The Anonymous Widower

New Zinc-Air Battery Is ‘Cheaper, Safer And Far Longer-Lasting Than Lithium-Ion’

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

A new type of battery is coming onto the market that can store multiple days’ worth of energy, that doesn’t degrade, can’t possibly explode and is up to five times cheaper than lithium-ion, claimed its developer as it prepares to pilot the technology in New York state.

The zinc-air hybrid flow battery developed by Canadian company Zinc8 has the potential to disrupt the entire energy-storage market — making wind and solar farms baseload and even replacing the need for transmission grid upgrades in many places.

The article then gives an in depth review of Zinc8, its technology and its future prospects.

  • The Chief Executive is a former Canadian MP. Political connections help!
  • The company has $100million of funding.
  • Zinc8 energy storage systems are made larger by fitting and bigger storage tank and adding more electrolyte.
  • The capital cost of an eight-hour Zinc8 storage system is about $250/KWh, but this falls to $100/KWh for a 32-hour system and $60/KWh for a hundred-hour system.
  • Lithium-ion systems ttpically cost $300/KWh for any duration over eight hours.
  • The cost of Zinc8 systems is expected to fall as manufacturing increases.

The article finishes with a detailed description of how the technology works.

It also details the company’s growth strategy.

Conclusion

This technology looks like it will give lithiujm-ion batteries a good run for its money in grid storage applications and it could be one of those technologies that help the world to embrace renewable energy, like wind, solar and wave power.

It has various advantages.

  • Lower cost of installation.
  • Falling manufacturing cost.
  • Easily scalable.
  • No exotic or hazardous materials, just zinc, water and air, which are recycled.

My only worry, is that Zinc8, sounds too good to be true! But having met researchers at ICI, who were concerned in the birth of polythene, this could be a normal cynical reaction.

 

 

 

May 22, 2020 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Eos To Install 4MWh Of ‘Safe’ Zinc Battery Technology – At Giant Oil Refinery

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Energy Storage News.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Eos Energy Storage will deploy a megawatt-scale, behind-the-meter zinc hybrid cathode battery energy storage system for a large oil refinery in Greece, claiming it be a validation of the safety and environmental benefits of the novel technology.

 

EOS Energy Storage seem to have developed a zinc battery, that could work along similar lines to the zinc battery produced by zinc8, that I wrote about in Zinc8 Seem To Be A Surprisingly Open Company.

The Energy Storage News article gives more details on the battery and its design.

  • This battery is rated at 1 MW/4 MWh, so compared to some, it is quite small.
  • It uses a zinc-halide oxidation/reduction cycle to store and output energy.
  • The battery is made from five components, all of which are abundant, ethically sourced and recyclable.
  • An order for a 40 MWh system has been placed.
  • EOS claim to have numerous pilots and demonstrators in use.

Could it appear that using zinc batteries are a feasible method of storing energy, as two companies both appear to be successful at delivering systems?

 

 

May 19, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Zinc8 Seem To Be A Surprisingly Open Company

Several energy storage companies, that I have looked at for this blog are secretive companies.

In The Mysterious 150-hour Battery That Can Guarantee Renewables Output During Extreme Weather, where I pointed at an online article of the same name, the secrecy is in the headline. Look at the web site of the company involved; Form Energy and it reminds me of a term used in the 1970s and 1980s to refer to non-existent software – vapourware. Or one of my older favourite phrases – All fur coat and no knickers.

I have developed disruptively innovative software and other products and understand, the need for secrecy. But there is a need for a balance between secrecy and information.

As an example, one of the products, I have highlighted here, could be ideal for one of the followers of this blog. They will be investigating the product, as I have found enough information to enable them to decide, that contacting the company will not be a waste of time.

Some companies in innovative energy storage development like Highview Power and Hydrostor have posted informative YouTube videos about their technology, but others just rely on the same endlessly repeated phrases.

When I looked at the Zinc8 web site, I thought they were another company dealing in the same phrases, as there are two on the home page.

  • Zinc8 is redefining long-duration energy storage.
  • The leader in zinc-air battery technology.

But they are a lot more open, than the home page might suggest.

Looking up zinc-air battery on Wikipedia, gives a lot of information, that is understandable. This is the introductory paragraph.

Zinc–air batteries (non-rechargeable), and zinc–air fuel cells (mechanically rechargeable) are metal–air batteries powered by oxidizing zinc with oxygen from the air. These batteries have high energy densities and are relatively inexpensive to produce. Sizes range from very small button cells for hearing aids, larger batteries used in film cameras that previously used mercury batteries, to very large batteries used for electric vehicle propulsion and grid-scale energy storage.

I instantly thought, if a technology can be both non-rechargeable and rechargeable and useable in applications from hearing aids to vehicle propulsion and grid-scale energy storage, the technology must have something. I also worked in a non-ferrous metals factory as a teenager and know that zinc is easy to handle.

I then looked at their technology page

  • There is a detailed explanation of the technology.
  • They stress their patents and certification.
  • They show how a system can be expanded.
  • They list the major technological advantages of the system. Robust, safe, scalable etc.
  • They claim 20,000 operating life hours and 8+ operating hours.

They also finish off by giving an energy capacity cost of $45 per kWh.

I tend to think, that they have found a quirk in zinc-air technology, that they are exploiting, by some good old-fashioned innovative engineering.

I shall be watching Zinc8 and the other zinc-air battery start-ups.

May 16, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , | 1 Comment