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Published on November 13th, 2014 | by Jake Richardson


9 Companies Focus On Energy Storage With New York State

November 13th, 2014 by  

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is supporting research and development in the field of energy storage by partnering with nine companies. Research is always important, but sometimes it doesn’t translate to technology that gets into the hands of consumers. The New York state program is designed to make sure that happens. The point is not only to conceive of new clean technologies, but also to create prototypes and then develop them into real-world applications.

rochester new york energy storage

Advanced battery systems can help store energy generated by solar and wind power to help stabilize the grid. They can also be used by businesses and homeowners to avoid peak demand charges if used in partnership with solar PV systems.

And, of course, they can be used in electric vehicles, which are much more efficient than gasoline-powered vehicles.

One of the companies being supported by NYSERDA, Raymond, intends to try out lithium-ion batteries to increase running time and efficiency in its electric lift trucks.

Graphenix is a startup that is working on carbon electrodes for ultracapacitors. Its work may result in increased energy efficiency that improves hybrid vehicles, and also grid performance enhancements.

Combined Energies is working on extending the lives and charge duration of electrochemical batteries. The company’s technology is again relevant to EVs.

Hollingsworth & Vose have been working on separators in lead-acid batteries to make them more productive. They have been doing this work for decades.

DNV GL is working on separators for lithium-ion batteries in order to reduce the already low risk of fires in them. Automatically extinguishing the few fires that do occur is another possibility the company is exploring.

Custom Electronics is developing plans and a prototype for a high-voltage graphene-based electrolytic capacitor. Electrical equipment performance can be enhanced by its technology.

Lionano is working on a nano-engineered anode material for lithium batteries. Enhanced battery performance has been demonstrated by the company’s research, such as extended battery life.

Bettergy is developing an affordable, environmentally friendly zinc-based battery. Its working life could be 20 years, which is much longer than other battery types.

Eonix is developing next-generation electrolytes that can store 30% more energy, thereby improving ultracapacitors.

Of course, supporting local companies is good for the economy, and Governor Cuomo’s goal is just that.

“The businesses receiving these awards — all members of the NY-BEST consortium — are working on the next-generation of technology to reduce power needs, support more energy-efficient vehicles and electronic devices, and make greater use of renewable resources,” explained John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of NYSERDA.

Energy storage seems to be the next phase of exploration and growth in the alternative energy field. Eventually, it may become as common as standard power generating technology.


The Megawatt Block Program: Setting New York Solar Up for Success

214 MW Of New Solar PV Headed To New York State Thanks To New Funding Via NY-SUN

New York State’s Energy Development Authority Unveils $5 Billion Renewables Vision

Is New York State Building The Smartest Grid In America?

NYSERDA Awards $2M to 8 Projects to Develop Energy Storage

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  • Jenny Sommer

    Anybody here that believes that storage cuts down the eroei of wind to 3???

    • Matt

      EROEI – Energy Return On Energy Invested
      Storage has it’s own separate EROEI. It’s impact does not “really” impact winds. Of course if you are currently curtailing wind and instead store it, you might claim that improved winds EROEI since you would then get getting more usable NRG.

      • Jenny Sommer

        Hi Matt,

        To me building energy storage would just be demandside energy doing nothing to the eroei of any particular source.
        If you need cheap energy to built storage you would just divert some generation to built more generation and produce storage. You are simply building a new self supporting industry.

        It’s just that I’ve been hanging around the nuclear fringes of the interwebs recently. Arguments there get more ridiculous the cheaper solar and wind get.

        Here is the whole thing…kinda frustrating but also fun 🙂

    • Bob_Wallace

      The EROEI for wind turbines is 3 to 8 months. Time depends on wind resources where the turbine is installed.

      Storage doesn’t impact that number in any way or fashion.

      Wind and storage are part of a larger grid package with each component having it’s own cost and EROEI.

      Affordable storage will allow for higher wind and solar penetration on grids. Even semi-cheap storage along with cheap wind and solar will destroy the economic viability of thermal plants. Semi-cheap is probably around $0.10/kWh.

      • Jenny Sommer

        Exactly. But how do you explain that to somebody that has subscribed to some very strange ideas.
        BTW. Do you believe in the thesis that we need a minimum eroei of 12 to sustain civilization?

        • Bob_Wallace

          First, try to get them to understand that EROEI is an important consideration when one is dealing with finite energy sources. Especially as we approach the end of supplies.

          EROEI is a measurement of how we’re shortening the amount of time we have left until we run out of affordable oil.

          Since sunlight and wind are, for all practical reasons, unlimited we don’t need to concern ourselves about using up sunlight making solar panels or wind making wind turbines.

          With oil, we’ve burned most of the easy to extract stuff. As we replenish our oil tanks we use more and more energy to extract that oil. It’s a game of diminishing returns.

          With wind and solar manufacturing we are becoming more efficient. We use less and less wind and solar energy to create new capacity. Plus the cost of sunshine and wind doesn’t increase as we use it. Energy costs remain zero.

          Increasing solar panel and wind turbine efficiency causes the cost to turn free energy into electricity to drop.

          The important metric – put EROEI and energy density aside – the important metric is cost. Nothing but cost.

          Wind has now dropped below 4c/kWh in the windy places. Solar will soon be at about the same price in the sunny places. Both will be a little higher in the places with less rich resources.

          Nothing can touch those prices. Natural gas, in the US during supply glut periods, gets close. But those prices don’t hold over time. New coal and new nuclear are multiple times more expensive.

