Posts Tagged ‘affordability’

27 July

Aquion Energy, A Low-Cost, Safe, and Clean Battery System

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,


(Please click on red links & note magenta)

I want to make sure that you are all aware of this particular technology before moving on to another topic, for Aquion Energy has a saltwater electrolytes-based technology that provides a low cost and safe way to store large amounts of energy (e.g. for an electricity grid) through thousands of battery cycles and a non-HAZMAT end product. It operates safely and reliably in a wide range of temperatures and environments. It is also the only one that is cradle-to-cradle certifiedAquion Energy is a Pittsburgh-based company that manufactures sodium ion batteries and energy storage systems.

Below, is a bit of history and background about the company (from wikipedia):

The company was founded in 2008 by Professor Jay Whitacre, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and Ted Wiley, setting up research and development offices in Lawrenceville, where it produced pilot-stage batteries. The company claims to have raised funding from Kleiner Perkins, Foundation Capital, Bill Gates, Nick and Jobey Pritzker, Bright Capital, and Advanced Technology Ventures, among others. The company was the corporate winner in the energy category at the 2011 World Technology Awards. In 2015, the company announced that it would supply batteries for a Hawaii microgrid to serve as backup for a 176-kilowatt solar panel array. The system will store 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

Below, I want to share with you a presentation by Professor Jay Whitacre at TEDxCMU2012, to have a better understanding of the make-up behind this energy storage technology ( recommended):


The ambient-temperature battery is designed for storage for wind and solar power. According to the company, it will be 85 percent efficient. The battery uses non-toxic materials. The cathode uses manganese oxide and relies on intercalation reactions. In its earlier days, Aquion used an anode made of carbon which relies mostly on pseudocapacitance to store charge resulting in a low energy-density and a tilted voltage-charge slope. Later, Aquion switched to a titanium phosphate (NaTi2(PO4)3 )  anode which is a true intercalation material with a large specific charge (Ah/kg) and a flat voltage-charge slope. In many ways, titanium phosphate is similar to iron phosphate used in A123 batteries, but with a low (anodic) electrode potential. The electrolyte disclosed in earlier patent applications was an aqueous sodium sulphate solution, in later a more soluble <5M NaClO4 has been used. A synthetic cotton separator was reported. It is worth noting that Aquion targets stationary electric energy storage markets with long runtimes (such as peak shift and renewable energy storage) which requires the use of unusually thick (>2 mm) battery electrode layers, which leads to a trade off in power density. An individual battery stack will store 1.5 kWh, a pallet-sized unit 180 and a shipping-container-size box holds 2.88 MWh. The battery cannot overheat. Aquion has yet to divulge precise functional details.

The company expects its products to last for more than 3,000 charge/discharge cycles while retaining 80% of starting capacity, twice as long as lead-acid batteries but with a lower power density than other technologies. Costs are expected to be about the same as with lead-acid. In October 2013 they announced a memorandum of understanding with Siemens to adopt their power inverter technology. In October 2014 they announced the new generation of their battery that has a 40 percent increase in energy density (whilst staying the same size), a stack of the battery stores 2.4 kWh and a module (several stacks joined together) 25.5 kWh

What I’ve learned from the video above: true cost driver of Aquion battery is the separator; it’s helpful to use a prop (such as a t-shirt) at fundraising demo. Below, is another video on more details of this grid energy storage, beyond batteries, of Aquion Energy, presented at VLAB, examining the technology and economics behind this product (much worthwhile advices), starting from 17:00:


~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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11 September

Solar Decathlon (19)-Vermont’s Middlebury College’s Self-Reliance Design of 2011

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Dear Readers,

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much. We are at a critical juncture in human history when individual effort and participation in the transition into renewable energy age is desperately needed!  Your signature will be very meaningful in helping all earthlings!  For a summary of why we need to switch to power the earth with Wind-Water-Sunlight quickly, reasons are explained by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at  http://sunisthefuture.net/?m=20110731 There are more than sixteen episodes of discussions on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program) available at http://sunisthefuture.net Please feel free to read/listen to them (type in feed-in-tariff in the search box at right).  Keep in mind that signing this petition only means that you are in favor of renewable energy and FIT/CLEAN Program and does not obligate you to provide any financial support. We simply want our combined voice to be heard even if we are not spending millions of lobbying dollars. We want to demonstrate that our system of democracy will work for people in all socio-economic strata. So please join us in this earthly movement by signing this petition and participating in our common goal of moving toward the renewable and solar energy age.

