UniEnergy Technologies (UET), based near Seattle, Washington, produces and deploys proven energy storage solutions for utility, microgrid, commercial and industrial, and other applications of value to the customer. The company’s systems are based on an advanced vanadium flow battery technology utilizing new-generation electrolyte chemistry. The MW-scale Uni.System™ is fully commercialized, approaching 5MW and 20MWh of deployed or ordered systems including the largest flow battery operating in North America and Europe. UET is also bringing to market in early 2016 the kW-scale ReFlex™ system, with a deployment in New York.
Initially developed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with support from the U.S. DOE Office of Electricity, the innovative vanadium electrolyte has been subsequently improved by UET. The electrolyte is incorporated into fully-integrated systems with a state-of-the-art containerized design, large-scale powerful stacks, and optimized power electronics and controls in a factory-built and tested AC solution. This approach enables speedy and cost-effective deployment of UET’s systems, which UET says are the first of their kind in the world at the MW-scale.
Each Uni.System is rated at 500kW/2MWh, with peak power of 600 kW/2hrs and maximum energy of 2.2MWh in a compact footprint of five 20-foot containers. The system is modular, so multiple Uni.Systems can be deployed and operated with a density of more than 20 MW per acre or up to 60 MW per acre if containers are triple-stacked. Each ReFlex system is rated at 100kW/400kWh in a single 20-foot container with a footprint of only 160 square feet and a height of only 9.5 feet. The UET systems are designed and engineered to be operationally flexible, long-life, safe, and economic to maximize value for the customer.
Proven cycle life is more than 15,000, the battery can use 100% of its state-of-charge, is warranted under a service contract to have a 20-year life, and supports discharging and charging protocols ranging from fractions of a second to 12+ hours, making the system suitable for the full range of energy and power applications.
In June 2015, UET commissioned the largest capacity flow battery system in North America and Europe. Owned and operated by Avista Utilities, it is a 1 MW/4MWh system sited on the Turner distribution circuit in Pullman, Washington in support of Washington State University’s smart campus operations. Avista Utilities will use the flow battery system for load shifting, frequency regulation, voltage regulation, and deferral of purchasing a natural gas turbine. The UET product will also support Avista's end customer, manufacturer Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), offering islanding, black start, and four‐cycle seamless switching between feeders. SEL is a leading builder of protective relays and grid equipment.
UET has targeted New York as a key part of its go-to-market strategy. With its prominence and innovation including REV and NY Prize, New York provides opportunities in three market segments: utilities, microgrids, and commercial and industrial. The company has personnel based in the state, including Director of Marketing & Sales John DeBoever, who are actively pursuing these opportunities and has been a member of NY-BEST for a couple of years.
UET operates a 60,000 square foot engineering and manufacturing facility that is scaling up to produce 100 megawatts of storage systems annually. The company is funded by long-term private equity and has strategic partnerships in place with Rongke Power to manufacture stacks, Bolong New Materials (BNM) to produce UET’s proprietary electroltye, and Vanadis Power to provide sales and services in Europe.
With a fully-commercialized, innovative energy storage solution, UET is positioned to seek a major market share in the large and growing energy storage market.