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New Battery System Could Reduce Buildings’ Electric Bills

The CUNY Energy Institute has developed a new low-cost, safe, non-toxic battery with fast discharge rates and high energy densities that could save thousands in energy costs each month.

An operating prototype zinc-anode battery system has been developed and is now housed in the basement of Steinman Hall on The City College of New York campus. It consists of 36 individual 1-kWh nickel-zinc flow-assisted cells strung together and operated by a sophisticated advanced battery management system (BMS) that controls the charge/discharge protocol that could eventually lead to a battery capable of more than 5,000 to 10,000 charge cycles and a useful life exceeding ten years.

“This is affordable, rechargeable electricity storage made from cheap, non-toxic materials that are inherently safe,” said Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee, director of the CUNY Energy Institute and distinguished professor of engineering in CCNY’s Grove School of Engineering. “The entire Energy Institute has worked on these batteries – stacking electrodes, mounting terminals, connecting to the inverters – and they are going to be a game changer for the electric grid.”

Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee, Director, CUNY Energy Institute, shows the Institute's prototype zinc anode battery system located in Steinman Hall on The City College of New York campus.

The prototype is being expanded currently to 100 kWh with another 200 kWh expected to be installed later this year, at which point it will be capable of meeting more than 30 percent of Steinman Hall’s peak-demand power needs, providing the college with savings of $6,000 or more per month.

A battery such as this could be installed in industrial facilities and large commercial properties, and can be produced for a cost of approximately $300 to $500 per kWh range, which amounts to a payback period of three to five years for many applications.

Source: City College of New York

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