Today’s Solar Decathlon of 2011 video clip is on Vermont’s Middlebury College’s design Self-Reliance.  Self-Reliance is a sustainable home for a family of four in Vermont. The focus of this design is on sustainability, affordability, use of local material, and the vernacular form creating an American Farmhouse of the 21st century. This is a home of  design for simple construction: a truss system supporting the roof (gable roof easily sheds precipitation and maximizes space), stud walls filled with cellulose , floor made of locally harvested maple wood, triple pane windows optimizing solar exposure while cross ties providing lateral support for the structure, benches and plant beds are part of the organization of the design plan, and solar panels enable Self-Reliance to be a net-zero energy home.  Northern skylights provide passive ventilation and natural light into the center of the house. The South facade receives the sun with large panes of glass and solar panels.  In the exterior of the house, potable and non-potable water are collected and stored in four water tanks. The garden beds and benches in the front creates an extension of the public space. Upon entering the house, there is a transitional space for boots and jackets.  An open public area, used for dining, cooking, working, and socializing, provides a sense of spaciousness.  The Southern wall is a green house that provides food and passive heating  throughout the year. The living space receives even North light and has sustainably produced furniture. Half of the house is used for public space and half of the house is used for private space, with the transition between the two spaces indicated by  the dropped ceiling height.  There is also a full bathroom between the private and public spaces. Both bedrooms have tall ceilings and access to storage in the adjacent low ceilings.  Now, let’s have a look at this almost 1000 sq. ft. farmhouse inspired design of Vermont’s Self-Reliance—->

written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:   http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org



Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

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14 August

Solar Decathlon (3)-Florida International University’s PerFORMDanceHouse of 2011

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If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much. We are at a critical juncture in human history when individual effort and participation in the transition into renewable energy age is desperately needed!  Your signature will be very meaningful in helping all earthlings!  For a summary of why we need to switch to power the earth with Wind-Water-Sunlight quickly, reasons are explained by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at http://sunisthefuture.net/?m=20110731 There are more than sixteen episodes of discussions on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program) available at  http://sunisthefuture.net Please feel free to read/listen to them (type in feed-in-tariff in the search box at right).

Dear Readers,

An excellent question from some of you and here is what I found out about how Solar Decathlon is judged, based on 10 contests, each is worth 100 points, they are: Architecture, Market Appeal, Engineering, Communications, Affordability, Comfort Zone, Hot Water, Appliances, Home Entertainment, and Energy Balance.

As I’ve previously promised you, in this episode, I will be taking you through a tour of one of the teams from my home state of Florida, the PerFORMDance House of Florida International University.  PerFORMDance House is a design of harmonious coexistence   between its users and nature by generating its energy use completely from the sun while addressing  the need of its South Florida climate of high humidity, high temperature, and high hurricane risk. Some of its innovative strategies in producing electricity to cool/heat interior space are: ductless heating/cooling system, solar thermotube sensitive moderate system, highly efficient lighting and appliance system.  Its high LEED may potentially propel the house for a LEED platinum rating. Other interior features also include: insulated folding glass doors and screens protecting users from humidity and insects while allowing natural light and air into the space;retractable louvre panels shading the perimeter of the house, guarding against direct sunlight and reducing the cooling cost;cabinets made from long lasting American hardwood  for its low carbon footprint;floor made from recycled VOC free wood with zero formaldehyde glues. The interior of the PerFORMDance House is designed around a central core that maximizes energy efficiency, optimizes free space, allows variation of use, provides maximum accessibility and ample storage space for its users.  The exterior contains a spacious bamboo deck, a water feature for its gray water biofiltration, planters filled with many species of low maintenance South Florida plants, and an edible garden that provides healthy diet and lower grocery bills. One can see that the design of PerFORMDance House is: functional, accessible, adaptable, and sustainable.  How about a tour of the PerFORMDance House now–>the clip of Florida International University’s PerFORMDance House of Solar Decathlon 2011 awaits you——>

written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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