A 1.25 MWh Aquion aqueous hybrid-ion battery has just been commissioned to support a 16 MW Puerto Rican solar power installation. The 16 MW solar power plant is located in Salinas, and the Aquion battery will generate 100% of the electricity used to operate it at night.
“This project is a great example of large-scale base-load solar shifting using energy storage. Our batteries are optimized for long duration charge and discharge cycles, and base-load solar shifting is an ideal application for our technology,” said Aquion Energy CEO Scott Pearson.
Sonnedix commissioned the battery, which also has its own 250 kWp PV solar array. This company is an independent solar power producer with its US headquarters in Miami, Florida. (On its site, something of a philosophy can be found, “We believe in a world where the price of solar electricity is cheaper than fossil fuels, and the future of solar power is limitless.”)
So what is an aqueous hybrid-ion battery? It is one that uses a saltwater electrolyte, which is nontoxic and non-combustible. The cathode is manganese oxide, with a carbon composite anode. Non-corrosive reactions are used to help maintain the life of the materials.
Aquion already provided one of its batteries for an off-grid project in Hawaii. This battery was slightly smaller than the one in Puerto Rico and also had its own solar array.
It has been reported that the Aquion battery was the first to receive “Cradle to Cradle” certification, which resulted from the fact that it uses some recycled materials and some portion of it can be recycled when its use life is over.
Dr. Jay Whitacre created the first operational aqueous hybrid-ion battery at Carnegie Mellon University, and today the company has its headquarters in Pittsburgh.
Generally, lead-acid and lithium-ion battery chemistries are more common, but alternatives such as the Aquion batteries are also possible and claim competitive attributes and costs.
Image Credit: Aquion Energy
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