The Anonymous Widower

Gates, Bezos Bet On Flow Battery Technology, A Potential Rival To Big Bets On Lithium-Ion

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on CNBC.

This is the first paragraph.

The U.S. energy storage market is expected to grow by a factor of 12 in the next five years, from 430MW deployed in 2019 to more than 5GW and a value of more than $5 billion by 2024, says Wood Mackenzie Energy Storage Service.

Those are big numbers and it makes me ask the question of whether Planet Earth has enough lithium.

The title of the article says that Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are looking at flow battery technology, as a possibly alternative to lithium-ion batteries.

What Is Flow Battery Technology?

This is the first sentence of the Wikipedia entry for flow battery.

A flow battery, or redox flow battery (after reduction–oxidation), is a type of electrochemical cell where chemical energy is provided by two chemical components dissolved in liquids contained within the system and separated by a membrane.

Wikipedia’s explanation is comprehensive.

  • There are seven different types.
  • There are around twenty different chemistries.
  • They have various advantages and disadvantages.
  • They seem to be less efficient than lithium-ion batteries.

Applications include; load balancing, uninterruptible power supplies, power conversion, electric vehicles and standalone power supplies.

It looks like they are a lithium-ion replacement.

Conclusion

This technology is one to watch.

With all those types and chemistries someone could strike extremely lucky!

 

December 11, 2019 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , | Leave a comment

Malta Energy Storage System Is Looking Forward To First Pilot

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Tech Eplore.

This is the first paragraph.

Malta has received a round of funding and is graduated from “project” to group that can sail. The Cambridge, MA-based company is focused on the storage of electro-thermal energy and the funding put the group in celebration mode this month. In return, the company is turning up the volume on its potential role in the future of energy storage—namely, working out salt-based electro-thermal energy storage.

The article goes on to describe how the system works and I suggest you read it.

This is the last paragraph.

Malta CEO Ramya Swaminathan said the challenge ahead is about design and manufacturing, in Xconomy. Swaminathan said customers were expected to come from a variety of points in the energy system. Such as? She said they expect “developers with wind or solar projects who want firm power, to grid scale applications that can be in the hundreds of megawatts range, to critical backup for data centers, to isolated grid systems like island economies.”

I believe the technology has a lot going for it.

  • It has heavyweight financial backing.
  • The technology is very conventional and well-understood, which will ease manufacture and maintenance.
  • No complex or expensive raw materials are needed.
  • I would suspect that few, if any dangerous chemicals are needed.
  • It would have developing country applications.
  • They would seem to have a large capacity.

I shall be following Malta Inc. with interest.

December 24, 2018 Posted by | Energy Storage | , | 1 Comment

Gates Among Billionaires Backing Alphabet Energy Spinoff

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Bloomberg.

This is the first paragraph.

Alphabet Inc.’s secretive X moonshot lab is spinning off an energy-storage project with backing from billionaires including Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

Read the article. This could be the affordable grid-scale energy storage everyone needs.

December 20, 2018 Posted by | Energy Storage, Finance | , | Leave a comment