Nanotech Plus has been working in the area of grid energy storage for over a decade.

We've looked at new generation technology, storage technology, and even done some work on transmission technology. With the rise in deployment of renewables, there is now increased interest in energy storage - but what is the correct storage technology for a particular application? Will new technologies being developed quickly overtake commercially available energy storage methods? Is the proposed technology really feasible - can it be manufactured at the projected costs? These are all questions that can bedevil people tasked with understanding the options in grid storage. We can help.

Grid energy storage requirements continue to ramp up quickly as wind and solar make up a higher share of generation. There are a number of potential technologies to deal with the issue of intermittency from these new energy sources including storage or greater interconnectedness of the grid. New pricing schemes which may alter consumer behavior can change needed generation capacity. Political demand to reduce greenhouse gas emissions also plays a role in determining what type of generation will be used. Determining which technological/economic solution makes sense for a particular region, now and in the future, is a challenging task. Nanotech Plus, LLC can help. We've worked in this area for more than a decade, since many nanoengineered materials were developed with the energy market in mind, while our alliance partners have worked with utilities as well.

Even though new transmission lines and demand based pricing may reduce peak generation needs, renewable energy sources do not fully match requirements. “Time-shifting” of the electricity generated by renewables requires storage. Consequently, there are a number of storage technologies that have been tried including: batteries, flywheels, supercapacitors, compressed air, and pumped hydro. Fuel cells have been shown to provide energy independently of the grid for some applications where power outages cause severe hardship.

Over 90% of current grid battery storage applications utilize lithium ion batteries. Driven largely by the automotive market, these batteries have achieved significant commercial scale over the past decade. However, in many ways, these batteries are ill suited for grid storage applications. Lithium ion batteries have been designed with high energy and power density requirements as the primary concerns, while cost and sustainability have been secondary factors. Current lithium ion batteries can catch fire with disastrous consequences, and while new technologies should reduce this risk, a large scale battery fire would be difficult to bring under control. So while current grid storage projects make use of existing lithium ion batteries due to the commercial availability of the technology, there may be less costly and safer energy storage alternatives that have been developed. Nanotech Plus, LLC can help you find these alternatives and help you determine if they would suit your needs, whether you are a manager faced with increasing demand requirements, an investor, or a developer of storage technologies.

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