New York A HotBed For Storage R&D

Nine New York companies have been awarded funding by NYSERDA to scale up new storage technologies.
Published: Fri 31 Oct 2014

With the aim to promote energy storage innovation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is supporting nine local companies to commercialize their technologies.

Under this program, the companies – members of the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology (NY-BEST) Consortium – will work on "bench-to-prototype" technologies in an effort to move clean-technology energy storage devices from the lab to the marketplace.

“These companies are accelerating our progress toward Governor Cuomo's goals for building the clean-energy economy and making New York’s energy system more reliable, resilient and efficient,” said John B. Rhodes, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “The businesses receiving these awards 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.”

Emerging energy storage technologies

Bettergy (Peekskill) seeks to scale-up and develop a prototype for its low-cost rechargeable zinc-based battery. This novel technology, which is expected to sell at a significantly lower cost than similar batteries, has a long cycle life and can last up to 20 years. It would be attractive to electric grid and transportation storage applications, and would also be more environmentally safe than other batteries of this type.

Combined Energies (Latham), a developer of distributed generation systems and components, is employing its low-cost power conversion technology to increase the life and run time of electrochemical batteries. The demonstration on airport ground support equipment will use a combination of ultracapacitors and batteries and will be integrated into a single, low-cost module to alleviate power fluctuations in the electric vehicles.

Custom Electronics (Oneonta) will develop a detailed commercialization plan and produce prototype devices for a high voltage graphene-based electrolytic capacitor. This product is designed to provide increased power conditioning performance for applications such as computer servers and electrical equipment.

DNV GL (Rochester) will develop a novel separator for Li-ion batteries. The purpose of the separator is to decrease the risk of fires due to Li-ion batteries, which while rare, have occurred in the past. The company will also investigate methods for automatically extinguishing a Li-ion fire should it occur.

Eonix (Colonie) will develop next-generation electrolytes that enable higher performance in ultracapacitors by storing up to 30% more energy than similar devices, leading to expanded capacity and reduced cost. The technology could be used in applications as electric vehicles and renewable energy devices, and for military use.

Graphenix Development (Williamsville) is a startup company working to commercialize a nanostructured carbon electrode for high power, high energy ultracapacitors. Applications include hybrid vehicles, electric grid, industrial devices and energy efficiency applications. Under this program, the company will continue to improve electrode performance while scaling up the manufacturing process.

Hollingsworth & Vose (Greenwich) will develop high surface area separators, a component of advanced lead acid batteries used in micro-hybrid vehicles. Market demand in micro-hybrid vehicles and grid storage applications is expected to increase demand for these advanced separators.

Lionano (Ithaca) is a startup company seeking to commercialize a high-performance nano-engineered anode material for the Li-ion battery sector. The development of this nano-anode material at Cornell University revealed characteristics of improved capacity, extended battery life and reduced recharge time, when compared to existing available anodes.

Raymond Corp. (Greene, Chenango County) plans to test the use of Navitas Systems’ Li-ion batteries in its electric lift trucks to increase performance in cold environments. If the batteries demonstrate the projected improvement in run time and productivity, Raymond anticipates growing customer interest in extreme-duty applications.

Reforming the Energy Vision

Energy storage is a key component of New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative, which will restructure utility operations with a focus on distributed operations. [Engerati-Reforming New York's Energy Vision]

It is also no secret that Bill Acker, executive director of NY-BEST, is positioning New York State as a world leader in energy storage technology. Towards this end among other initiatives, earlier this year a US$23 million storage technology test and commercialization centre was opened at Eastman Business Park in Rochester. [Engerati-California's Energy Storage Mandate-Will Others Follow?]