New battery system could solve the problem of solar energy storage
As the use of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources grows, one missing piece of the puzzle has been storage.
"For years, the stumbling block for making renewable energy practical and dependable has been how to store electricity for days when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing," wrote Jon R. Louma, in a report on Environment 360.
But a new compact energy storage unit designed specifically for residential and light commercial markets could help overcome the obstacles to storage.
Spider9, a clean energy solutions company founded in 2011 from the University of Michigan, has announced the launch of the Energy Vault, a more compact version of its Mega Vault energy storage unit designed to meet the needs of residential and light commercial energy applications.
Like the larger Mega Vault systems, the Energy Vault units are integrated with Spider9's proprietary energy operating system, OSE, allowing for a 20-year lifetime, 30-percent more usable energy than competing lithium-ion based energy storage systems, and an 80-percent smaller footprint than lead-acid based battery solutions.
"Our Energy Vault unit has been specifically designed for residential and light commercial applications," said Spider9 president and chief executive officer Glynne Townsend. "The storage unit combines a light weight, compact footprint, with unsurpassed levels of performance and safety at a competitive price point."
The Spider9 Energy Vault utilizes advanced lithium-ion batteries developed for high duty automotive, and aerospace applications. All batteries integrate with the Energy Vault’s lightweight space-frame architecture to facilitate easy on-site system installation, and battery servicing with no soldering and no special tools required. The units include access to the Spider9 web based "Spider Sense" system monitoring portal and optional features such as grid independent operation.
"The Energy Vault can be installed as part of a new energy application or, it can be retrofit to an existing system," said company chief operating officer, Dave Park. "It offers maximum usable energy. Our competitors tend to quote the maximum storage capacity systems, but are never clear on how much of their energy capacity is actually usable. Usable energy is what matters."
Spider9 started taking orders for the new Energy Vault units earlier this month. Company executives expect western U.S. and Germany will be key markets for the new products.
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