Batteries Younicos

Published on January 15th, 2015 | by Zachary Shahan

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43 Battery Storage Companies To Watch

January 15th, 2015 by  

As I wrote in my piece on cleantech trends from 2014 and expected cleantech trends in 2015, the battery storage market is really blossoming. There are now quite a number of battery startups and battery departments within big corporations that seem to have promising products arriving on the market or soon to arrive on the market. There are also some that have been on the market for years but are now getting a lot more competitive.

I’m going to run down my list of companies to watch right here, but this page will also be updated as new battery companies pop onto the radar or fall off of it. I’m probably missing a few too, so feel free to drop them in the comments below the article for me to add them.

Battery Storage Companies Samsung Younicos Etc

ABB (company site): One of the largest power and automation companies in the world, and one largely focused on cleantech, ABB is of course in the battery storage space. It offers distributed energy storage modules for grid storage purposes, such as peak shaving, load shifting voltage regulation, renewable integration, and backup power.

AESC (company site): Automotive Energy Supply Corporation is one of three “leaders” in the electric vehicle (EV) battery space, according to a Navigant Research report on the market. Being in the EV battery space, it (naturally) produces lithium-ion batteries, using lithium manganate as the cathode.

AES Energy Storage (company site): Although AES has been in the energy business for 30 years, this certainly doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth keeping an eye on for the upcoming year. This market leader has the largest fleet of grid batteries in commercial service and received a notable award in November 2014 of a 20-year contract with Southern California Edison of 100 MW of interconnected battery energy storage. AES partners with industry-leading utilities and power system operators on energy storage projects.

Alevo (company site): Alevo popped out of a long stealth mode in 2014 and is bringing the “first inorganic lithium battery” to the commercial market. It’s near the top of the list here thanks to the alphabet and choice of name, but it’s also one of the most promising-looking companies on the list, imho. It is targeted at the grid storage market.

Ambri (company site): Spun out of MIT, Ambri has been developing liquid metal battery technology for the past few years. It has an initial factory in place, and I’m sure we’ll hear more news from the company in 2015. The batteries are targeted for stationary storage applications.

Amprius (company site): Not to be confused with the similarly named site above, Amprius develops high-capacity lithium-ion batteries that originated at Stanford University. Amprius definitely has the simplest website on this list, but it is still able to slip in the fact that investors include Trident Capital, VantagePoint Capital Partners, IPV Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, SAIF Partners, Chinergy Capital, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, and Stanford University. Former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu sits on the board.

Aquion Energy (company site): With a handful of battery storage options now on the table, Aquion Energy’s aqueous hybrid ion battery technology boasts “long cycle life at 100% depth of discharge for long duration (4 to 20 hour) applications.”

Bosch (company site): It may not be Bosch’s signature product, but the technology giant is offering energy storage and related technology and service solutions, particularly in connection with solar and wind power installations.

Boston-Power (company site): A lithium-ion battery company aiming to produce batteries at a large scale for super-affordable electric cars in China, Boston-Power is reportedly in the process of scaling up its battery production capacity to the gigawatt scale.

BYD (company site): A top producer of batteries used in mobile technologies, BYD has moved into the grid storage market as well, and it produces several electric vehicles (cars and buses) that now utilize the batteries.


 

CODA Energy (company site): Transformed from an electric car company, CODA Energy now produces UL Certified behind-the-meter energy storage systems, and it has been landing a number of deals in its home state of California in the past couple of years. Focused on lithium-iron phosphate batteries for commercial & industrial customers and renewable microgrids, one of CODA’s attractive non-technical features is a no-money-down financing option that jumps off of the success of numerous American solar companies.

Electrovaya (company site): Electrovaya produces lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles as well as grid storage. One strong selling point of Electrovayais its non-toxic manufacturing process.

EnerVault (company site): One of a few companies on this list producing redox-flow batteries, EnerVault’s long-duration batteries are based around iron-chromium redox-flow batteries. Naturally, being redox-flow technology, it is targeted at grid and commercial/industrial applications, not electric vehicles.

Envia Systems (company site): After receiving a ton of attention for its promise, and then completely crashing, Envia has apparently been reborn and even landed a contract for its lithium-ion batteries with some notable Detroit automakers.

Eos Energy Storage (company site): Eos Energy Storage has been going quite a different route with its zinc hybrid cathode battery technology. For a 1MW/4MWh storage system, Eos Energy Storage claims a price of $1,000/kW or $160/kWh and 10,000 full cycles or 30 years of life. This is for grid storage application.

