A Colorado company has been awarded $1.725 million from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop an Advanced Redox Flow Battery, in collaboration with the University of Kentucky (UKy). This new battery technology may significantly lower costs for grid-scale power systems, and provide affordable energy storage options for small commercial and residential customers.
The flow battery model is a good fit for solar and wind-power plants because the battery capacity can be increased simply by adding more electrolyte. Such batteries can store excess energy generated when the sun shines or the wind blows, and then return electricity to the grid for use at night or when no power is being generated. The innovation developed by ITN Energy Systems Inc combines integrates a unique low-cost membrane with flow battery electrolyte chemistry to significantly increase efficiency and affordability.
ARPA-E leverages the nation’s brightest scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs to develop breakthrough energy-storage technologies and support promising small businesses. The ITN/UKy team’s project is part of ARPA-E’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program – focused on innovations in battery management and storage to advance electric vehicle technologies, help improve the efficiency and reliability of the electrical grid and provide important energy security benefits to America’s armed forces. From this nationwide competition, ITN was one of just seven small businesses selected for ARPA-E funding.
“This latest round of ARPA-E projects seeks to address the remaining challenges in energy storage technologies, which could revolutionize the way Americans store and use energy in electric vehicles, the grid and beyond, while also potentially improving the access to energy for the U.S. military at forward operating bases in remote areas,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “These cutting-edge projects could transform our energy infrastructure, dramatically reduce our reliance on imported oil and increase American energy security.”
Founded in 1995, ITN focuses on identifying, developing, commercializing advanced products and technologies in emerging clean-energy technologies. By taking research through successful spinoffs, joint ventures, or licensing arrangements, ITN has built a diverse and growing technology portfolio for cleantech including energy generation and storage, energy efficiency, and environment applications. ITN has successfully spun off four companies: GlobalSolar Energy, InfinitePower Solutions , MicrosatSystems, and Ascent SolarTechnologies.
ITN Energy Systems
Filed Under: Energy storage, News
Charles R. Toca says
Too bad there isn’t more information on the technology. If it is vanadium based, then the taxpayers are paying for research in a very developed area. Chinese and Japanese companies have taken the original research from over a decade ago and installed functioning systems.
The nitrogen component in the electrolyte is new – is that a mistake? If it is something new then it is very new indeed!