Start-up Zinc8 Energy Solutions - formerly known as MGX Renewables - has made a deal to deploy a 100kW/1.5MWh zinc-air battery energy storage system in New York City, with financial support to come from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Digital Energy Corp, which is a developer of CHP plants, solar PV and microgrid projects based in New York, signed a Deployment Agreement with Vancouver, Canada-headquartered Zinc8, to install the system in Brooklyn. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Batteries for Stationary Energy Storage 2019-2029.
Hailed as Zinc8's first private sector agreement, the system is capable of storing energy for up to 15 hours, considerably longer than the 4-6 hour upper limit generally assumed for lithium-ion (although it can do more) and even the 8-10 hour sweet spot claimed by flow batteries (some of which can also do more if needed).
- Power from the grid or renewable source is used to generate zinc particles in the Zinc Regenerator. Oxygen is released to the atmosphere as a by-product.
- The zinc particles are flowed to the Storage Tank and maintained in potassium hydroxide (KOH) electrolyte until required.
- Whenever power is needed, the zinc particles are delivered to the Power Stack, recombining them with oxygen to generate electricity. The zinc oxide (ZnO) by-product is returned to the storage tank for later regeneration.
Unlike lithium-ion technology, which requires new stacks in order to scale, Zinc8 has completely decoupled the linkage between energy and power. This means that scaling Zinc8's technology can be accomplished by simply increasing the size of the fuel tank and quantity of recharged zinc fuel.
NYSERDA made a call for proposals that led to it contributing CAD600,000 (US$435,264) towards the project's total CAD2.5 million cost. It's Zinc8's second project of 100kW/1.5MWh in New York State, after it was selected by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) in January as winner of an Innovation Challenge.
Customer Digital Energy Corp said it had a pipeline of a possible hundred customer projects that could benefit from being equipped with such a solution with the company's president and CEO William Cristafaro describing the "Zinc8 system as very promising for integration into our existing and developing customer base of over 100 on-site power plants, solar systems, and microgrids," Zinc8 and Digital Energy have agree to attempt to refer each other for projects in their respective pipelines for execution under joint proposals.
"The Zinc8 system addresses several critical needs of on-site electric energy storage: Price point economics, system robustness under real-world use, and safety," Digital Energy Corp's William Cristafaro said.
Source and top image: Zinc8 Energy Solutions
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