Demand Energy announces project milestone

Demand Energy's DEN.OS software platform is helping New York buildings to benefit from the state's demand management programme. Pic: Demand Energy.

Demand Energy’s DEN.OS software platform is helping New York buildings to benefit from the state’s demand management programme. Pic: Demand Energy.


By Jason Deign

Demand Energy last week announced completion of the first five energy storage projects in New York’s Demand Management Program (DMP).

One of the five 100kW, 400kWh behind-the-meter energy storage systems installed in five separate Glenwood properties across Manhattan has already passed measurement and verification (M&V) testing.

M&V certification is currently underway with the other four projects within the DMP, which is managed by utility Consolidated Edison (Con Ed) along with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The aggregated behind-the-meter systems, with batteries from EnerSys, are powered by storage system developer Demand Energy’s Distributed Energy Network Optimization System (DEN.OS).

“We have been working during the off-peak season to install and interconnect the next four systems which make up the first 2MWh of installations for Glenwood,” said Shane Johnson, vice president of client services.
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Viking launches solar-and-cold-storage combo

By Jason Deign

Viking Cold Solutions, a US thermal energy storage start-up, is launching what is likely the world’s first solar-plus-cold-storage combination at Hannover Messe, Germany, this week.

Pic: Viking Cold is aiming to tie its phase-change material cold storage with solar.

Viking Cold is aiming to tie its phase-change material cold storage with solar. Photo: Viking Cold.

Energy Storage Report understands the offering is not so much an integrated product as a concept aimed at raising awareness of the efficiency of cold storage over batteries.

Using cold storage with grid power can improve the efficiency of energy use by up to 34%, Viking Cold claimed.

Combined with solar, it could cut ongoing energy costs much further while providing a quicker return on investment (ROI) than batteries, the company said.

“We aim for a three-year payback,” said James Bell, president and CEO. “Our return on investment is based on energy savings. The bigger the facility, the bigger the savings. It can be tens of thousands of dollars a year.”
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New solar storage possibilities from MIT

Scientists at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have produced modified carbon nanotubes that can store solar energy indefinitely after being charged up by sunlight, says the university.

Although nano materials that store sunlight in chemical bonds have been produced before, researchers on this project say that the new material, which is made using carbon nanotubes in combination with a compound called azobenzene, has a much higher energy density than earlier solutions. In fact the energy density of this solutions is comparable to that of lithium-ion batteries.

Electric vehicles for military energy storage

Southwest Research Institute is a member of a team recently awarded a $7 million contract from the US Army Corps of Engineers to demonstrate the use of electric vehicles plus generators and solar arrays to supply emergency power. The program, called the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security, is intended to make military installations more energy efficient and secure.

Micro-storage to kill batteries?

Batteries are a handy way to power small gadgets but if the devices are in remote locations then swapping a cell can be a problem. However, a Danish company called Delta reckons it can do away with batteries altogether by using a combination of micro-storage and what it calls ‘energy harvesting’: using available ambient power such as light or thermal differences.

Thanks to recent improvements in microchip energy efficiency, such meagre power sources, combined with capacitors or other types of micro-storage, should be enough to feed small sensors and other smart devices indefinitely. Delta believes energy harvesting will be important in helping deliver the intelligence needed for smart-city technologies.

“To make a city smart you need a lot of sensors and a lot of sensors would require a lot of batteries or a lot of cables, which is not always feasible,” Delta’s Johan Pederson told Energy Storage Report at this week’s Smart City Expo in Barcelona. “By making the sensors self-supplying you can make a much denser sensor system.”

Plant power to store energy?

Premier Global Holdings Corporation holds the rights to a pending patent for a combined solar power generation and storage unit based on photosynthesis, the process plants use to convert the sun’s rays into chemical energy.

Now DayStar Technologies, a developer of thin film photovoltaic solutions, has acquired the rights to the technology through its purchase of 100% of the outstanding shares in Premier, reports Solar Thermal Magazine.

The technology itself was originally developed at the University of British Columbia and consists of light-harvesting molecules suspended in an electrolyte and mediator molecules which store charge until extracted via electrodes. Needless to say, if DayStar can find a commercial application for the technology it would be a real game-changer.

Ingeteam targets energy storage with new inverter

Spanish electrical manufacturer Ingeteam this month launched a new product called Ingecon EMS Plants, an inverter for 500kW to 1,000kW solar plants that features a battery bank management system. The product should help to stabilise grids by charging or discharging storage equipment as needed to compensate for swings in power output from the PV installation, according to Ingeteam.

Device battery market to hit US$86bn by 2023

By 2023 the smart and portable electronic device batteries sector will be worth $86bn, super-capacitors will top $4.5bn and secondary lithium batteries will likely have lost some of their current 57 per cent market share to new technologies. This is the outlook according to a new study on batteries and super-capacitors for smart portable devices, from IDTechEx.

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