NY-BEST Newsletter 2-5-2013

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Bringing you the latest updates from the
Battery and Energy Storage Industry

February 5, 2013

The recent incidents aboard Boeing's 787 Dreamliner related to onboard lithium ion batteries have received a great deal of media attention--most of which focused on the potential hazards associated with batteries. Given the potentially severe outcome of any system failure onboard an aircraft, it is clear that some of this attention is warranted, however, the sheer number of articles and column inches devoted to these incidents, seems disproportionate to the actual events as reported. I don't profess to know the root causes of the events on the Dreamliner, but I think it is safe to say that at this point, no one knows the root causes yet, nor will they until the investigations conclude. As I've said before in this forum, development and deployment of new technologies come with great promise of improved performance, but it is likely that there will be mis-steps and challenges along the path to success.  These events do remind us that when deploying high energy density systems, safety and testing must remain a priority. As a member of the battery and energy storage community-at-large, I'd encourage you to keep a balanced perspective when events such as this take place, and in fact, to share that balanced view with your friends and colleagues. Doing so will help ensure that our nascent industry will continue to thrive.

Please mark your calendar for our upcoming webinar on February 14: Energy Storage Outlook--Progress, Challenges and the Road Ahead. During this free one-hour webinar, the NY-BEST team will provide an overview of highlights from last year, provide context for the initiatives and efforts that we completed so far, and set the stage for the year to come. We hope you will plan to join us on February 14th at 1:00PM Eastern.

We recently updated the NY-BEST website with new material and sections that include blog entries, a Member Spotlight and an events list of upcoming NY-BEST and selected industry events. One such event listed on the site is the upcoming Agrion Energy Summit in New York City on February 19 and 20th. This two-day event will include sessions on energy storage, microgrids and other issues of interest to the energy storage community.

Also, please be sure to register for Capture the Energy 2013, our signature event and conference to be held in Troy, NY on March 6 & 7. We have a great line-up this year, including Keynote speakers, Leecia Eve, Deputy Secretary to the Governor for Economic Development, Frank Murray, President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and Gil Quinones, President of the New York Power Authority (NYPA).  We also have numerous industry leaders from New York and across the country joining the program, including senior executives from Toshiba, Samsung, LG Chem, General Electric, Corning and National Grid.

Finally, I'd like to welcome NY-BEST's most recent new members:

  • Active Signal Technologies, Inc. (Linthicum, MD) in partnership with Alfred University and Lockheed Martin, Syracuse, develops high-temperature, high-voltage ceramic capacitors for power conversion applications. Active Signal conducts high-temperature (up to 250C), high-current (up to 10 A/uF) testing of these capacitors at frequencies between 60 and 150 kHz and has verified, low ESR and low internal heating of the units.
  • Entropy Solutions, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN) manufactures PureTemp phase change materials. These are protected biobased PCMs which can be used in thermal storage systems and can store up to 50x the amount of heat of just a specific water based system.
  • S&C Electric (Chicago, IL) offers the broadest range of energy storage solutions in the industry. We can furnish a system that will increase the utilization of the renewable energy from a wind or solar plant, or provide supplemental power to a group of residential customers.

Best regards,

William Acker
Executive Director

Funding Opportunities:

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NY-BEST Member News:

Wanxiang Group closes deal to acquire assets of A123 Systems
China's Wanxiang Group Corp. won U.S. government approval Tuesday to acquire the assets of A123 Systems Inc., including its plants in Livonia and Romulus, confirmed Wanxiang America President Pin Ni.

Xtreme Power completes four new energy storage projects
Xtreme Power, a provider of real-time power management and energy storage solutions, completed of four new projects. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the company reached about 77 MW commissioned and launched a new product line.

Saft lithium batteries to power Sensile Technologies' smart telemetry systems
Saft, the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of advanced batteries for industry, has signed a contract with Sensile Technologies, the Swiss machine to machine equipment specialist, to provide over 20,000 primary lithium batteries to power smart remote GSM telemetry and level‐monitoring systems for oil and gas storage tanks.

