Axion Power International, Inc., the developer of advanced leadcarbon PbC batteries and energy storage systems (earlier post), announced that its PowerCube battery energy storage and battery system is being integrated as a power resource for the PJM Regulation Market, which serves 58 million people in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia.
Axion Power, working in partnership with Philadelphia-based Viridity Energy on this and other projects, will initially participate in the PJM market as a 100 kW resource that will soon be ramped to higher kW levels. As a curtailment service provider in PJM, Viridity Energy will be managing the Axion PowerCube 500 kW/250 kW Battery Energy Storage System.
The PbC battery is a hybrid device that uses the standard lead acid battery positive electrode and a supercapacitor negative electrode that is made of activated carbon. The activated carbon has an extremely high surface area (1500 m2/g) and has been specifically formulated by Axion for use in electrochemical applications.
During charge and discharge, the positive electrode undergoes the same chemical reaction that occurs in a conventional lead acid battery, i.e. lead dioxide reacts with acid and sulphate ions to form lead sulphate and water. The main difference in the PbC battery is the replacement of the lead negative electrode with an activated carbon electrode that does not undergo a chemical reaction at all.
The very high surface area activated carbon electrode stores the protons (H+) from the acid in a layer on the surface of the electrode. The H+ in the negative electrode in the fully charged state move to the positive electrode during discharge where they are neutralized to form water. The result is reduced acid concentration swings from the charged to discharged state which reduces grid corrosion on the positive electrode and leads to longer life of the positive electrode.
Going forward, our technology can be configured in building blocks of 1 MW of power for 30 minutes, for PJM applications. It can also provide power quality, back-up power, power smoothing and load leveling in addition to the initial demand response we provided today. We are excited to be working with Viridity Energy and involved in this important PJM project. We see this project as a great way to demonstrate the effectiveness and versatility of the PowerCube. This format will be used for wind and solar storage as well as for our oil rig back up power application.—Axion Power CEO Thomas Granville
A recent ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reduced the minimum participation requirement from 500 kW to 100 kW and increased the compensation paid to regulation resources, paving the way for the use of the PowerCube on the PJM project.