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NYSERDA Commits $8M to Develop and Commercialize 19 New York Battery and Energy-Storage Technology Projects

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will award $8 million to help develop or commercialize 19 advanced energy storage projects. The awards are being made to companies and universities across New York that are involved in advanced research and development of energy storage applications that could benefit transportation, utility Smart Grid applications, renewable energy technologies, and other industries.

Francis J. Murray, Jr., NYSERDA president and CEO made the announcement at a meeting of the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology (NY-BEST), a consortium created by Governor David Paterson to support New York’s energy storage industry. The 19 projects, which include two lithium-air efforts, will leverage $7.3 million in cost-sharing by recipients for a total of $15.3 million in funding.

Funding will support projects in two categories: Industry-led near-term commercialization partnerships (two major awards), and technology development.

Industry-Led Commercialization Partnerships: $4.8 million
GranteeProjectNYSERDA Funding
General Electric GE is developing improvements to its sodium metal halide batteries for use in a new generation of cleaner locomotives and stationary applications to smooth intermittent renewable power generation as it interconnects with the grid and critical load back-up power and other applications. $2,500,000
Ultralife Corporation Integrating battery and ultra-capacitors on a common power circuit serving two renewable-energy generation sources. This will enable increased renewable-energy contributions to the grid. Also, the system can provide backup electricity during an outage and, during normal operation, allow customers to draw on the stored energy to reduce both their peak electric grid demand and the utility charges associated with peak demand. $2,400,000

Technology Development: $3.2 million
GranteeProjectNYSERDA Funding
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Next-generation lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. $200,000
Ioxus Three projects to improve its ultracapacitor performance through developing a novel electrode-electrolyte interface; use nanostructured materials in the electrodes; and develop a new high density electrode material. $600,000
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the University at Albany Electrolytes to improve the performance of ultra-capacitors. $200,000
Hollingsworth & Vose, Co. Advanced separator for valve-regulated lead-acid batteries. $200,000
City University of New York Two projects: developing a novel nickel-zinc battery that uses low-cost materials and technologies to improve the performance of ultra-capacitors. $349,597
Cornell University Non-flammable battery electrolytes with improved temperature and voltage performance. $200,000
General Motors Materials for improved lithium-ion battery electrodes for automotive applications. $196,090
Impact Technologies A novel method to increase the lifetime of batteries by assessing battery health using in-cell measurement. $99,766
Cerion Enterprises Innovative materials for next-generation lithium-ion batteries, which are used in automotive applications and in consumer electronics. $200,000
Rochester Institute of Technology Methods to recycle and reuse lithium-ion batteries minimizing waste streams to landfills and maximizing reclamation. $195,869
Brookhaven National Laboratory, SUNY Binghamton, and SUNY Buffalo Three projects to develop improved batteries for use in stationary grid-scale energy storage applications including lithium-air, lithium-ion, and lithium-titanate batteries. $552,89
SUNY Binghamton Lithium-air storage systems that could have applications in vehicle or grid systems. $200,000


Henry Gibson

The mass production of sodium metal halide batteries by General Electric will be to great advantage to the automotive and stationary world. They are starting production to be able to implement more efficient hybrid locomotives and mining trucks, but the use of more automation in the production of such batteries will allow them to be far cheaper as the materials needed for such batteries are widely available at fairly low cost, and the batteries themselves or their cells can be used for decades in alternate service when the power and energy levels are too low for locomotive use. A UPS system can use these used batteries as can solar energy systems. This reuse makes them very cost effective.

These batteries are already being used in at least one underwater vehicle and are sold by Rolls-Royce for ship and submarine use because of their long life, light weight and low maintenance.

A set of metal-halide cells can turn a Prius into a 80 mile (low speed) plug in hybrid vehicle, but the power can be used also at high speeds to reduce fuel consumption as well. Two sets of cells are low enough in weight to be put into a Prius for 160 miles. These cells are available in the European TH!NK.

Connect four seven to 25 watt 120 volt tungsten lights in series to a Prius battery and then connect two 120v volt compact fluorescent lamps to the center point and one each outside point of the series and you can have light from your Prius; more lights can be connected in pairs without additional tungsten lamps. Two-hundred- and-forty-volt CFLs will likely work alone. At some risk of burnout even single 120 volt CFLs can be directly connected to the battery when the engine is not running. Twenty-five-watt-tungsten bulbs can be used in series with individual CFLs to reduce the chance of burnout with the motor running. Carbon filament lamps would be more suitable but are not widely available. Series tungsten bulbs can be used for very inefficient light.

Operating any vehicle at high speeds in air is inefficient.

Cost analysis of these halide batteries done by the developers in the UK, now no longer available on their vanished site, showed that the production costs can be reduced by a factor of about five or more from the present prototype production costs of MES-DEA.

NGK has its related sodium-sulphur batteries now for sale for grid support purposes. The NGK cells have even cheaper materials, but are not as well suited for motive power. They can be used for fast charging stations that cannot put a heavy instantaneous load on the grid. They also should be used as stationary batteries in 600 volt light and heavy rail systems for power peaks and regeneration.

Used or new nickel-halide batteries should be used in every subway train for low speed travel in emergencies to the nearest station. When they become more cost effective they can be used for acceleration and regeneration. Acceleration and regeneration is now best handled with flywheels even seventy years after the flywheel locomotives were put into service near London.

I hope I will have enough money to buy the first set of used cells from General Electric or even the first set of used MES-DEA cells from a TH!NK car. ..HG..


We'd like to see NYSERDA invest again in a new generation of residential CHP systems. Mechanical and FC systems should be considered. One place to start is: US Department of Energy’s Solid-State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA).

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