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Zinc-air Batteries to be Tested in New York

image credit: Zinc8 Energy
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writer and researcher BrightGreen PR

Julian Jackson is a writer whose interests encompass business and technology, cryptocurrencies, energy and the environment, as well as photography and film. His portfolio is here:...

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Battery technologies are advancing rapidly. New designs seem to be popping up all over the place. Recently New York City arranged to test a system from Zinc8 Energy in a residential 32 building complex in Queens. The company and its partner Digital Energy Corp, recently signed an agreement with Fresh Meadows Community Apartments in New York City to install a 100kW/1.5MWh zinc energy storage system.

The rechargeable batteries will store energy from both rooftop solar and a combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plant. During peak hours the batteries will supply the residents with their power, recharging when electricity demand is lower and prices cheaper.

Zinc8 Energy has developed a patented electricity storage system that stores energy in the form of zinc particles. The system can deliver power in the 20 kW - 50 MW range, with a storage duration of up to 8 hours for microgrids and utilities. The advantage of zinc is that it is relatively abundant and does not use rare and expensive commodities like lithium, vanadium or cobalt. The storage capacity depends only on the size of the zinc storage tank. Lifespan of the zinc-air flow batteries is expected to be between 15 and 20 years.

The project is being financially supported by The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority with a contribution of $450,000.

Zinc8 was recently named a "Best-in-Class" solution in the Energy Storage Category in the Real Estate Board of New York's 2022 PropTech Challenge.

A technology that uses a low-cost and easily-obtained commodity like zinc in its batteries is a valuable addition to storage technologies and a positive outcome to this pilot installation will be watched with interest by many in the industry.

 

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Christopher Neely's picture
Christopher Neely on Jul 1, 2022

This is good news whether or not it ends up working out—we need heavy investments in battery technology beyond lithium-ion, which, while great, comes with a bevy of still unresolved safety issues. Of course, this is not a utility-scale example, but Costco just this week had to recall 400k electric umbrellas because the lithium-ion batteries combusted. I'm very much in favor of vigilantly exploring alternate battery technology.

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