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 →
Battery storage in P2P energy networks could help businesses such as the Eden Project save money. (Pic: Jürgen Matern)
By Jason Deign
Peer-to-peer (P2P) power supplier Open Utility is planning to pressure the UK electricity market regulator towards introducing grid-balancing measures that could include energy storage.
The company, which runs an energy marketplace called Piclo, hopes to convince the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) that P2P networks are good for consumers and distributed generation asset owners.
“There are significant benefits in better balancing renewables and demand on a local electricity network,” said James Johnston, Open Utility’s CEO and co-founder. “Energy storage will be key in enabling this balancing.”
Currently, he said, UK regulations do little to encourage the use of energy storage in P2P networks. Piclo, which allows businesses to buy renewable power directly from source, does not currently include storage, for example.
However, Johnston said: “If regulations allow for it, incentivising local balancing using P2P energy matching could unlock significant financial rewards for local consumers and generators.” Read more →
Encell claims to have a battery chemistry that can beat lithium-ion and lead-acid. Image: Encell.
Battery start-up Encell Technology is taking aim on emerging markets with a residential-scale product that bucks the current trend for sleek, eye-catching design.
The company’s Fused Iron batteries are visually unimpressive but able to perform better and withstand a much wider range of operating conditions than lithium-ion (Li-ion) rivals, said Encell chairman and founder Robert Guyton.
“There are fundamental trade-offs in lithium-ion when it comes to cost, cycle life and safety,” he said. “It’s a zero-sum game.”
Nickel-iron batteries have low specific energy and poor charge retention but are popular in mining because of their long operating life, of up to 20 years with regular cycling, and their ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions.