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Electrovaya launches Li-ion residential energy storage system; 3 kWh – 20 kWh

15 November 2012

Electrovaya Inc. launched its lithium-ion energy storage system for home usage. The battery stores power from the grid or from solar panels and stores it for later household use.

For consumers subject to time-of-use charges, the EnergyBlock can be used to store off-peak power to be used later during peak times, lowering the amount of peak-rate costs for the user. In some regions, utilities occasionally provide negative pricing to dump excess power when demand is very low, so users may actually be paid to store energy. The EnergyBlock can also store energy directly from solar panels, power in remote locations and emergency power.

Systems are available in sizes from 3 kWh – 20 kWh. The ideal size for most households is 7 kWh, suggests Electrovaya, which provides several hours of power for the typical consumer.

We’re expecting this product to be very popular in places like Germany and Japan as they move away from nuclear power towards sustainable alternative energy. Asia is another key market, with an incomplete electric grid, and we believe there will be a large market opportunity in North America, where we’re paying twice as much for peak power and need a way to store cheap off-peak power.

—Dr. Sankar Das Gupta, CEO of Electrovaya

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Having one of these in the home will soon be as commonplace as having a hot water tank.

It's almost as if they're planning for a 3rd-world level of grid reliability in their RE-powered future.

EP:
Its getting close between Germany and Mali!

Considering the increased frequency of events like Hurricane Sandy, there will be a lot of interest in this.

Of course, they're only talking about ~20kWh at most, but if you're careful you could make that stretch for a couple of days and deal with essentials.

I'm thinking that offline generators that run on natural gas may be the solution as the NG infrastructure is usually buried fairly deep and not affected by these types of events.

The more power electronics and battery product sales, the lower costs, the more power electronics and battery product sales, the lower...

Home batteries are just a win-win for everyone.

Home owners can buy electricity at 5 pence per kWh at the night rate (or when the wind is blowing strongly) and no longer pay for peak rate (25 pence per kWh) electricity, so saving £800 per year. Or they could go mainly off-grid and live off their own solar PV. Or they could earn money from their electricity provider by exporting at peak times.

From the nation's point of view, home batteries would add grid stability and reduce energy costs for everyone (less requirement for peaking power plants). The energy mix could also be moved almost completely over to renewables.

From the electricity producer's point of view, they can invest much more aggressively in cheap renewables without having to pay for backup power supplies. They can also dump cheap electricity to storage when they generate too much (sunny, windy days) and buy back from consumers when they don't have enough.

So I went to their website, and I see the PR stuff, but you are apparently required to contact them if you want to buy one. It's kind of like buying a car I guess. They don't want to sell you one unless you kiss the ring of some creepy salesman. They don't have the price there either.

For storm coverage it would be hard to beat an EV or PHEV.

Either could be used to store PV power and feed it back to the house as needed. A PHEV would also serve as a very efficient generator.

Spending a lot of money on something like storage batteries that will rarely get used makes not a lot of sense. Having a vehicle that you use about every day and also gives you backup power makes a lot more sense.

For good points BW.

Future PHEVs with 40+ kWh batteries & 100 KW generator and future BEVs with 120+ kWh batteries could really help if they are connected at the right place at the right time?

Eventually, an in-house storage unit made with very low cost used EV batteries may also be a valuable alternative.

Very good points BW.

Considering the increased frequency of events like Hurricane Sandy, there will be a lot of interest in this.
Part of the problem with Sandy is that buildings which caught the storm surge aren't safe to power up again until the wiring is inspected and corroded components and connections are fixed.

Now imagine Sandy going through the Rockaways with dozens of self-contained power sources in each apartment basement, each capable of starting a fire...

Home batteries are just a win-win for everyone.
Arbitrage is win/win, but batteries have to be pretty cheap to make it work.  Storing off-peak power as DHW or ice is cheaper and longer-lived than batteries.  If you have the batteries for another purpose anyway (e.g. EVs), using them for regulation or arbitrage is just a no-brainer.

I've a 20Kw emergency diesel generator which suits me just fine in case of storms. Came in handy during Sandy when we lost power for 3 days.

Lets say a 20kWh pack with an optimistic life of 1500 cycles at a very low cost of $200/kWh (that includes the inverter).. that works out to 1.3 cents per kWh system life of energy storage for peak shaving.. it could work out if the difference in on and off peak cost is enough.

A big house that consumes 75kWh daily may need a pack that is bigger for complete peak shaving...

Please remember building codes and city regulations ie. (permits), electrical enginnering and contractor pricing when considering total cost, without these considerations the numbers posted are incomplete. Batteries are still considered as Hazardous with strict regulations on where, when and how they can be installed.
Sorry to bust any bubbles but keep it real.

Extreme weather will damage the aging USA/Canada aerial electricity distribution network more often and more severely in the years to come. Sandy may be of many more to come.

Adjacent trees, flimsy roofs, shacks and old wooden poles are the main culprits. As those will not change soon, local distribution cables should be buried? Could be a make work program, starting with the most exposed areas.

Underground AC distribution causes large power and energy losses, but still should be done in housing and dense urban areas, and the users of such systems should be billed a surcharge for their portion of the losses.

Where natural gas is available, businesses and homes can be equipped with co-generation systems and grid failure versions of such units are now being sold in Japan, the US New England area and Germany.

If they could have been connected, a lot of microturbine units could have been sold off trucks in Manhattan the day after the flood, and so could have the micro-generators of Honda fueled by soldering torch cylinders; Honda could be clever enough to allow their conversion in the field to operate on natural gas with a pressure regulator or jet adjustment and hose connector.

In the future, the electrical distribution system may well disappear from some areas and all energy can be delivered by pipes as synthetic natural gas or better perhaps as synthetic liquid propane or butane and automobiles and other vehicles can be fueled quickly and easily at home or business. Polymer pipes allow the distribution of ethanol, methanol, isopropanol or n-butanol as alternatives. Many tonnes of CO2 can be obtained from various sources or captured from the air to produce the liquid fuels.

Starting about 1939, Torsten Källe went through an extended process to design and build a device that would produce fuel gas from charcoal to operate the engine in an automobile. As a very innovative measure, Källe incorporated the process of recycling nearly one quarter of the exhaust gases into the device to cool it by the economic process of converting the otherwise wasted heat, of producing carbon monoxide gas fuel from charcoal and air to fuel gas, through the conversion of heat, charcoal and exhaust CO2 to additional quantities of the fuel carbon monoxide (3C+O2+CO2=4CO). Small quantities of vegetable oil, paraffin, diesel, used oil, fats and greases can be used as fuel to save on the use of charcoal by dripping them on the charcoal after the engine been started. Small quantities of natural gas, propane or butane can also be fed as can starches, flour and sugar with proper mixing of the solids.

This was a very automatic and efficient device which required only 30 seconds to start from cold and allowed engine restarts without relighting for more than five hours. Modern insulation would save even more heat and keep the outside of the unit cool. Vast piles of charcoal could be stored without danger or loss for emergency fuel for electric generators using this gas machine if natural gas was not available. Modern materials can be used to make this device more reliable and efficient if wanted, but for emergency generators, efficiency is not a prime concern.

(http?//www;hotel;ymex;net/~s-20222/gengas/kg_eng;html)

With the nearly obvious substitution of : for ? and . for ;, you can read the Torsten Källe paper.

New coal or biomass fired electrical power stations can use a two step process of subcritical water oxidation of the coal or biomass and supercritical oxidation of the organic (and some inorganic) residues of the subcritical stage. The CO2 produced in this combustion is automatically liquified at the pressures involved. Producing the relatively pure oxygen used in this process to produce the relatively pure CO2 is not as expensive as trying to capture the CO2 and SO2 and mercury and ash by other processes.

Fuel powered emergency generators can be bought for the price of a tankful of fuel for a SUV, and there are larger and more expensive versions. Most liquid fueled engines can be run on natural gas or propane with simple modifications; as simple as tube of a low flow of the gaseous fuels into the carburetor, and this method will reduce the amount of liquid fuels needed for automobiles and other IC engines. In the US, there exist vending machines in some places for standard tanks of liquid petroleum gases.


Even with no other fuels, automobiles can be operated, at idle or more, with fuel gases, including natural gas, to charge batteries and provide light and heat. Deep discharges of automobile batteries will ruin them, but they can be replaced or marine or deep discharge batteries can be used instead or alongside regular lead batteries.

In the UK, new bipolar lead batteries will soon become more widely available from ATRAVEDA and can be made to have very long life. These bipolar batteries can also easily be made to have voltages high enough to power some ordinary CFLs directly.

The new FZ SONICK now makes a ZEBRA battery package version (110RW80) quite suitable for directly powering compact fluorescent lamps; rich people should be required to have them in their large houses as a required part of an electrical system along with large commercial buildings. The US General Electric, GE, also is in the position of building such units. Two telecom units of 48 volts can also be used (48TL80). ..HG..

A mix of 2 or 3 PHEVs and BEVs per household will be the final solution for short and long term emergency power sources.

No real need for extra high cost battery packs, FC power units, mobile or fixed power generators or any other type of emergency power sources.

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