Our most-read stories of 2016

Last year's hottest stories in Energy Storage Report. Pics: Electro Power Systems, Aquion Energy, Kreisel Electric, Capacitor Sciences, SunPower and Concept by US.

Last year’s hottest stories in Energy Storage Report. Pics: Electro Power Systems, Aquion Energy, Kreisel Electric, Capacitor Sciences, SunPower and Concept by US.

By Jason Deign

The year 2016 will probably be remembered as the point at which energy storage began to take off in earnest.

Projects came thick and fast as interest in storage extended quickly beyond early hotspots such as California and Germany.

We saw grid-scale storage playing a starring role in the UK’s frequency response market, while battery makers jostled for position in an increasingly buoyant Australian consumer market. And that was just a couple of examples.

Almost every major energy market in Asia, Europe and North America had a storage story to tell. But which were the ones that caught your eye? Here’s a rundown of our most popular headlines from 2016. 
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Is this the company to beat Tesla?

Capacitor Sciences and its thin film capacitor technology could beat Tesla lithium-ion batteries on performance and cost around $100 per kWh.

Capacitor Sciences and its thin film capacitor technology could beat Tesla lithium-ion batteries on performance and cost around $100 per kWh. Photo credit: Capacitor Sciences

By Jason Deign

California start-up Capacitor Sciences claims to be developing an energy storage medium that could beat lithium-ion batteries on performance while costing around USD$100 per kWh.

The Menlo Park firm is hoping to use nano-structured crystalline thin films as the dielectric material for capacitors with up to 10 times the energy density and 100 times the power density of lithium ion batteries, according to a press release.

Capacitor Sciences says the use of thin film should overcome problems dogging other capacitor manufacturers, such as ill-fated EEStor, which used inorganic dielectric materials too brittle to withstand repeated charging cycles.

“No-one is really working on this class of materials,” said Wolfgang Mack, vice president of business development. “We’re using organic materials. They are waxy in nature. There’s no damage done during charge and discharge.”

Capacitor Sciences’s founder and chief technology officer, Dr Pavel Lazarev, was previously involved with Crysoptix, a liquid crystal display optical films maker, and nanomaterials business Optiva, which went out of business in 2005.
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