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New York Power Authority tests 1 MWh zinc-based battery

From pv magazine USA

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) signed an agreement with Zinc8 Energy Solutions and the University at Buffalo to deploy a zinc-air energy storage system (ZESS).

The project will demonstrate a 100 kW/1 MWh ZESS. Vancouver-based Zinc8 won a contract to accelerate the technology in the Innovation Challenge, which is a partnership between the NYPA and the Urban Future Lab at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering.

The Buffalo deployment will provide peak shaving capability and improve campus resiliency. It will also aim to validate the system’s performance reliability and help to determine O&M and life-cycle costs. In addition, the university will explore alternative uses such as emergency backup for campus buildings.

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In a story in pv magazine last year, Zinc8 said it had solved the “dendrite problem,” which leads to the clogging of the membranes used in flow batteries. Solving this challenge, along with the broader technology development, cost more than $80 million over the course of 14 years, according to the company. The investments produced a product with a 65% to 70% round trip efficiency.

In simple terms, power from the grid or renewable source is used to generate zinc particles in a zinc regenerator. Oxygen is released to the atmosphere as a by-product. The zinc particles are directed to a storage tank and maintained in potassium hydroxide (KOH) electrolyte until required. Whenever power is needed, the zinc particles are delivered to a power stack, recombining them with oxygen to generate electricity. The zinc oxide (ZnO) by-product is returned to the storage tank for later regeneration.

Under its agreement with Zinc8, the NYPA will contribute to the installation costs and share data generated during the demonstration period. Zinc8 aims to achieve full commercialization of its technology in early 2023.

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Source: pv magazine