Ice Energy hopes to counter the Californian duck curve by replacing traditional air conditioning with ice energy storage. Pic: Ice Energy.
By Jason Deign
Thermal energy storage developer Ice Energy is gearing up to increase sales of a product that has the potential to end California’s famous ‘duck curve’.
The Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) has already announced plans to buy up to 100 of Ice Energy’s Ice Bear 20 residential cooling systems, which completed testing about a month ago.
The 20 ton-hour systems use energy when there is excess production, for example at night, to create ice that is then used for cooling during peak electricity consumption periods, such as evenings.
“At 9.6kW per Ice Bear 20, the order will potentially add nearly 1MW of new energy storage and peak demand reduction capacity to the SCPPA network, saving energy, improving efficiency and reducing emissions,” said Ice Energy.
The deal marks Ice Energy’s debut in the residential energy storage market, a move the company unveiled in Energy Storage Reportlast year, and follows growing utility interest in using Ice Bears for demand response. Read more →
Utility responses to grid defection will be one of the many topics being discussed at the Energy Storage World Forum in Berlin this May. Pic: Energy Storage World Forum.
By Mike Stone
Utilities are seeking new ways to respond to grid defection as the economics of solar-plus-storage make it easier for homeowners to disconnect.
A report called The Economics of Grid Defection, by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), concludes that in territories such as Hawaii off-grid solar plus storage is already economically competitive with remaining on the electricity network.
Tens of millions of customers will defect in other areas such as California and New York as solar plus storage achieves grid parity by 2030, and possibly even 2020, the RMI predicts.
And grid defection is by no means a US-only phenomenon.
In many parts of Australia and Germany, for example, the business case for residential PV and storage is still far from convincing, but that has not stopped homeowners from installing systems for a whole host of other reasons. Read more →
Moixa Energy Holdings wants its wall-mounted battery systems in a million homes by 2020. Pic: Moixa.
By Jason Deign
A UK energy storage system developer is looking to go from 650 installations today to 1m by 2020 with an aggregation-based residential business model.
London-based Moixa Energy Holdings is positioning itself as a utility’s friend by aggregating residential storage assets into a virtual power plant that provides ancillary grid services, then sharing the rewards with its customer base.
On its website, the company claims its GridShare service can earn homeowners between GBP£50 and £75 a year, or “almost 15% of the average electricity bill.”
Chief executive Simon Daniel told Energy Storage Report that 2016 was a scaling-up year for Moixa, which began piloting smart battery technology in 2012 and launched its current products two years ago.
The company is expecting to shift up to 100,000 storage systems within the next 36 months, Daniel said. And although Moixa is looking to bolster sales abroad, most of that capacity could go online in the UK. Read more →
Solar panel pricing is at an all-time low due to overcapacity in the market. Image: SunPower.
By Jason Deign
Present forecasts of PV-and-battery adoption could end up significantly underestimating true adoption levels by not taking into account a massive glut in solar capacity.
Josefin Berg, senior analyst for solar demand at IHS Technology, told Energy Storage Report there are currently “several gigawatts’” worth of new solar panels worldwide that nobody wants to buy because of excess supply.
IHS alerted to the potential for manufacturing overcapacity in the PV market back in June, and has forecast there will be a shakeout among what few manufacturers are still left from previous oversupply and consolidation periods.
For now, however, as EnergyTrend noted: “Prices across the PV supply chain have collapsed to new lows in the second half of 2016 due to plunging demand.”
What will happen to the excess PV capacity currently sitting on the shelf is unclear, but in Australia CleanTechnica earlier this month predicted it would lead to a “big solar boom.” Read more →
Kreisel today launches a residential battery with improvements developed for the automotive sector. Pic: Kreisel.
By Jason Deign
Kreisel Electric has become the latest battery vendor to take on the Tesla Powerwall with the launch of a residential energy storage product today.
The Austrian industrial firm is looking to improve on Tesla’s trailblazing battery pack with a system that uses the same 18650-size lithium-ion cells, with a few significant manufacturing improvements.
Critically, Kreisel uses a laser system to solder connections to each cell in the battery. This is in contrast to traditional manufacturing processes where welding is employed.
The heat generated from the welding process damages cells before they are even used, said Christian Schlögl, head of business development. “With our laser technology we don’t destroy the cell,” he told Energy Storage Report.
The laser manufacturing process helps make sure all of the 8,000 or so cells in each battery have the same capacity and voltage once connected, so there is no need to balance them afterwards. Read more →
Aquion Energy batteries are being used to store solar energy for nighttime illumination along Thailand’s Sky Lane, a 23.5km bicycle track at Suvarnabhumi Bangkok International Airport. Photo: Aquion.
By Jason Deign
Saltwater battery manufacturer Aquion Energy is aiming to cut the price of its batteries by up to 50% within a decade, a company executive confirmed.
Newly named chief commercial officer Tim Poor said it was “very reasonable” to expect a 25% to 50% cut in costs once current manufacturing facilities reached full scale, which would happen within “single-digit years.”
Aquion currently has manufacturing capacity for 200MWh of batteries a year, based on a single production line. But the company’s factory has space for four more lines, allowing for up to 1GWh of capacity to be produced a year.
Poor said the company was planning to double production in the fourth quarter of this year. Aquion has so far shipped 20MWh of storage to about 200 customers, with 50% of products going for export, he said.
Historically, though, Aquion has tended to attract attention for its fundraising escapades rather than its business growth. Read more →