website.

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