GE (company site): Yep, one of the largest corporations in the world is in the energy storage business as well. GE’s Durathon Battery is used for both stationary purposes and electric vehicles, including electric buses. The Durathon Battery consists of both sodium batteries and lithium-ion batteries.

Green Charge Networks (company site): Green Charge Networks targets commercial and industrial customers and focuses on peak shaving. Furthermore, it offers a $0 down option, taking after the great success of $0 down solar service companies like SolarCity, Sunrun, Sungevity, and Vivint Solar. Apart from commercial and industrial customers, the company also goes after cities, schools, colleges, etc.

Greensmith (company site): Greensmith offers turn-key energy storage systems and seems to work with many of the other companies on this list. It’s core strength is the software between an energy storage system and the grid. The good thing is that this allows Greensmith to be quite technology-neutral when it comes to the storage technologies, and utilize the best technology for a project.

Imergy Power Systems (company site): Imergy is another vanadium redox flow battery company. Its offering is for stationary storage applications all the way down to the residential level. It has landed a few notable deals lately, including with the US Navy.

JLM Energy (company site): JLM offers a portfolio of energy technology products designed to be managed on a single cloud-based software platform. JLM Energy has residential, commercial, and industrial advanced energy storage systems capable of demand shaving, PV shouldering, net metering, and power outage backup. JLM’s proprietary software, Measurz, provides real-time energy management and reporting.

Johnson Controls (company site): Johnson Controls, long a leader in the car battery space, offers various lithium-ion battery solutions for EVs as well as lead-acid batteries. It was identified as one of three “leaders” in the EV battery market by Navigant Research in 2013.

LG Chem (company site): LG Chem is another giant that is a player in this energy storage market. LG Chem offers battery systems for stationary storage, but it is most notable as a leader in the EV battery space, if not the leader. It produces lithium-ion polymer batteries.

OutBack Power (company site): Recently partnering with Sunrun for residential energy storage, OutBack Power seems to be looking forward to a good year. It offers battery solutions for essentially all stationary uses, as well as some mobile power needs, such as in an RV or marine vessel.

Panasonic / Tesla / SolarCity (Panasonic site / Tesla site / SolarCity site): The hottest company in the car world is Tesla, and probably the hottest solar company (at least in the US) is SolarCity, and that has led to the Tesla–Panasonic–SolarCity partnership being one of the hottest in the battery storage world. Tesla battery packs using Panasonic battery cells are used in the Tesla Model S, but they are also used to some degree for grid, commercial, and residential storage needs.

Pellion Technologies (company site): Pellion is reportedly developing next-gen batteries that will leave lithium-ion batteries in the dust. Spun out of MIT research, the company states that it “has discovered a series of fundamental breakthroughs in materials, chemistry, and cell design.” It is targeting mobile technologies, but could potentially become a big player in other storage fields, especially electric vehicle storage. Potentially.

Primus Power (company site): Primus is installing zinc-bromine flow batteries with a single tank and no flimsy membrane separator for a system that provides “duration without degradation.” Backed by DBL, the same VCs behind SolarCity and Tesla, Primus Power has signed up a couple utilities, Puget Sound Energy and Modesto Irrigation District, and a Department of Defense microgrid in San Diego. For utility-scale or commercial/industrial behind-the-meter storage, its modular systems claim a cycle life beyond 20,000 cycles, have been tested by Sandia National Labs, and will soon be testing with PG&E.

QuantumScape (company site): QuantumScape has gotten a lot of attention of late, thanks to Volkswagen’s investment in the company. It apparently uses “lithium” batteries, but it’s big breakthrough is reportedly due to the use of perovskite.

RES Americas (company site): RES Americas is one of the only companies here that develops renewable energy projects. Knowing how useful battery storage can be for those, RES Americas also offers stationary energy storage solutions. The company states, “We currently have energy storage plants in regional transmission organizations — ERCOT, PJM, and IESO — that are either completed or under construction, and have multiple projects in late development.” It uses various energy storage technologies, not just batteries. When it comes to batteries, it states that it uses “lithium battery chemistries.”

S&C Electric Company (company site): Building on its long experience in utility-grade switching and protection products and smart grid solutions, S&C installed its first MW-scale energy storage system in 2006 and has since connected over 150 MWh of storage to the grid in the United States, Australia, Europe, and Canada. The company uses its proprietary power conversion system (PCS) to integrate a wide variety of battery chemistries, catering to each specific application. S&C recently completed the 6MW/10 MWh UK Power Network installation, the largest energy storage system in Europe.

