Ambri, a startup company which stemmed from MIT, has opened its liquid metal battery factory alongside the Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
At the moment, the company has a prototype with an energy storage capacity of 35 kWh and a peak wattage of 8.75 kW. It will only manufacture prototypes and demonstration units for the moment. However, Ambri intends to start mass production of a larger version of these batteries in 2016, which will have an energy storage capacity of 2 MWh, useful for grid-scale storage. These batteries utilize molten antimony and molten magnesium separated by an electrolyte. Showing that Hawaii might benefit from this technology, Ambri’s CEO, Phil Giudice, said:
Consumers in Hawaii are plagued by high electricity prices because their generation system is based primarily on diesel fuel. Wind and solar resources paired with energy storage can completely replace the diesel infrastructure, resulting in lower electricity prices and a more reliable electricity grid.
Thanks to Phil Giudice for pointing that out! Market penetration limits that some people put on wind and solar power could only be true under unlikely circumstances, under which there is hardly any scalable backup power or energy storage. There is plenty of the former around the world (partially scalable), and the grid energy storage industry is growing fast.
I can see the effect that weather and night-time darkness have on solar power generation first hand, as I set up my own small-scale solar PV system with a battery. There are no power disruptions under any circumstance in my situation.
Ambri raised $15 million from Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, and energy company Total in 2012. It is one of the energy storage companies people are most excitedly keeping an eye on. We’ll keep you updated as the company progresses. For now, scroll through our Ambri archives for more history and details, or head on over to the Ambri website.
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