Powervault, a UK energy storage company which makes home energy storage devices that are suitable for both lead and lithium batteries, announced this week that it was preparing to increase its production of units 50-fold by 2020.
Managing director Joe Warren told BESB that the device was compatible with all kinds of battery chemistry and would be rolled out according to demand.
“Although our first product in 2014 was a lead acid device, we are battery agnostic,” he said. “Different customers have different demands and when we are specifying a system we explain the pros and cons of each.
“Historically lead has had much lower upfront costs, but its energy density and lifetime is lower. We believe there’s a lot of research suggesting that lithium ion batteries are going to come down by 75% in price, but the reduction hasn’t happened yet.”
Because the Powervault’s basic unit is the same, it will always be compatible for whichever battery chemistry a customer selects, said Warren.
“Different batteries have different voltages and control systems to allow the energy storage device to interact,” he said.
Warren said there were currently a million homes in the UK with solar panels on their roofs, and while that was a key market, it was not going to be the future focus: that would lie in smart meters.
Ofgem, the UK government regulatory body for gas and electricity, says millions of homes and small businesses will have smart meters installed by the end of 2020. It means that it will be much easier to store energy from the grid at cheaper times and use it at peak times instead.
“The smart meter roll-out will make people much more aware of their energy consumption,” said Warren. “We’re expecting people to take a much more active stance, and this is where our Powervault comes in.”
Powervault’s lead battery unit, which stores 3 kilowatt hours of power, sells for £2,500 ($3,100) which, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, is 12% less than the average industry price.
The three winners this year of the ees AWARD 2017 for the most innovative concepts and solutions from the energy storage industry were Solarwatt, LG Chem and Energy Depot Deutschland. “Each had a distinctive product or approach that made them stand apart from their rivals,” a spokesman for exhibition organizer ees said. “The winners read more
For the record, Tesla’s gigafactory in the US state of Nevada officially began making 2170 lithium-ion battery cells for its Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy storage systems on January 4, the firm said. The new cell — with dimensions of 21mm by 70mm, hence 2170 — is thicker and taller than the previous read more
Lead battery start-up Gridtential announced on January 12 that four major battery companies — East Penn Manufacturing, Crown Battery Manufacturing, Power-Sonic and Leoch International — had invested a total of $6 million in the company. The four now have a combined equity stake of around a quarter in Gridtential, according to Ray Kubis, chairman read more
In early February, India’s Exide Industries announced an agreement with Ecoult, owned by East Penn, to manufacture UltraBattery for the Asian market. It’s a landmark agreement. BESB spoke to John Wood, Ecoult chief executive, to get the details. John, what sort of production capacity are we looking at? Production of UltraBattery entails a very read more
Just days after signing the deal with Exide Industries, on February 14 Ecoult secured another boost with a funding pledge from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which has pledged A$4.1 million ($3.1 million) to commercialize the UltraBattery technology. It is not the first time ARENA, the government agency, has lent support to Ecoult. In read more