Sakti3 (company site): Sakti3 is working on solid-state batteries, a category of batteries that is assumed to eventually replace lithium-ion batteries. It aims to get the price of its battery cells down to $100/kWh, and target both mobile applications and electric vehicles (starting with the former). The startup spun out of the University of Michigan. Investors include Khosla Ventures, General Motors Ventures, Beringea, and Itochu Technology Ventures.

Samsung (company site): When I visited Younicos (see below) in Germany, it was using Samsung lithium-ion batteries in its storage system, after thoroughly testing batteries from a bunch of different companies. So, I assume they are pretty good. Its batteries are used in a large variety of mobile devices, electric vehicles, and stationary applications.

Seeo (company site): Luckily, this startup comes right after Samsung — a prominent new investor in Seeo that we just noted knows a thing or two about batteries. Like Sakti3, it is working on solid-state battery technology. Though, it already has some products on the market. It states that it “has developed a new generation of rechargeable lithium batteries based on a proprietary, nanostructured non-flammable polymer electrolyte called DryLyte™.” It is targeting use in electric vehicles, for grid storage, and as telecom backup.

Sharp (company site): Sharp’s SmartStorage™ is a unique energy storage solution that can be used to cut utility demand charges for commercial and industrial buildings. It combines “cutting-edge hardware,” with Sharp’s own intelligent software. The system employs sophisticated, predictive controls to manage the release of this energy, resulting in high performance, high system efficiency and world-class reliability. Also, it is backed by a 10-year performance guarantee from Sharp if yearly demand charge savings are not met, Sharp will pay the difference. It also comes with a 10-year O&M service agreement, which includes 100% free maintenance and a 10-year warranty service supported by Sharp’s nationwide service centers.

SK Continental E-motion (company site): SK Continental E-motion is another leading producer of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. It is in both Germany and Korea, with its headquarters in Berlin. Its R&D organization includes ~180 engineers.

Siemens (company site): Known much more for its big presence in several other industries — wind power, rail of all sorts, and a million other things — Siemens is also in the energy storage business. It is focused on the grid storage market, and states that it “combines cutting-edge power electronics for grid applications and high-performance Li-ion batteries.”

Solar Grid Storage (company site): Solar Grid Storage develops battery storage systems co-located with solar PV power systems. Solar Grid Storage typically installs, owns, and operates the system. However, it also offers an option for the solar project owner to own the system.

Spider9 (company site): Spider9 offers lithium-ion energy storage systems featuring patented cell-level optimization to increase system safety, life, and usable capacity for up to 40% lifetime cost savings. Spider9 gained momentum through the end of 2014 with announcements of the certification to UL standards of its first commercial product, an agreement to sublicense its core technology to Samsung for non-stationary applications, and its selection to participate in the Hawaii-based Energy Excelerator program.

Stem (company site): Stem is another startup that has been getting quite a lot of attention in the past year. It is keen to focus on the word “intelligent” when describing its energy storage solutions, as its offering is not just about the batteries but the software surrounding them and connecting them to other components of the electricity system. It offers “an integrated solution of cloud-based predictive software and advanced energy storage,” according to its website. “The Stem system lowers your monthly energy bill by reducing peak loads, predicting your energy usage patterns, and deploying stored energy at precise times—with no change to how your business operates.” It is targeting business and utility applications.

Sunverge (company site): Again focused on the term “intelligent,” Sunverge is focused on utilization with distributed energy storage application (i.e., solar power). “It combines batteries, power electronics, and multiple energy inputs in a UL-certified appliance that is remotely managed and controlled by software running in the cloud.” Its target customers include electricity consumers, electricity retailers, and utilities. It recently teamed up with SunPower — one of the largest solar power companies in the world — for solar + storage applications in the US and Australia.

ViZn Energy (company site): ViZn uses a different flow battery technology than any of the companies above —  a low-cost, non-acid, zinc-iron chemistry. To start with, at least, it is targeting the microgrid market.

Younicos (company site): If you follow CleanTechnica closely, I’m sure you know that I visited Younicos headquarters in Berlin in September. As I noted above, it does not produce batteries, and it has tested dozens of them to choose the best for its system. It actually combines lithium-ion batteries with sodium-sulfur batteries and vanadium redox flow batteries in order to create something akin to a superbattery. But its biggest competitive advantage is reportedly the software that optimizes these batteries for the best performance and greatly extended lifespan in grid storage applications. Younicos has been under development for ~8 years and has ~50 software engineers on staff.

 

That’s my current list. Let me know if you’ve got others I should add to this!

