EnStorageInc, based in Yavne, Israel, was founded to commercialize cost effective flow batteries based on a hydrogen bromine technology. The EnStorage technology is optimal for long-duration large-scale grid storage applications. The company is in the process of deploying a beta system in France with AREVA and Schneider Electric.
EnStorage’s flow battery technology was initially developed at Tel Aviv University and the company was founded in 2008. EnStorage now owns nine different patents pertaining to the base materials, core technology, systems and controls. The battery chemistry utilized HBr and H2. During the charge cycle, power flows into the battery stack generating H2, which, electrochemically compressed, is then stored as a gas. During the discharge cycle, the hydrogen is consumed and energy is generated. No mechanical compressor is required for the H2and only one liquid pump and tank are required for the electrolyte loop.
The technology has a number of advantages. Tests have demonstrated that even after 10,000 cycles there is only minimal degradation in efficiency. There are no limits on depth of discharge and there is flexibility on power rating and energy rating. The system has a fast response time, operates over a wide ambient temperature range, has a low internal operating temperature, and has low operation and maintenance costs. The system is completely self-contained with no by-products, external discharges or emissions.
Most importantly the base materials used are abundant and cheap. For example, the electrolyte cost is $20/KWH and the proprietary membrane used costs a fraction of the cost of other flow battery membranes.
The company’s existing demo unit is a 50 kW multi-stack grid-connected system with 100 kWh of output. EnStorage has used this system to refine and scale their technology. EnStorage has partnered with AREVA, Schneider Electric, and EDF and is in the process of developing a containerized 150 kW, 900 kWh beta system. The system will be modular, allowing multiple systems to be linked to form a large-scale energy storage system. The company and its partners are in various stages of negotiations on follow up deployments. EnStorage will soon be poised to deploy its technology worldwide through its own commercialization efforts as well as through partnerships with multinational conglomerates.
According to Itai Karelic, Vice President of Business Development “The coming year will see us go through an important commercialization milestone. We’re excited with the future changes to the NY utility landscape through REV and appreciate NY-BEST efforts and leadership in advancing the role of energy storage as part of this important transformation. We are looking forward to being part of these future changes.”
EnStorage seeks to provide a turnkey storage system for grid operators, renewable developers, distribution companies and commercial customers. The company has estimated its LCOE to be $0.10-0.15 /kWh. According to EnStorage, the combination of high performance and low cost for this bulk storage solution can outperform competing technologies on price, output, and maintenance.