State commitment to green goals is lauded
TROY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is committed to fighting man-made climate change by encouraging growth of clean, alternative energy, the head of the state energy authority told researchers gathered Friday for a conference sponsored by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Duke Completes Battery Storage Project At Texas Wind Farm
Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy's commercial businesses, has announced the completion of its 36 MW energy storage and power management system at its Notrees Windpower Project in West Texas. The system completed testing and became fully operational in December 2012.

U.S. military gets serious about microgrids … which is more exciting than it sounds
The Department of Defense has bases in the U.S. and forward operating bases in theaters of war like Afghanistan. In both cases, providing reliable electricity, a strategic and tactical necessity for an increasingly wired military, is a challenge. One way the military is meeting that challenge is developing microgrids, which are way cooler than they sound.

Glass That Bends the Rules of Manufacturing
In 2011, a Corning researcher named Terry Ott faced a problem that nobody else had needed to solve in the company’s 160-year history: how to make sheets of glass that could be rolled onto spools.

Advance Launches First Fuel Cell Powered Industrial Floor Cleaner
Nilfisk-Advance Group, a leading manufacturer and distributor of professional floor cleaning equipment, has introduced the first fuel cell-powered industrial combination sweeper-scrubber. The Advance CS7000™ Combination Sweeper-Scrubber Fuel Cell unit uses fuel cell systems from NY-BEST member Plug Power. The machine was developed in response to growing industrial demand for cost-effective, alternative fuel solutions.

Navitas Systems acquires A123's government, research side
Navitas Systems LLC plans to bring on board about 40 A123 Systems Inc. employees in southeast Michigan, following its $2.3 million acquisition of the government and research side of the battery maker's business.

Thirteen Major Companies Join Energy Department’s Workplace Charging Challenge
Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced 13 major U.S. employers and eight stakeholder groups have joined the new Workplace Charging Challenge to help expand access to workplace charging stations for American workers across the country. In a speech at the Washington Auto Show, Secretary Chu outlined the new initiative, which aims to expand the availability of workplace charging, increasing the convenience of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and providing drivers with more options. NY-BEST members GE and GM are both part of the initiative.

Siemens launch software to aid battery manufacturing
SIEMENS says its planning and design software and technology can help manufacturers automate the production of large-scale batteries.

Electrovaya signs deal with Chinese company for prototype vehicle battery system
TORONTO - Electrovaya Inc. (TSX:EFL) said Tuesday it has signed a deal with a Chinese automaker to produce a prototype battery system to be used in an electric vehicle.

Venture forum seeks companies to pitch to investors
The SmartStart & UNYTECH Venture Forum is looking for venture-ready companies and early-stage startups from throughout the state to present to investors at its annual event in May.

For more news about NY-BEST and NY-BEST members click here.

News from Beyond New York:

Innovative EV charging system includes solar power, battery energy storage
You may have seen or used an EV charging station at your local store or shopping center. But if you're a customer at Clay Terrace in Carmel, Indiana, you can use what developers call a 'plug-in ecosystem': a combination of traditional and quick charge EV charging stations connected to a rooftop solar panel and battery storage to provide power for nighttime use and cloudy days.

Dreamliner batteries: Boeing says safety not a factor in earlier replacement
Boeing Co. said Wednesday that numerous replacements of potentially flammable lithium-ion batteries by airlines flying the new 787 Dreamliner were not made because of safety concerns.

Daimler, Ford, Nissan Plan Commercial Fuel-Cell Vehicle for 2017
An agreement among three automakers spanning three continents could lead to the development of a mass-market fuel-cell electric vehicle as soon as 2017, according to a statement from Nissan. Through the partnership, Daimler, Ford and Nissan intend to produce a common fuel-cell stack and fuel-cell system that can be used by each company in its own separately branded FCEVs, which produce no carbon-dioxide emissions. The electricity for an FCEV is generated on board the vehicle in the fuel-cell stack following a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, leaving behind only water vapor and heat as by-products.

EU proposes minimum of 8 million EV charging points by 2020
Even though alternative fuels, such as electricity and hydrogen are available in the market, there are several obstacles that prevent their wider deployment. According to the European Commission, the major hurdle is the lack of charging infrastructure with a common plug to facilitate the interoperability. With the ‘Clean Power for Fuel Transport’, the Commission aims to break the vicious circle between the lack of infrastructure and the shortage of demand for alternative fuel vehicles. 

