Long-term storage units from Zinc8’s Vancouver facility will provide energy for New York state. (Photo: Zinc8 Energy Solutions)
A company with proprietary energy storage technology has made further inroads into New York state. Zinc8 Energy Solutions CSE:AIR has been accepted into the ACRE Incubator Program, an initiative supporting early-stage venture clean-tech companies. ACRE comprises the flagship program of the Urban Future Lab at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. ACRE’s funding comes from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, NYU and corporate partners.
“New York state has been a driving force in the advancement of our patented zinc-air technology toward full commercialization,” said Zinc8 president/CEO Ron MacDonald. Joining ACRE offers the company “unmatched access to strategic advice, introductions to industry stakeholders, marketing and branding support, investor networks, and access to a community of like-minded founders. We look forward to this unique opportunity of strengthening and accelerating our ambitions by working alongside some of the world’s most exciting new clean-tech companies, technology innovators and industry experts.”
The company’s zinc-air regenerative fuel cell offers long-term electricity storage scaleable from 20 kW to 50 MW for durations of eight hours or more, making it suitable for both microgrids and utilities. Energy storage capacity is determined only by the size of the zinc storage tank, making the unit a cost-effective, scaleable alternative to the fixed power/energy ratio of lithium-ion batteries, Zinc8 explains.
The system stores electricity in zinc particles instead of relying on the battery minerals lithium, vanadium or cobalt, which face higher costs along with supply chain challenges. Zinc particles combine with oxygen while the system delivers electricity. When the system recharges, the zinc particles are regenerated and oxygen is returned.
Zinc8 already has two projects underway to install its storage units in New York. Last March Zinc8 announced an agreement with Digital Energy Corp to install a 100 kW/1.5 MWh system in Brooklyn.
The previous January, Zinc8’s unit was chosen for a demo facility in western New York by the state’s largest public electricity utility, the New York Power Authority.
Read A look at energy storage during and beyond COVID-19, by Ron MacDonald.