          Price. Cost. That’s the determiner.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Now, how do you get that across to a nuclear “true believer”?

            I don’t know that you can. Any more than you can explain climate change to a climate change denier. The people who have really bought into their positions are largely able to wave away any information that might weaken their beliefs.

            Show them how expensive nuclear has been in the past and they’ll talk about how new designs being built will turn that around.

            Show them an objective cost analysis for the currently being built reactors and they’ll move to some future, yet to be proven idea that will “make nuclear cheap”.

            Some people will go to their graves, decades from now, believing that nuclear energy would be cheap “if only …”.

          • Jenny Sommer

            I love the “would be cheap if only…” 🙂

          • Jenny Sommer

            Thank you.
            It was actually more of a rhetorical question as I have already used up all of these arguments and tried to explain him in various forms how cost is the determining factor as long as the source is energy positive and we don’t run in other factors that limit growth of our energy source.

            The problem is that this particular has subscribed to a website called bravenewclimate but probably without understanding fundamental issues.

          • Bob_Wallace

            After posting I read some of the exchanges and added some comments of my own.

            I doubt that facts will sink in with this person. They seem to have started with “nuclear is the answer” and, like a person with strongly held religious beliefs, they will be able to hear only things that agree with their position. Any other information presented as factual will be consider “the work of the Devil”.

          • Calamity_Jean

            Yeah, there’s people out there that will never be convinced. I got into it elsewhere with one of them about two weeks ago, during which he told me:

            “Now I’m sure you’re a fake commenter, but it’s not an American company who signs your checks. Your boss is an Asian fossil PR firm. “


            These arguments are still worth having. Even if the person being argued with will never be convinced, if facts and references are offered, others who read or hear the discussion may be persuaded.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I agree that terribly flawed information should not be left unchallenged. That posting facts might keep other readers from being mislead.

            My problem is figuring out when to quit. After a few posts other people should understand that there’s a problem with what the individual is saying. Their credibility should be in question or destroyed.

            When does one reach “enough”?

          • Calamity_Jean

            Yeah, I also have trouble deciding when to quit. Especially when I have links to back up what I’m saying, and the other person got nuttin’.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Or when the other person is a nutter…. ;o)

          • Calamity_Jean

            Oh, especially if the other person is a nutter.

          • Jenny Sommer

            I get annoyed pretty quick I guess…

            Cudos to you for being persistent.

            Sorry for dragging you in though 😉

            NBF is ok to write because things don’t get delayed that often.
            That eclipse and also the blog he is constantly linking to are delaying posts that don’t fit into their narrative.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I cut Eclipse off this morning. He ran out of talking points and was only recycling stuff I had already addressed. Plus he continues to believe that EROEI has a meaning higher than just the cost of energy embedded in the generator.

            He’s very much a true believer like those who believe that global warming stopped in 1997 because that’s the high point on a flawed database. You can point that out a time or two to people like that but if they can’t adjust to easily verified data then they’ve proved themselves to be “religious fanatics”.

            As long as folks like him bring up new points I’ll often stay involved as it causes me to question my opinion and, generally, dig up new information. I figure I’m improving my opinion, tossing out misinformation and installing better.

            (There’s also the “innocent bystander” that Jean pointed out.)

            I went a round with another person this morning. He brought up the subsidy issue and how renewables are receiving a lot more more money recently.

            That sent me off to do a ‘back of envelop’ calculation. What I figured out is that from 1994 through 2013 wind and solar received $25.1 billion. Between 1947 and 1999 nuclear received $185.6 billion. 7.4x as much as wind/solar.

            In 2013 nuclear produced 19.4% of all US electricity. Wind and solar produced 4.33%. Nuclear produced only 4.5x as much electricity after receiving 7.4x as much in subsidies.

            It was worth my time interacting with the second guy because I now have some new information gathered up.

          • Jenny Sommer

            I am still following the thread.
            Is there a way to subscribe to a disqus thread? I always have to look through the whole thing to find new posts.

          • Bob_Wallace

            There should be a Subscribe/Unsubscribe toggle at the bottom of the page. I you look down a bit on this page you’ll see an envelop icon with Subscribe and a check mark after it. (Right above that massively ugly black Important Media box. ;o)

            That toggle was set to Subscribe when you posted a comment. Some sites don’t auto-enroll you so you have to manually toggle.

            You should be able to subscribe to a Disqus thread without posting. I’ve never encountered one that didn’t permit that.

          • Jenny Sommer

            Thank you.
            I really never looked past that box.

          • Jenny Sommer

            I don’t understand what he is talking about at all.
            He thinks an eroei for thinfilm would somehow not be valid because the input was lowered and the output stayed the same?

          • Bob_Wallace

            I don’t think he understands what he’s saying.

            He seems to me to be someone who started with the belief that nuclear the only answer. Pretty much like most of the fuel cell car advocates.

            Once he formed his opinion, his “religious belief”, then he looks for way to defend it.

            I don’t think he fully understands that eroei (I’m tired of capitalizing it ;o) is a concept wedded to dwindling fossil fuel supplies. I don’t think he understands what “blended” is suppose to mean. He certainly doesn’t know how grids operate. Someone said that this paper blows renewables away and that was good enough for him.

            “Weissbach Saves. Come to Weissbach and all your troubles will disappear.”

            He’s a lost cause. Probably best to let him rant on. I really doubt he’s going to influence anyone.

            If you lay facts for someone a few times and they show no ability to incorporate them into their thinking then it’s probably best to walk on.

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