Ascension Industries is a family-owned contract metalworking manufacturing firm located in North Tonawanda, NY. Founded in 1956, Ascension is a manufacturing partner to companies in a wide array of industries ranging from turbo-compressor, process equipment, automation, power generation and energy storage industries to name a few. Ascensions clients range from Fortune 500 companies to emerging technology companies. The company lends its technical and manufacturing expertise and strives to help its partners advance their ideas from concept to production.
Ascensions skilled technical and administrative workforce allows the company to assist its customers with design for manufacturability, sizing, selection and procurement of engineered components, and design assistance with ease of maintenance and manufacturability in mind. Ascension’s facilities offer 150,000 square feet of manufacturing space which includes a full-service machine shop and up to 50 ton lifting capacity. The facility is ISO 9001:2008 certified.
Manufacturing capabilities at Ascension include turnkey manufacturing, piping fabrication, machining, structural fabrication, and a wide range of electrical fabrication techniques. Technical services include design, prototyping, packaging, assembly, quality assurance, testing, and continuous improvement methods. Ascension supports its customers from a value-added perspective in many different ways.
Ascension’s involvement in the alternate energy and emerging technology sectors is also quite diverse. The company focuses its expertise and capabilities toward helping its customers gain a competitive advantage and further develop markets in the power generation industry, in grid-scale energy storage, in fuel cell power generation, in biomass conversion, in biodiesel filtration technology, and in alternate fuel processing.
With regard to energy storage, Ascension Industries has been involved with NY-BEST from early on, participating in conferences, planning meeting, and other activities. The company sees energy storage as an emerging sector wherein cost reduction is an essential step toward widespread deployment. The increasing use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power is driving the need for cost-effective energy storage in order to make these resources available 24 hours a day.
Don Naab, President of Ascension Industries, commented: “The renewable sector is a thriving opportunity for Ascension. Our background with process equipment, metal fabrication, and vessels has allowed unique adaptation to fuel cell and battery applications. Part of our strategy is to be an aid to the new technology that will assist our environment and better our world.” As part of this strategy, Ascension developed a relationship with an energy storage company in California more than two years ago. This company builds large-scale energy storage systems for the grid based upon a patented redox flow battery technology. The technology was lab-tested and proven to work, but further development was needed. Ascension has been able to use its expertise to design and build a specialized test stand for this battery technology. The presence of corrosive fluids and elevated temperatures presented unique design and manufacturing challenges that Ascension needed to solve. The complex nature of the project required the use of 3D design models to ensure that the system came together properly.
In order to fully utilize the test stand, Ascension was also tasked with designing a control system that would collect and record a large amount of data including temperatures, pressures, voltages, and various other process signals. The system records data at 1000 samples per second. This extremely complex control system handled all pumping, flow control, process heating, and electrical charging and discharging.
Ascension’s continued collaboration with this customer is in the development of large-scale energy storage facilities, which would comprise containerized equipment that includes all process apparatus. With the strong contributions by Ascension, this customer is well on the way to having a viable solution for large-scale, grid-based energy storage.
With its extensive base of expertise and capabilities, Ascension continues to look to create long-term positive relationships with new customers in the energy storage industry and in the broader new energy economy.