 

Image Credit: Samsung batteries at Younicos facility in Berlin, by Zachary Shahan | CleanTechnica (CC BY-SA 4.0 license)

 
 
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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) one letter at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of EV Obsession, Gas2, Solar Love, Planetsave, or Bikocity; or as president of Important Media. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, energy storage, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media: ZacharyShahan.com, .



  • Susie

    Where’s Tesla? Duh.

  • Ruth

    One for your list: NEC Energy Solutions

  • Qinous

    Our company Qinous is missing. We are a young Berlin based company building plug & play energy storage systems based on Lithium ion batteries from Samsung SDI or Aquion Energy batteries.

  • Tom Breunig

    UniEnergy Technologies in Mukilteo, WA, is another one that is moving fast here in the Northwest with one of the largest flow battery installations being rolled out in Pullman WA with Avista. They use vanadium. Also keep on eye on Energy Storage Systems of Portland, OR, with a cost-effective all-iron flow battery that is under testing right now.

  • Hi Zachary, you missed us, Solaroad Technologies. We utilize Li-Po battery storage technology in our thin film solar cells to create a all in one portable solar generator with integrated storage. We also are working on SolarFilm, which has the ability to generate and store electricity.

  • JLM Energy, Inc

    Hi Zach, Thanks for putting this together, however you missed JLM Energy: please consider republishing with important additions…

  • jstack6

    You need to add JuiceBox Energy and Enphase. They both have lithium packs in a form that can be connected to add as much power as you want.

  • 小杜 (xiao du)

    Winston? CALB?

  • Nathan Lim

    How about NGK Insulators. They have been making and shipping NAS batteries for years.

  • Enf Martino

    Dear Zach, I think you should add CalBattery. http://clbattery.com/
    California Lithium Battery (CLB) addresses this fundamental challenge with a new disruptive technology: a Silicon-Graphene (SiGr) composite anode material.

    Best.

    • Jouni Valkonen

      More than 99 % all tech-companies that are selling disruptive new technology are actually selling vapor ware. For example, typical vapor ware company is Sakti3, that has lured successfully venture capital by promising for over 1000 fold return for invested capital.

      Therefore it is highly probable that also CalBattery is selling vapor ware.

      Simple economics 101. As disruptive battery tech delivers more than 1000 fold return for invested capital therefore 999 out of 1000 battery start-ups that are selling disruptive battery tech, are actually selling vapor ware. Venture capitalists are actually not fool when they are financing vapor ware companies, because they can calculate probabilities. If they finance 100 start-up companies and 99 of them fail, but one delivers 150 fold return for invested capital, then they actually are making good profits. For most people however probabilities are difficult and hard to understand, therefore these vapor ware companies are getting more attention in media than they actually deserve.

  • lina

    Missed Saft: the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial batteries

  • anonymous

    It seems you haven’t consider any Japponese company that are very active like NEC and Toshiba

  • Bathbun

    Zack,
    Not sure how any list of battery companies can ignore thisTexas based company. They have been in the market place for several decades.
    Extract from their web page:
    Valence customers are leading an energy revolution, introducing low-carbon equipment with reduced weight designs and optimized EV systems utilizing U-Charge© lithium phosphate systems that set today’s energy benchmark.

  • John

    Missed solid energy, japan power plus

    • Joe Viocoe

      Pretty sure they are vaporware.

  • Pete in Oz

    As I have mentioned on a couple of other posts the Australian Company Redflow (www.Redflow.com.au) is another contended. They have pioneered and developed the zinc-bromide flow battery have been in existence for some time now. It seems logical to me at the moment that flow batteries might likely dominate player in the fixed storage arena as they supposedly can sustain 100% DoD without degradation to the battery. Lithium Ion and perhaps other variants on the other hand are supposedly susceptible to significant degradation if 80% DoD is exceeded.

  • juxx0r

    A123 Systems

    • Joe Viocoe

      You mean B456, right?

  • Scott

    I might add California Lithium Battery, Prieto Battery, Oxis Energy, and Store Dot.

  • Steven F

    Ambri: “The batteries seem to be targeted for both grid storage and electric vehicle (EV) storage… eventually, at least.”

    I doubt you will ever see that Ambri battery in cars for two reasons.

    1. The metals in the battery but stay in a molten state meaning you have to keep it hot all the time.

    2. The design requires one of the metal to be a heavy one such as lead. If you tried to put a Ambri battery in Tesla it would probably damage the suspension without even moving the car.

