A safer, zero maintenance and lower cost alternative to lithium-ion batteries is a sought-after storage dream, but startup EnerVenue says it’s close to reality right now in the form of a metal-hydrogen battery technology that’s been used in outer space for almost half a century. It is a compelling case. Here to tell us more is Enervenue CEO Jorg Heinemann.
Where is it best suited? “The net result is a battery that last forever, is super durable in harsh climates and is true zero maintenance,” Heinemann tells us. “Think desert based or environments where it’s extra hard to go in and do the maintenance. That means we’re best for grid-scale storage or large commercial storage in a hot desert environment where maintenance is a significant factor. … “A huge portion of the LCOE in these plants is long-term maintenance – up to a third actually. This is for a customer who wants a battery asset to last as long as the solar panels and won’t have to touch it.”
By the same token, its ability to perform in crazy high temperatures, while needing zero maintenance also means it is safer than lithium-ion. No fire suppression or cooling system needed. “There is no risk of a thermal runaway,” he says. “So you could put this in a building where there is occupants or worry about it if its in a fire, or if someone backs a truck into it.”
How does it cycle? Right now (again, still pre-commercialization) EnerVenue is at least 30,000 cycles. “That’s three full cycles per day for 30 years. And with far fewer restrictions on how to use that,” Heinemann says.
The pricing discussion is where things get even more interesting. Definitely check out the full Pitch above.
— Solar Builder magazine