Zinc-air energy storage going Down Under
Zinc8 partners with Aussie engineering firm with energy ties Metal Tech News – October 21, 2020
Last updated 10/20/2020 at 5:01pm
Canada-based Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc. has formed a partnership that could see its patented zinc-air energy storage system installed at renewable energy facilities in Australia, a country at the forefront of low-carbon electrical power generation.
In recent years, Australia and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency have invested A$1.58 billion (US$1.12 billion) to support 543 greenhouse gas-reducing energy projects as the country seeks to achieve more aggressive renewable energy and energy storage targets.
"Australia is one of the world's leading countries on moving to complete elimination of greenhouse gas producing power generation, through the rapid integration of renewables and energy storage," said Zinc8 Energy Solutions President and CEO Ron Macdonald.
Large-scale renewable energy storage projects such as those being developed across Australia are ideal for the Zinc8's three-part system that uses zinc and oxygen to store electricity from renewable power sources.
When this system is delivering power, the zinc particles are combined with oxygen drawn from the surrounding air. The zinc oxide produced from this process is stored in storage tanks containing a potassium hydroxide electrolyte. When the system is recharging, zinc particles are regenerated, and oxygen is returned to the surrounding air.
Zinc8, which has overcome obstacles encountered by previous attempts at this ingenious idea of using zinc and oxygen to store energy, says its batteries are capable of storing multiple days' worth of energy, that doesn't degrade, can't possibly explode, and is up to five times cheaper than lithium-ion batteries.
Zinc8's groundbreaking energy storage solution won the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Innovation Challenge, which has resulted in a contract for a large installation of this system in New York State.
To see its unique energy storage systems deployed at the growing number of renewable energy systems being developed Down Under, Zinc8 has entered into an agreement with SmartConsult, an Australia-based engineering firm with an extensive network of Aussie contacts and clients across the entire energy supply chain. This broad connection to the energy sector comes from the deployment of 128 commercial projects with a total of over 8.5 megawatts of installed solar capacity.
"SmartConsult, as an Australian industry leader in renewable energy projects, is the ideal company to work with to deploy Zinc8's long duration storage system to this rapidly developing market," said Macdonald.
Under the agreement, the two companies are investigating joint venture opportunities for deploying Zinc8's zinc-air energy storage system at aquatic centers, remote mines, and behind-the-meter applications that SmartConsult is familiar with. The partners will also look at microgrids and utility-scale transmission and distribution opportunities in Australia.
"We are very excited to collaborate with Zinc8 in Australia, we have been looking for a battery solution that does not have the inherent issues that surround existing battery types with uncertain cycle life and limited longevity," said SmartConsult CEO Luke Hardy. "The Zinc8 solution will be ideal for our large-scale industrial customers."