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In this paper produced by the Webber Energy Group from Austin University, it is said that energy storage for domestic use is actually increasing the production of CO2 due to higher consumption. This seems to follow few other researches in social sciences where people believe to be allowed to balance their consumption out taking polluting actions and they end up polluting more as they value their own contribution more biased by the fact that they are doing something good for the environment.

 

What do you think? There is anybody from the storage field that has some prrofs against this study?

Imagine if a genie gave Elon Musk a wish what would he wish for; especially when even genie can’t take him to Mars; then definitely he would go for a battery pack having energy density similar to that of gasoline; because when more than perfectly designed Tesla cars are equipped with a ideal battery pack which could store huge amount of energy it would completely change the way we see electric vehicles today. Not only electric cars but such  battery packs could make significant strides in the integration of renewable making solar and wind to contribute to the energy grid same way as nuclear and coal do today.

Keeping fiction aside, researchers working on battery systems claim that they have found such a battery pack called Lithium-Air Battery. Lithium-Air battery is the latest breakthrough development in the field of batteries, everyone is excited about this kind of battery in energy storage circle because it could hold up to five times more energy than the conventional lithium-ion batteries that power almost all kind of consumer electronics and electric vehicles.

These batteries would work by combining lithium present in the anode with oxygen which is normally extracted from the air to produce lithium peroxide on the cathode made of carbon supported with or without catalyst during the discharge phase. During charge phase oxygen is stripped of the cathode and goes back to air outside and lithium goes back to anode. The bad news is that all the experimental performed on lithium-air batteries have been unable to operate feasibly in a true natural-air environment due to the rapid oxidation of the lithium anode and production of undesirable byproducts on the cathode that result from lithium ions combining with carbon dioxide and water vapor in the air. These byproducts agglomerate the cathode, which forms a kind of coating over the cathode making it difficult to function properly. All of the conducted experiments have relied on tanks of pure oxygen -- which limits their practicality, economics and poses serious safety risks due to the flammability of oxygen. But researchers at University of Illinois at Chicago have recently found out that if metallic lithium anode coated with lithium carbonate could significantly improve the performance of battery but still several obstacles have plagued their development.

Lithium Air battery which is quite challenging but promising technology to work with, some of the challenges being faced by scientists globally; rapid decomposition of traditionally organic lithium electrolytes and formation of undesirable electrochemical products on electrodes that result from lithium ions combining with carbon dioxide and water vapor in the air. If we could make Lithium-air battery work then it would definitely accelerate our pace to develop the energy system of the future.

 energystorage battery storage for flexible grids lithium ion renewable energy

                                                                                                            

 

 

References

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180321141345.htm

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/266304-new-lithium-air-battery-lasts-hundreds-cycles-longer-past-designs

 

Co-authored by Lukas Keller (Master Thesis cand. and Associate Energy Analyst Intern at InnoEnergy)

 

Where can you get the cheapest battery or ‘Energy Storage System (ESS)’ in Europe? If you have an interest in the battery market the answer should be no surprise. Yes, it is Tesla and their Powerwall. On their Norwegian website, Tesla is selling its flagship storage product, the Powerwall 2, for a price of about 5000 NOK/kWh, about 531 €/kWh (exchange rate May 2017). Considering the exchange rate, the Powerwall 2 prices are pretty much the same across Europe.

 

 

 

 

Recently, I checked on the EV market in Europe. The number of Electric Vehicle Models is increasing rapidly. When comparing car prices with the offered battery size of the car something interesting came out. Let’s take for example the Opel Ampera-e, the European version of GM’s Chevrolet Bolt which is already available for purchase in Norway.

 

The price for an Ampera–e with an XL battery of 60 kWh and a whopping range of 520 km is about 300000 NOK.

 

Now let’s take out our calculators and do a little math.

The Tesla Powerwall 2 price for 14 kWh is about 70.000 NOK, meaning 5000 NOK/kWh. This means the price for a 60 kWh Powerwall on this rate should be 300.000 NOK.

Wait, 300.000 NOK? That is exactly the price for the Opel Ampera-e car including its 60 kWh battery. This means when I buy the Opel Ampera-e, I pay the price of the installed battery and essentially get the car for free.

