With a new round of financing to ramp up production, Aquion Energy has started deliveries of its low cost batteries. They have also recently announced an upgrade of the product.
With a new round of financing to ramp up production, Aquion Energy has started deliveries of its low cost batteries. They have alos recently announced an upgrade of the product.
Aquion Energy, a company spun out of Carnegie Mellon University, recently delivered the first of its batteries to operators of small power grids, or “microgrids,” that can operate independently of the centralized grid. Microgrids, which typically use local energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydro-power, could help hundreds of millions of people who live beyond conventional grids get reliable electricity. Batteries can store power from solar panels or wind turbines to provide round-the-clock power. Alternatively, diesel generators can be used.
Aquion’s batteries use sodium ions from saltwater as their electrolyte. Electrical current moves through this brackish liquid from positive electrodes based on manganese oxide to negative ones based on carbon. The batteries are large and operate slowly, but they are also manufactured cheaply, using repurposed manufacturing equipment.
The batteries cost about as much as lead-acid ones, which are sometimes used now, but they last twice as long, effectively cutting the long-term costs in half . Other long-lived batteries exist, but they cost far more than lead-acid batteries.
The new energy storage technology could be crucial to making renewable energy more viable, especially in remote locations. By making solar power cheaper than diesel fuel in many places, it could help bring clean power to some of the more than one billion people in the world without reliable electricity
Second Generation Announced
Aquion Energy recently revealed the second generation of its Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI™) battery and energy storage system technology. The new second generation of the AHI technology reportedly offers an increase in energy “of up to 40%” — without any increase in the size/weight of the S-Line Battery Stack or the M-Line Battery Module product lines.
“We have been hard at work making the world’s best long duration battery even better. The improved chemistry of the second generation Aqueous Hybrid Ion battery yields more energy, and will deliver more value for our customers,” stated Scott A. Pearson, CEO of Aquion Energy. “We are unveiling the new technology at Solar Power International because Aquion’s unmatched long duration batteries enable optimal self-consumption of distributed solar generation and ease the burden of intermittent renewable energy on the grid. These two applications are the key to unlocking broad adoption of clean solar electricity as a mainstream energy source.”
The new generation of the company’s product lines will see a number of different improvements, with the substantial increase in energy being accomplished through an improved utilization of the primary active material in the AHI cells.
“At shorter four to eight hour discharge rates, systems will experience an energy increase of up to 40%. At longer 20 hour discharge rates the second generation S-Line Battery Stack will see a 24% increase in energy to 2.4 kW-hours, while the new M-Line Battery Module will see a 16% increase, now totaling 25.5 kW-hours.”
Given the improved performance, the batteries are now even better suited towards use in conjunction with renewable energy systems.
Those interested can find the product specifications of Aquion’s second generation product line here.
According to a recent Aquion Energy Press release
Aquion Announces Completion of $36.8 Million Financing Round
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania, November 5, 2014 – Aquion Energy, Inc., the developer and manufacturer of Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI™) batteries and energy storage systems, today announced the closing of a tactical $36.8 million Series E financing round which will support growing customer-facing resources, scaling production, and deploying projects with partners worldwide.
The Series E financing includes participation from new investors including: the business interests of Gigi Pritzker Pucker and Michael Pucker represented by DNS Capital, LLC; Constellation Technology Ventures, the venture capital arm of Exelon Corporation; Total Energy Ventures; Shell Technology Ventures; and CapX Fund IV, LP.
Previous investors also participating in the round include Bill Gates, Yung’s Enterprise, Nick and Joby Pritzker through their family’s firm Tao Invest, and Prelude Ventures.
“With a compelling product platform and a track record of executing to plan, Aquion Energy is poised to create transformative change in the stationary energy storage market,” said Michael Smith, Constellation vice president and head of Constellation Technology Ventures. “Aquion’s technology has the potential to drive the increased adoption of distributed renewables and to support the integration of additional renewable generation resources on the grid.”
Scott Pearson, chief executive officer of Aquion commented, “This latest round of financing is a testament to the confidence that top strategic and financial investors have in Aquion’s technology, products, and management team. Building on the recent unveiling of our second generation AHI battery technology at Solar Power International, this funding will allow the Aquion team to continue to scale our operations and prepare for increased sales and deployments around the globe.”