    While the Ambri battery may not work for cars it is a very good battery for home or grid energy storage. Currently the Ambri battery is being tested successfully using charge and discharge cycles that would kill any solid battery currently on the market No one currently knows how long these batteries will last. Current data indicates they should last more than 20 years.with daily charging and discharging.

  • Joe Viocoe

    What, no EESTOR?

    ;P

  • Marion Meads

    It would be nice if you can indicate which companies are into off-grid or retail battery energy storage. Many applications. I’ve only read Sunverge of Australia from your list.

    The next revolution after residential solar PV would be residential battery storage.

    • Offgridman

      From the descriptions you can already mostly tell the companies concentrating on commercial applications (grid storage, EV’s) or those doing residential applications (private consumer sales).
      There is no need to isolate out offgrid applications because they just fall under the residential or micro grid uses. In the case of companies doing residential they will certainly be willing to scale up there offerings to cover the needs of offgrid. In the case of one’s offering micro grid applications you will have to see if what they offer is suitable for your offgrid needs or is to big.
      Company contact info is provided, send a few of them an email describing your capacity requirements and I bet you will get some responses as to price or lack of suitability for what you want.
      Zach has been nice enough to round up this list of companies offering storage. For those of us offgrid or wanting to go that way it is still up to us to determine the most suitable and cost effective way because there are so many variances to each individual situation.

      • Marion Meads

        My dream is to build an off-grid battery energy storage system from a used EV, as it doesn’t get cheaper than that. Was excited at one time that the Volt battery replacement pack available from GM-auto parts was being sold at about $120-$160/kWh capacity. Perhaps, the manufacturers of EV batteries themselves could sell packs that we can assemble to form our own storage system. Companies in Germany that are selling residential battery storage do not have palatable prices.

        • Offgridman

          Yes I found the same thing when checking prices for Volt or Leaf replacement batteries last year through a friend’s auto parts supply store. Two issues though are 1) you had to say that you were buying them for use in a car for the warranty to apply, and 2) these replacement batteries come with the assumption that you will be using the protective case and charging control circuitry and connectors from the old battery.
          Now for use in home energy storage the case isn’t such a big issue, but being sure that the pack(s) are being charged and discharged correctly for best life scenario having the technical know how or knowing someone that does does become a priority.
          This is why the storage packs from Balqon or Aquion seem expensive by the Kwh, but they do include the needed charging circuitry and software and sometimes the AC inverter too.
          That’s why my getting the sealed glass mat batteries originally intended for a cell tower site at less than 100$/Kwh was good luck but being able to charge them from my wind and solar supplies can be done with regularly available charge controllers was an additional plus.
          Good fortune with your research, and let us know how it turns out.

        • Offgridman

          Ms Meads,
          Didn’t have time the other day so here is an additional note on using the EV battery packs for home or offgrid storage.
          While buying the replacement packs (either new or used) is relatively inexpensive the main issue that I ran into is that they don’t include the BMS (battery management system), as the automotive manufacturers assume that you are getting them to replace a pack in a vehicle, and expect you to transfer that from the old pack to the new.
          There is an article on InsideEV’s titled “Electric Motorcycle Primer” part 3, battery care and handling, that does a much better job than I could of explaining the importance of these systems when using lithium battery packs.
          Hope that you find it to be helpful, and as before please keep us updated as to your progress at going offgrid.

  • Vensonata

    Missed Balqon. They make lifepo4 battery banks for residential off grid and on, yachts etc. They make commercial electric vehicles like cement trucks, dump trucks,

    California company. They use Winston lifepo4 from China. They deserve mention if Outback storage deserves it. This residential battery market is going to be huge. I keep thinking of Bill Gates of all people saying, “people don’t need personal computers”! Steve Jobs begged to differ. Residential lithium will be as common as refrigerators I think.

    • Michael G

      That was Ken Olsen of DEC who said “people don’t need personal computers”. DEC was bought by Compaq and shut down after a while. Olsen said it was out of context and he meant a PC to control someone’s home was unnecessary.

      Gates worked on the very first DIY personal computers making TinyBasic to fit in the 4K memories of the time.

      Gates supposedly said “no one will ever need more than 640K memory” but he denies it and there seems to be no record of it.

      Gates’ and Olsen’s quotes real and false are discussed here:

      http://www.computerworld.com/article/2534312/operating-systems/the–640k–quote-won-t-go-away—-but-did-gates-really-say-it-.html

      • Vensonata

        Ok, thanks. Lets try this one by Bill Gates: ” when the internet came along we had it 5th or 6th on our priority list…..It happened faster than we expected”

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