BMW electric-car batteries to be used as home energy-storage devices

  Stephen Edelstein for GreenCarReports:  Tesla Motors was the first carmaker to branch out from selling electric cars to offering standalone battery packs for energy storage, but others have followed the company's lead. Mercedes-Benz and Nissan have stated their intentions to enter the energy-storage market, and now BMW is jumping on the bandwagon as well. At the Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition 29—known as EVS29—held this week in Montreal, Canada, BMW unveiled an energy-storage system that uses battery packs from i3 electric cars. Developed in concert with German firm Beck Automation, BMW's system is designed to use either new battery packs or "second-life" packs that have degraded too much for continued use in electric cars. Battery packs that can no longer function in cars still have enough usable capacity for energy storage. BMW has tested the concept over the past five years with various research projects, including a 2013 "micro-grid" project with the University of San Diego, and a 2014 collaboration in Germany with utility Vattenfall to use electric-car battery packs as buffer to help stabilize electricity grids.   Cont'd...

Are Microgrids Catching On?

The real trick to opening the floodgates on microgrids is clear regulatory language that allows microgrid developers to serve the needs of an organization or community while also making the local electric utility whole for their services and investment.

24M's Batteries Could Better Harness Wind and Solar Power

Elizabeth Woyke for MIT Technology Review:  Lithium-ion batteries power everything from smartphones to electric vehicles. They’re well suited to the job because they are smaller and lighter, charge faster, and last longer than other batteries. But they are also complex and thus costly to make, which has stymied mass adoption of electric transportation and large-scale energy storage. Yet-Ming Chiang thinks his startup 24M has the answer. The key is a semisolid electrode. In a conventional lithium--ion battery, many thin layers of electrodes are stacked or rolled together to produce a cell. “Lithium-ion batteries are the only product I know of besides baklava where you stack so many thin layers to build up volume,” says Chiang, who is a cofounder and chief scientist at 24M as well as a professor of materials science at MIT. “Our goal is to make a lithium-ion battery through the simplest process possible.”   Cont'd...  

The "Redox" Principle

The energy density of the nanoFlowcell® is currently 20 times higher than that of a lead accumulator. This means the stored energy provides a range 20 times higher than with a battery of the same weight.

Very Large Lithium-ion Batteries

In the case of the relatively new market for very large, ground-based lithium-ion battery packs for such things as grid peak shaving, weight is not a primary issues, volume can matter somewhat but life, cost over life, performance and reliability matter greatly.

Electric Utilities Prepare for a Grid Dominated by Renewable Energy

Julia Pyper for GTM:   A growing number of electric industry leaders agree that it’s only a matter of time before renewable energy resources dominate their grid systems. In California, it’s already a reality, said Steve Berberich, president and CEO of California Independent System Operator Corporation. On a typical day, CAISO will pull about 30,000 megawatts of energy production, with around 6,500 megawatts from solar, 5,000 megawatts from wind and another 5,000 from geothermal and other services on the system. In addition, California’s grid system has roughly 4,000 megawatts of behind-the-meter solar, which is growing at a rate of about 70 megawatts per month. In any given day, California gets more than 30 percent its electricity from renewable energy. On many days that amount climbs to 40 percent, and on some days renewables reach 50 percent, said Berberich. “Now we have to think about the system as a renewable energy-based system complemented by other things,” he said, speaking at the Edison Electric Institute’s annual convention this week in Chicago.   Cont'd...

Virtual Power Plants Get Around Solar Power's Intermittency Problem

Richard Martin for MIT Technology Review:  Attempting to harness the power of distributed rooftop solar installations to make its grid more flexible and reliable, New York utility Consolidated Edison is launching a pilot program this summer to link dozens of small solar arrays into a single, software-connected power plant. The utility is working with solar power developer SunPower and energy storage company Sunverge to create a “virtual power plant”—a network of distributed assets that functions as a unified resource on the grid. The project will include 300 homes with a combined total of 1.8 megawatts of solar capacity and batteries that can store up to four megawatt-hours of electricity, enough to run 300 average U.S. households for about 10 hours.   Cont'd...

Storage Solutions for Alternative Energy

One obstacle that is holding back adoption to renewables is the lack of any efficient means of storing this energy. However, some highly innovative solutions might be able to help solve the issue of preserving alternative energy for long-term use.

Middle Schoolers Dream Big with Their Solar and Battery Powered Cars

The race, sponsored by the Energy Department, its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, Jeffco Public Schools, and Dakota Ridge High School, is designed to boost interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

Energy Storage: It's About the Software

Carl Weinschenk for EnergyManagerToday:  Renewable initiatives rely on the ability to save the generated energy for a rainy - or windless - day. It follows that the software driving the pivotal task of managing the energy storage system is of paramount importance, says Gabe Schwartz, the Director of Marketing for Stem, which describes itself as an intelligent storage company that combines hardware and software storage platforms. The core storage technology itself is important, of course. But the linchpin - the secret sauce - is the way in which that energy is handled once it is generated. "It is not a solar panel…where if the sun is shining you are in good shape," Schwartz said. "It must shift use from one time to another knowing exactly when most valuable time to do that is and have the ability to act quickly when those opportunities present themselves both to the customer and the grid." The market for storage - and the software that drives it - is growing.   Cont'd...

Intersolar 2016 - Special News Report

News and Product announcements from the show. Exhibitors are encourages to post news on this page --- a free service.

AltEnergyMag.com - Special Tradeshow Coverage of Intersolar

Intersolar Europe was held from June 21st - 24th in Munich, Germany, Intersolar North America runs July 14th - 16th in San Francisco, California. This AltEnergyMag.com Special Tradeshow report aims to bring you news, articles and products from this years events.

The inventor of this solar-powered water filtration system wants to win the Nobel Peace Prize

Clinton Nguyen for Tech Insider:  Marco Attisani wants his company to be the first to win the Nobel Peace Prize. It's a lofty goal for a 10-person startup, but Attisani is sure that the solar-powered water filtration systemsthey're producing will earn a spot on the shortlist. The filtration machines manufactured by Attisani's Italian company, Watly, are covered in photovoltaic panels that feed electricity into internal batteries. This allows the systems to be installed in the world's most remote locations, free of the need to connect to a power grid. The 40-foot-long, 15-ton units also serve as Wi-Fi hubs and charging stations.  Each machine can process 5,000 liters of drinking water each day and provide Wi-Fi access within a half-mile radius, according to CNN . The team claims the units will last roughly 10 years before they require maintenance.  Watly tested two units in its production facility in Talmassons, Italy in 2013 and 2014 before piloting a unit in rural Ghana in 2015. The company has also started an Indiegogo campaign to help fund an expansion into Sudan and Nigeria.   Cont'd...

Is Tesla Entering a New Frontier?

Efficient low-cost batteries are the new frontier and the new frontier is here now from all-electric vehicles to home energy systems.

What is an Ice Battery?

Home ice batteries have the potential to transform the electric grid by enabling utilities to gain visibility and control over the largest residential peak load - cooling.

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