The Anonymous Widower

Form Energy And The UK

This article on the Telegraph, which is entitled Britain Will Soon Have A Glut Of Cheap Power, And World-Leading Batteries To Store It, is proving to be a mine of information about the development of the UK Power Network.

Reliable information about US startup; Form Energy has been hard to find.

But the Telegraph article has these three paragraphs on Form Energy.

Form Energy in Boston – backed by Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates – is working on an iron-air “rust” battery based on the reversible oxidation of iron pellets. It does not require rare and polluting minerals such as vanadium, and will have a 100-hour range.

“The modules will produce electricity for one-tenth the cost of any technology available today for grid storage,” the company told Recharge.

Form Energy has been working with National Grid to map out the economics of UK renewables with storage, and how to cope with future curtailment. And it too praises the UK as a global trailblazer, though its pilot project next year will be in Minnesota.

Note.

  1. Iron certainly, isn’t an exotic material.
  2. A hundred hour range is claimed.
  3. If National Grid have been working with Form Energy, is it reasonable to assume, that they have been working with Highview Power?
  4. Good to see that Form Energy praises the UK as a global trailblazer. I have noted several times, that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy seems to be well-advised.

Will National Grid put in one of Form Energy’s batteries? It would be a prudent thing to do, to make sure you get the best.

July 30, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hydrogen Fuel Cells Could Get A Lot Cheaper With Newly Developed Iron Catalyst

The title of this post, is the same ass that of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Scientists have been looking for an alternative to precious metals such as platinum for decades, in the hopes of bringing down the cost of hydrogen fuel cells.

An alternative to a platinum catalyst that costs considerably less will help to bring down the cost of hydrogen fuel cells and of using H2 as a carbon emission-free fuel. This would make it cheaper to both produce and use H2.

Researchers at the University of Buffalo, appear to be on the road to using iron as an affordable catalyst.

This paragraph describes he structure of the catalyst.

The researchers looked to iron because of its low cost and abundance. On its own, iron does not perform as well as platinum as a catalyst, particularly because it isn’t as durable in the face of highly corrosive and oxidative environments such as those within hydrogen fuel cells. The researchers bonded four nitrogen atoms to the iron in order to overcome that barrier, followed by embedding the material within a few graphene layers “with accurate atomic control of local geometric and chemical structures,” said Wu.

Gang Wu is leading the research.

In the early 1970s, I worked with one of ICI’s catalyst experts and he said, that improvements in this area will be large in the future.

Increasingly, I see his prediction being proved right, in the varied fields, where catalysts are used.

July 13, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Energy | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Rusting Battery In Minnesota Could Unlock The Electric Grid Of The Future

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the West Central Tribune.

This is the first paragraph.

A pilot project between Minnesota’s second largest supplier of electricity, Great River Energy, and a Massachusetts start-up claims to have a breakthrough in battery technology that would allow for vast expansions of renewable energy on the power grid.

The article goes on to describe Form Energy’s batteries and gives a couple of pictures.

I’m not sure, but it looks like the battery can supply 1 MW for a hundred hours.

Form Energy have impressive backers and have been secretive in the past, but the concept of using iron oxide (rust) as an energy storage medium sounds to me, to be a challenging idea.

March 19, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | 2 Comments

Green Ships Ahoy Along Vital Corridors

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on 7 News Australia.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Australia’s biggest miners are preparing for a day of reckoning.

Shipping accounts for two to three per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions so manufacturers and retailers are no longer just considering what appears in national targets.

The article then goes on to explain how the big mining companies are cutting their emissions.

This paragraph illustrates how important mining and shipping is to Australia.

Resources and energy earnings passed $300 billion for the first time in 2020-21 and will surge towards $400 billion in 2021-22, according to December figures.

Hence the big need for ships fuelled by lower carbon fuels.

January 2, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Form Energy’s New Low-Cost, Iron-Air Battery Runs For 100 Hours

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Singularity Hub.

This paragraph sums up the genesis of the battery.

A secretive startup backed by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures thinks it may have the answer, though. Form Energy, which was co-founded by the creator of Tesla’s Powerwall battery, Mateo Jaramillo, and MIT battery guru Yet-Ming Chiang, has unveiled a new battery design that essentially relies on a process of “reversible rusting” to provide multi-day energy storage at ultra-low costs.

And this paragraph describes the operation of the battery.

The company’s batteries are each about the size of a washing machine, and are filled with iron pellets and a water-based electrolyte similar to that used in AA batteries. To discharge, the battery breathes in oxygen from the air, converting the pellets to iron oxide, or rust, and producing electricity in the process. To charge, the application of a current converts the rust back into iron and expels the oxygen.

It’s all very fascinating and leads to a battery made from very affordable materials.

The article quotes between $50 to $80 per kilowatt-hour for lithium-ion batteries and around $20 per kilowatt-hour for Form Energy’s battery.

Conclusion

The article is definitely a must-read.

I feel that Form Energy should be added to my list of viable batteries.

August 3, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , | 2 Comments