Everybody agrees that producing energy from wind, sun and other renewable resources makes good sense, but it won’t be widely adopted unless it makes good “cents,” too.
One of the cost hurdles to be overcome is storing the energy from renewable sources in a way that efficiently matches the electricity generated to the current level of demand. That’s where Israeli startup EnStorage is making news.
Its unique low-cost flow battery system is now being deployed at sites in France and the United States. Because the older storage systems available today are too expensive for large-scale alternative-energy producers, the company expects that these initial two installations will spur interest from many additional parts of the world.
EnStorage CEO Arnon Blum, who was one of the Tel Aviv University team of scientists to invent the first prototype, explains that the concept of a flow battery – which separates the power and energy components – is hardly new. Neither is the idea of using the common chemical hydrogen bromide for energy storage.
EnStorage’s innovation is putting the two concepts together in a low-cost, commercial-sized unit that can store from 150 kilowatts up to multiple megawatts for six hours or more.
“We had to develop a lot of know-how and intellectual property (IP) to mature our prototype into a system,” Blum tells ISRAEL21c. “Our core IP is based on the work our team accomplished on a cell level. Once we got licensing through Ramot [the university’s technology transfer company], we started working on larger-scale systems and generated more IP ranging from the core chemistry all the way to system level.” (via Israel21c)
[Photo: Arava Power Company / Flickr]