The Elements of Innovation Discovered

US graphene to boost Asian solar storage

Metal Tech News - April 29, 2024

Volfpack selects HydroGraph graphene for supercapacitors in its hybrid renewable energy storage systems.

HydroGraph Clean Power Inc.'s flagship graphene product will soon be a key ingredient in Volfpack Energy Ltd.'s hybrid battery system, which was engineered to help store solar energy and stabilize power grids in Asia.

Keeping power grids fed with stable solar is challenging. The best-known and most widely understood of these dilemmas is storing enough energy during the day to keep the lights on at night. The lesser understood and harder-to-overcome challenge is the sudden and unpredictable fluctuation in power supply, such as a break in the clouds letting the sun suddenly shine down on solar panels capable of producing megawatts of power.

While batteries are great at steadily absorbing and storing electricity for future delivery, they are not as good at responding to sudden surges in either supply or demand.

Kjirstin Breure

Volfpack Energy has developed a hybrid storage system that includes supercapacitors for rapid charging and discharging, as well as batteries essential to keeping the energy balanced over the longer term.

The Sri Lanka-based clean-tech company has selected HydroGraph's FGA-1 fractal graphene for the supercapacitors in its hybrid solar storage system.

"Thanks to the high-purity of our fractal graphene, Volfpack's supercapacitors will be able to rapidly respond to manage the swift power fluctuations in solar farms," said HydroGraph President and interim CEO Kjirstin Breure.

Volfpack engineers found that FGA-1 graphene resulted in supercapacitors with four times more capacity than those that used other carbon materials.

"HydroGraph's fractal graphene has shown significantly higher results, while the team at HydroGraph has been incredibly supportive," said Maithri Dissanayake, Volfpack's head of product development.

From Kansas to Asia

HydroGraph, the third company in the world to gain Graphene Council certification, produces a high-purity graphene product that is 99.8% carbon.

This process for producing high-quality graphene only requires three easy-to-come-by ingredients – oxygen, acetylene, and a spark. This method of producing graphene was the serendipitous byproduct of experiments carried out at Kansas State University to produce aerosol gels.

HydroGraph Clean Power Inc.

HydroGraph's 99.8% pure graphene is produced by igniting a chamber filled with hydrocarbon and oxygen.

A patent to use the explosive method for producing high-purity graphene on a large scale led to the formation of HydroGraph in 2016. In 2022, the company opened a factory in Kansas to produce graphene, hydrogen, and other strategic materials in bulk.

Considering that no carbon needs to be mined and no greenhouse gases are created, HydroGraph's "Hyperion" process is ideally suited to produce graphene for the renewable energy storage systems being produced by Volfpack.

"This new application of fractal graphene as an electrode material for supercapacitors for the adoption of renewable energy fits our theme of sustainability," said Ranjith Divigalpitiya, chief science officer at HydroGraph.

With the selection of its graphene to go into Volfpack supercapacitors, HydroGraph has entered into the world's largest and fastest-growing renewable energy market.

Mordor Intelligence forecasts that the Asia-Pacific (APAC) renewable energy market will experience compound annual growth (CAGR) of over 9% between 2024 and 2029.

With solar technology expected to be the dominant technology contributing to this growth, the APAC power grids will benefit from Volfpack's integrated solutions for combating the challenges associated with increased reliance on intermittent renewable energy sources.

"This new partnership in such a large market promises to yield exciting results, not only for our company but for the APAC market," said Breure.

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to correctly identify Kansas State University as the place where the detonation process for producing graphene was invented.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News

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With more than 16 years of covering mining, Shane is renowned for his insights and and in-depth analysis of mining, mineral exploration and technology metals.

 

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