Update: $10M VC Infusion for Consumer Battery Startup Leyden Energy
Leyden Energy, a consumer battery startup, just won a $10 million Round C financing from existing investors New Enterprise Associates, Lightspeed Ventures, Sigma Partners and Walden International. 

Nanoparticle Leads to World Record for Battery Storage
A new world record is in the books for battery technology. Thanks to a tiny particle resembling an egg yolk and shell, scientists have been able to dramatically increase lithium-ion battery storage capacity.

Minnesota wind-farm battery going back online
The only battery in Minnesota large enough to store electricity from wind turbines is going back into operation after a 15-month shutdown and overhaul to reduce the risk of fire.

How A Battery Safety Center Would Benefit the Public and Industry
As of this week, the NTSB investigation into the January 7 battery fire on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is continuing. Preliminary indications are that the malfunction was serious and is likely to leave all 787’s in the United States grounded for weeks, if not months.

Primus Lands DOD Contract for Energy Storage at Marine Base Microgrid
Selling large-scale energy storage into the U.S. utility market is a bit of a slog. In addition to technology and cost challenges, the regulatory terrain is tricky, and the revenue path for the utility is not clear.

The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Industries: 10 Trends to Watch in 2013 and Beyond
2012 was a dynamic year for the fuel cell and hydrogen industries. The year saw widespread restructuring, increased rollouts of new business models, a sharp increase in sales and interest in the residential combined heat and power (resCHP) segment, and overall revenue generation of over $1 billion. The year ahead promises similar upheaval, with increases in total capacity for the fuel cell sector, rollouts of new hydrogen refueling stations, and increasing profitability for leading vendors.

13 battery startups to watch in 2013
Here’s 13 rare battery startups working on next-generation manufacturing, chemistry and printing technologies.  These battery companies could create innovation that could revolutionize electric cars, the power grid and how we charge up our gadgets and cell phones.

Ford, Daimler, and Nissan Commit to Fuel Cells
The partnership to jointly develop fuel cell vehicles by 2017 signals the renewed interest in hydrogen-powered cars and the need to collaborate in auto industry.

Energy Storage Wars: Which Technology Will Win the Race?
Several American companies think they've developed technologies that will compete with and even surpass the efficiency of pumped hydro.  All of the following companies are developing technologies that they hope will become a meaningful part of the smart grid — and become a viable alternative to pumped hydro.

ZBB delivers flow battery system to Lotte Chemical (S. Korea)
ZBB Energy Corporation shipped another ZBB EnerSystem™ to Lotte Chemical in South Korea, consisting of a ZBB EnerStore™ flow battery and ZBB EnerSection™ power and control center.

Bendable Battery Breakthrough Could Yield Flexible Phones
Korean scientists say they have invented materials to create flexible lithium-ion batteries. Eventually, these could be used to build bendable mobile phones or other electronics.

Belgium to build 'battery island' to store wind farm energy
Belgium plans to build a horseshoe-shaped artificial island off its North Sea coast to store energy generated by its wind farms. The project will also double as attraction for sea birds (and possibly flocks of tourists).

Renewables: the 99.9 per cent solutions
A combination of wind and solar power and sophisticated energy storage systems could keep a power grid fully supplied between 90 and 99.9% of the time, at costs comparable with today’s fossil fuel and nuclear mix, according to a new study from Delaware in the United States.

Boeing's Battery-Fire Blues
Ever wonder why the space shuttle carried quaint computer systems from the days of visible transistors and perforated readout paper? The reason is reliability, which matters more than coolio capabilities when your life’s on the line.

German Energy Storage Association Established
To represent the growing energy storage industry sector, the German Energy Storage Association (Bundesverband Energiespeicher (BVES)) was established in Berlin.Its goal is to bring together the relevant decision makers in the sector, to offer expertise to policy makers and the public, to speed up the development of the market and to build a strong contact network.

For more news articles from beyond New York State click here.

This news update is provided as a service to members and interested parties of the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium. NY-BEST is an industry-led coalition working to build a vibrant, world-class, advanced battery and energy storage sector in New York State.

Your suggestions and comments for future topics are welcome.

Please email suggestions to: info@ny-best.org