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Zinc8 may hold future for cloud providers

Zinc-air storage undergoes test to prove safe for cloud data Metal Tech News – April 28, 2021


Last updated 4/27/2021 at 3:37pm

Zinc8 Energy Solutions zinc-air energy storage system Ron MacDonald ZESS

Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc.

The Zinc8 ESS is based upon unique patented zinc-air battery technology, the energy is stored in the form of zinc particles, similar in size to grains of sand. When the system is delivering power, the zinc particles are combined with oxygen and when the system needs to recharge, the zinc particles are regenerated, and the oxygen is discharged.

Canada-based company Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc. made a recent announcement that it has signed a US$200,000 contract with a leading cloud storage provider to demonstrate its patented zinc-air energy storage system.

Zinc8's groundbreaking energy storage system, which utilizes an ingenious method of using zinc and oxygen to store energy, won the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Innovation Challenge, which resulted in a contract for a large installation of the system in New York State.

The ZESS is a three-part system that stores energy from renewable and other sources and then delivers electricity to a grid as needed. Basically, it is a green backup generator that is not built on solar or lithium-ion batteries.

It is designed to deliver power in the range of 20 kilowatts to 50 megawatts with a capacity of eight hours of storage duration, or higher depending on consumption.

This contract is also intended to stress test the Zinc8's ZESS and validate and assess the technology as a reliable and resilient backup application.

"This agreement represents a step forward in expanding broader and significant new market applications for Zinc8's patented zinc-air energy storage system," said Zinc8 Energy Solutions President and CEO Ron MacDonald. "The continued growth in cloud data centers globally could greatly benefit from our long-duration energy storage technology and support the commitments to a reduced carbon footprint for operators of large-scale data centers."

In this 11-month project, which has already begun, Zinc8 is providing a demonstration of the performance of its ZESS combined with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to be compared with the performance of a traditional generator set.

The initial demonstration will consist of a zinc-air flow battery that is connected to a UPS and operated in standby and black started – the process of restoring an electric power station or a part of an electric grid to operation without relying on the external electric power transmission network to recover from a total or partial shutdown – into discharge.

The long-term goal is to remove the generator and transfer switch from the traditional data center backup power plant and configure the UPS combines with direct current sources that includes long duration energy storage from Zinc8.

The successful completion of this collaborative pilot demonstration between the unnamed cloud provider and Zinc8 will validate a new low-cost, long-duration, sustainable energy storage technology which can provide megawatt-scale standby power solutions.

Test results will tentatively include validations of transition behavior, step change of the load, steady state operation, self-discharge level, roundtrip efficiency and operation through simulated cycling. The unit in question has a 10kW/80 kilowatt-hour capacity.


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