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Café2U – Generator Free Coffee Catering

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The Challenge

Café2U is the UK’s premier mobile coffee provider and coffee van franchise serving fresh coffee every day, nationwide. Each franchisee of Café2U is responsible for looking after their own vehicle as well as the system on board that powers the coffee appliances. Our client Peter wanted to break away from the traditional noisy generator and upgrade his system to a lithium based solution. Not only would this help to drastically improve the life of the system, but with the current price of fuel, switching to an all electrical system would help increase profits by reducing daily running and ongoing maintenance costs.

Peter, like most mobile baristas, has a plethora of equipment that he relies on and needed a system powerful enough to run his business for at least 6 hours a day. This was previously achieved through a hefty 6KVa diesel generator but will now be replaced with a clean, green, maintenance free solution. Energy emissions are at an all-time high, so we love replacing old fossil fuel burning systems with new and renewable energy systems. Even small changes like this can make a huge impact on our carbon footprint. Furthermore fully electric systems come with huge benefits, such as live data analysis, smart communication / protection, and a long service life.

Peter’s AC electrical loads were as follows:

  • Commercial 2 group espresso coffee machine
  • On demand grinder
  • Food display
  • Storage refrigerator
  • Cash drawer and electronic point of sale system

Our Solution

Running AC electrical loads like these requires a sophisticated system that is equipped to handle the large power draw of the fully electric espresso machine, as well as the energy storage to ensure the system can operate for the entire working day. For a commercial system like this, there was a clear solution in mind, the Pro Energy Pack (PEP); A state of the art and EXCLUSIVE 48V Lithium based auxiliary power system that utilises the latest technology, supplied by TBB, that provides a clean alternative to Power Take Off (PTO) or generator based systems.

At the heart of any system is the energy storage, which is especially important when it comes to mobile businesses. The existing generator based system doesn’t store energy but instead delivers it on demand. With any modern generator replacement system, the ability to store energy is essential. Increased energy storage results in increased trading time which directly results in increased profits.

To maximise trading time for Peter we opted for 5 of our M48-50 Lithium modules. This enabled Peter to have 12KWh of storage on board at any given time. We coupled this with a 5000W Inverter Charger to handle the high demand from the espresso machine and fridge compressors. When connected to grid this also recharges the lithium modules from flat to full in just 5 hours. To keep the batteries topped up during the day, and to reduce charging times at home, the Pro Pack is installed with a 1200W battery to battery charger, able to pump out 100A.

Peter’s Pro Energy Pack consists of the following components:

  • 5 x M48-50 lithium modules (48V 50AH)
  • 5000W 48V inverter charger with high current 70A shoreline charging (CM5.0S)
  • Sword bidirectional DC-DC 1200W Charger designed for all 12V alternator types
  • 7 inch touch screen colour control panel with integrated Bluetooth and app
  • Power control interface (PCU) to enable on/off of entire system including the lithium modules
  • Comms and CAN between elements to enable accurate data monitoring and control of the entire system

In the following months we are planning to add remote monitoring to the system and this will provide Peter with a detailed view of the data captured on the application, including daily power usage, battery state of charge (SOC) and general system performance.

Now Peter is enjoying his modern, clean, solid state and maintenance free solution that will outlive any traditional AGM or generator based system.
Furthermore, he now has all the innovative features such as data monitoring and parameter customisation as well as the peace of mind knowing that his carbon footprint has reduced dramatically.

Switching to renewable power helps to massively reduce our demand for harmful fuel and this improves our entire ecosystem. It’s changes like these that help to ensure that our planet stays safe and habitable.


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