The Canadian company behind a zinc-air flow battery energy storage solution targeting both off-grid and on-grid network solutions has signed an agreement to explore opportunities for the technology in Australia.
The battery company, called Zinc8 Energy Solutions, said on Monday it had entered an in-principle agreement with Queensland-based engineering firm SmartConsult to explore joint-venture projects in Australia.
The companies said the agreement would focus on deploying Zinc8’s zinc-air energy storage systems at aquatic centres, remote mines and behind-the-meter applications using SmartConsult’s industry knowledge and contacts.
The agreement would also kick off a joint examination of potential opportunities for the battery technology in microgrids and utility-scale transmission and distribution projects, a statement said.
Zinc8’s modular system currently offers energy storage anywhere between 20kW and 50MW with a minimum of 8 hours of storage duration or higher – which is presumably where the “8” part of the company’s name comes from.
According to the website, the patented technology works by storing energy in the form of zinc particles, similar in size to grains of sand. When the system is delivering power, the zinc particles combine with oxygen drawn from the surrounding air. When the system is recharging, zinc particles are regenerated, and oxygen is returned to the air.
Since the energy storage capacity of the system is determined by the size of the zinc storage tank, it’s billed as a very cost-effective and scalable alternative to the fixed power/energy ratio of the lithium ion battery. In fact Zinc8 claims an installation cost in the ball-park of $45/kWh, with a lifespan of about 25 years...
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