 

Well, getting a free electric car is one fun thing; but there is a serious side to this curious situation- even more serious and curious than that of the Mr. Benjamin Button. The ESS available today are highly overpriced and this price is not going to stay at this level for very long. It's only a matter of time when we will have battery prices in ESS at about 150 €/kWh, the price that already exists in EV batteries today. And when this happens, it will open up a completely new set of opportunities, business models and markets for ESS. The players that will be ready with their technologies are going to be the winners of this inbound disruption.

So take note exciting InnoEnergy storage startups, Ferroamp, Ambibox, Lancey… Are you ready for the opportunity?

 

Credits to the friends from CommUnity Post for reviewing this post

Arshad Saleem

The Last Problem

Posted by Arshad Saleem Partner 30-Jan-2017

The energy trilemma is widely recognised as the need to achieve a low-carbon, cost-effective and secure energy source. It’s like a three piece puzzle – it should be simple to complete – but the commercial models currently in use always leave a piece missing.

Fossil fuels are cost-effective and secure, but they are not low-carbon. Renewable energy is clean and cost-effective, but intermittent. As such, the majority of the world is currently reliant on generating energy from fossil fuels to fill the troughs in renewable energy supply. But if we are to meet the COP21 targets then it is vital that fossil fuels are gradually phased out.

So, what’s the solution? If we introduce energy storage to the mix it has the power to make renewables secure, but it is traditionally very expensive. It is as if every time the puzzle looks complete, another piece mysteriously disappears.

The technology is there, but smarter business models are required to allow them to take off. Bright minds are needed to convert this game-changing niche innovation into a commercially viable, embedded technology.

Take our start-up Ferroamp, for instance. The company’s EnergyHub technology combines local energy storage and solar cells in a single unit. The technology manages the energy produced from the sun, stores the spare generation and collects and processes actionable local production and consumption data.

EnergyHub by Ferroamp

Ferroamp's EnergyHub system

The EnergyHub’s built-in intelligence also automatically balances the intermittent solar generation and enables commercially viable services including frequency regulation, peak power management and voltage control to grid operators. All these offerings benefit the consumer and the grid by increasing return on investment and improving grid stability.

Furthermore, the multiple revenue streams generated allow Ferroamp to gain a competitive advantage in the energy storage space and also attract the attention of investors – turning the business into a commercial reality.

So, how do we roll these innovative business models out of a larger scale? Getting industry veterans and larger companies on board to impart the knowledge of the industry will be key.

However, it can often feel like entrepreneurs and the energy industry are opposing forces. The energy industry recognises the need to innovate, but at the same time it is under pressure to increase revenues and reduce risk. Entrepreneurs are more inclined to take risks. They are disruptive, posing difficult questions and seeking answers to solve society’s challenges.

One of my colleagues, InnoEnergy’s innovation director, Elena Bou, says that encouraging the industry to innovate is like teaching an elephant to dance. It’s hard to move a body that big in an agile fashion. The same applies for large energy corporations. Regulation, legacy systems and established processes that have proven effective over years – even decades – of operation make it difficult to be fleet of foot and react quickly to changes in the energy landscape.

But by collaborating with smaller, more nimble companies larger companies can begin to support innovation. While the start-ups can benefit from decades of hard-earned expertise, costly equipment and financial investment. it’s a win-win situation for both parties.

Another way to increase the adoption of innovative business models is to continue attracting bright minds to the potential opportunities offered by the energy industry, and more specifically by energy storage. For the opportunities to become apparent the right support has to exist and the industry needs to come together to celebrate successful breakthroughs.

This support needs to be structured and filled with great poeple having an holistic view on the challenge. We need to be active in every area where innovation happens to capture, understand and build.

In terms of the energy trilemma, do you know any startup that tries to piece the puzzle together? What are they struggling with? Usually it’s not technology. And if it’s not technology, than it’s solvable by all of us working together.

Let us solve their problems in our CommUnity, in InnoEnergy, one by one.

Let us grow their businesses and ideas to have an actual positive and sustainable impact in the world, together on all levels. That's truly game changing.

Do you think that solves the last problem?

(Previously published at: http://www.energy-storage.news/guest-blog/storage-is-the-missing-piece-in-solving-the-energy-trilemma-its-time-to-del)