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Here are humanity’s best ideas on how to store energy

Historically, the vast majority of the world’s power has been consumed as quickly as it is made, or it's wasted. But climate change has made governments interested in renewable energy, and renewable energy is variable—it can't be dispatched on demand. Or can it? As research into utility-sized batteries receives more attention, the economics of adding storage to a grid or wind farm are starting to make more sense. But grid-tied energy storage is not new; it has just always been limited to whatever resources a local power producer had at the time. Much like electricity production itself, storage schemes differ regionally. Power companies will invest in batteries that make sense on a local leve

Exide India to make Li-ion batteries

Betting big on the electric vehicle’s future in the country, leading battery maker, Exide Batteries, is planning to set up a lithium ion battery plant by next year. The company has tied up with Chinese major Chaowei Group for its technology and will start the production of the batteries by 2019. “It’s a technology partnership for design and manufacture of Lithium Ion batteries with Zhejiang Chaowei Chuangyan Shiye Co Ltd Group. The deal was signed at the beginning of this year and will get over by 2025,” says a senior official in the company who requested anonymity. The company will have a separate plant for the manufacture of lithium ion batteries. It should be noted that the company has be

Batteries Replace Generator on Viking Princess

A hybrid energy system has been installed on board Viking Princess making it the first offshore supply vessel where batteries have reduced the number of generators on board. Viking Princess completed sea trials and the system was handed over to Eidesvik Offshore on October 9, 2017. She provides supplies to oil rigs in the North Sea and Barents Sea. The five-year old vessel runs on LNG-powered Wärtsilä engines. Depending on the ongoing task and weather conditions, the engine load varies between 90 percent and 20 percent. With the Wärtsilä installed energy storage system on board, Viking Princess is expected to reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 percent in various operations and CO2 emissions

Wärtsilä believes energy storage is ‘only answer’ to India’s grid problems

Finland-based power firm Wärtsilä, which is active in the renewable energy and energy storage markets, plans to enter the Indian energy storage market, citing “looming” grid management challenges in the country. Some Indian states, particularly in the south where energy demand is lower, already have high penetrations of renewable energy and grid integration is becoming increasingly stressed. Curtailment is a regular feature of wind and solar operators' lives in the state of Tamil Nadu for example. In a release, Wärtsilä stated that India also faces peak energy shortages in certain states, at certain hours of the day, and during some seasons. The firm also believes that stand-alone energy sto

Paving the way for a lithium battery that uses an asphalt electrode

Most of the batteries we use, from our cell phones to our cars, rely on using lithium ions. As a result, their capacity is largely a product of how much lithium you can stuff into a given volume. Obviously, using a pure lithium electrode would provide the highest density possible. But there has been no way to control where the lithium ends up as a battery goes through charge/discharge cycles. The typical result is a set of lithium metal spines that short the whole system out. As a result, a lot of effort has been put into finding other materials that can incorporate lithium into their structure. This lowers the total lithium content but keeps the battery from shorting out. However, a new pap

From disasters to freight, this driverless fuel cell platform has it covered

On Monday, General Motors gave us a quick look at a new fuel cell EV platform it's developing, called SURUS. It stands for Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure, and it's a large driverless vehicle—about the size of a shipping container—that GM thinks could work in a range of applications, including mobile and emergency power generation, cargo delivery, and even military use. We weren't allowed to take any photos of it, but on Friday GM made it public. SURUS is powered by GM's latest hydrogen fuel cell system. The company has been working with Honda since 2013 on the technology, and it plans to commercialize it within the next five years, targeting commercial and military buyers. "SU

Elon Musk says he can rebuild Puerto Rico's power grid with solar

Renewable energy entrepreneur Elon Musk says he could rebuild Puerto Rico's shattered electrical infrastructure with his solar energy technology. The vast majority of the island territory remains without power, weeks after it was hit by Hurricane Maria. On Twitter, Mr Musk said his technology, which powers several smaller islands, could be scaled up to work for Puerto Rico. The island's governor responded to Mr Musk with the message: "Let's talk". "Do you want to show the world the power and scalability of your Tesla technologies? Puerto Rico could be that flagship project," the Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, said. Mr Musk's Tesla company is best known for its electric cars, but

Vietnam's Pinaco and Japan's Furukawa Battery form partnership

Vietnam's Dry Cell & Storage Battery, better known as Pinaco, and Japan's Furukawa Battery plan to become strategic partners, and will sign an agreement by the end of the year, according to a letter sent to Pinaco shareholders this week. The five-year agreement covers Furukawa Battery's technical input, its rights to assign representatives to Pinaco's board, and its rights to buy shares that become available. The Japanese company already owns 10.54% of Pinaco, and is its second largest shareholder after Vietnam National Chemical Group with 51.43%. Pinaco is looking for "advanced technologies" from its Japanese partner. The arrangement should enable it to overcome production challenges and we

India's Tata to build 1,000 electric vehicle charging spots

NEW DELHI -- Tata Power looks to establish a network of 1,000 electric-vehicle charging terminals here in the Indian capital in five years, responding to the national government's plans to ban sales of gasoline- and diesel-engine vehicles by 2030. The subsidiary of the Tata Group, India's No. 1 conglomerate, will tackle the ambitious project through a joint venture with the national capital territory of Delhi. Tata Power Delhi Distribution, or Tata Power-DDL, now operates just five electric-vehicle charging stations. Even the nationwide tally of such facilities is said to be languishing at around 100 today. All 1,000 charging terminals will be set up in northern New Delhi, Praveer Sinha, CEO

GM Is Going All Electric, Will Ditch Gas- and Diesel-Powered Cars

General Motors plans to go 100 percent electric, the Detroit automaker announced Monday. GM currently offers one extended-range electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, but will add two others within 18 months, said Executive Vice President Mark Reuss, with “at least 20” to be in the line-up by 2023. In addition, the company is developing a new truck platform powered by hydrogen fuel cells, dubbed Surus, short for Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure. “General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” Reuss said. “Although that future won't happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our

Automakers Plan Electric Car Blitz as Tesla Burns Billions

Here are two facts that defy logic: By the end of the year, electric-car maker Tesla Inc. will have burned through more than $10 billion without ever having made 10 cents. Yet companies around the world are lining up to compete with it. Almost 50 new pure electric-car models will come to market globally between now and 2022, including vehicles from Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG. General Motors Co. raised the stakes Monday by pledging to sell 20 all-electric vehicles by 2023, including launching two new EVs in the next 18 months. Even British inventor James Dyson is getting into the game, announcing last week that he’s investing two billion pounds ($2.7 billion) to develop an electric car and

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