There are a handful of energy storage startups we have our eyes on. One never knows for sure which technological breakthrough will really… break through, but initial stats or estimates from a handful of companies in this space look promising. One of those is Ambri. If “Ambri” doesn’t ring a bell, maybe the idea of a liquid-metal battery developed by MIT researchers does? If not, just click through our Ambri archives to get caught up.
A recent article on MIT News profiles Ambri and the key researchers behind the company. Most of it is just a summary of the general story, which we’ve covered several times before. However, there was one key update toward the bottom:
A first-generation cell “balancing” system has already been developed at Ambri and demonstrated in the laboratory, and now the battery is ready for initial testing. In the next year, five prototypes will be sent to four locations around the United States, with each providing different practical feedback. On a Cape Cod military base, the battery will enable operations absent from the civilian grid — for example, during a power outage. In New York City, the battery will help relieve congestion in a region with high-power prices and a stressed grid. In Alaska and Hawaii, Ambri will test the battery’s ability to support renewable energy. As Bradwell says, Hawaii is dominated by expensive, imported diesel fuel. Rooftops are already overcrowded with wind and solar devices, so much so that much of the potential energy is being wasted and the existing system is being burdened.
Previously, we reported in November 2013 that Ambri had opened a factory in Massachusetts and in May 2014 that it had received another $35 million in funding, from the likes of KLP Enterprises, the family office of Karen Pritzker and Michael Vlock, and Building Insurance Bern, a Swiss insurance company, along with existing investors Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Total.
Also, the battery chemistry has changed since the initial concept was revealed, but the specific materials are now confidential. What is made public is that it is “three layers of liquid: a light metal on top, a dense one on the bottom, and molten salt in the middle that acts as the electrolyte.”
Let us know if you see any more news on Ambri in case we somehow miss it.
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