Zinc mine to be converted to compressed air energy storage

Australia’s first energy storage project using compressed air, which will repurpose the Adelaide Angas Zinc Mine, has received $6 million in funding from The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and $33.3 million for the South Australian Government.

Hydrostor will construct the 5MW/10MWh fuel-free Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility.

The $30 million commercial demonstration project will use the existing mine to develop a below-ground air-storage cavern that uses an innovative design to achieve emissions free energy storage. The facility will provide synchronous inertia, load shifting, frequency regulation and support for grid security and reliability.

Full article here.

‘World first’ claim as hydrogen fuel cell EV charger tested

AFC Energy has put the “world’s first electric vehicle charger based on hydrogen fuel-cell technology” through its paces at the survey aerodrome used to film Top Gear.

UK-headquartered AFC said the test demonstrated the technology’s potential to generate 100% clean electricity for future electric vehicle charging.
In a first, the CH2ARGE unit recharged a BMW i8 with power generated by a hydrogen fuel cell.
It took 10 years of research to get to this point. The next step is commercialising the technology.
AFC chief executive Adam Bond said: “By 2030, it is estimated that there could be nine million electric vehicles on the roads of Britain, up from 90,000 today.
“For this transition, we need charging stations to be embedded throughout the country, as well as seeking innovative solutions to overcome the severe limitations of centrally generated electricity.
“By developing and previewing the effectiveness of our CH2ARGE system in the application of EV charging, AFC Energy has shown it is ready to lead the way not only in solving the challenges of increased demand for electricity, but also doing so in a zero emissions approach.”

Full article here.

Magnesium Batteries: New Discovery

A new version of high-energy magnesium batteries has been discovered by researchers from the University of Houston and the Toyota Research Institute of America, according to Phys.org. The battery operates with limited electrolytes while using an organic electrode, allowing it to store and discharge much more energy than earlier magnesium batteries.

Yan Yao, an ECS member, UH Student Chapter faculty advisor, and an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the UH, said the researchers identified chloride—in the commonly used electrolyte—as a contributor to magnesium batteries’ sluggish performance.

Full article here.

Government rejects calls to pull EV target date forward to 2032

The UK government has rejected recommendations from MPs to bring forward the target date to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars in the UK to 2032, insisting its original 2040 target strikes the “right balance” between environmental ambitions and what is feasible for the auto market.

In October MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee released a report declaring the 2040 target “vague and unambitious”, instead arguing for a “clear precise target” for ensuring sales of all new cars and vans are zero emission by 2032.

Full article here.

Ion age: why the future will be battery powered

The variable nature of wind and solar power means storing energy is a huge part of the fight to mitigate climate change.

Why have batteries become important?

In a world increasingly anxious about climate change, the surge in the generation of renewable energy over the past 20 years offers a sliver of hope. But the variable nature of wind and solar power means that storing energy until consumers need it has become the next big challenge. And so, large-scale battery installations are springing up across electricity grids around the world, to make them more flexible. In 2017, more than 1GW of power storage capacity was added around the world – a record, yes, but still a drop in the ocean of global energy demand.

Full article here.

Hydrogen trains lined up for 2021 start in UK

Converted hydrogen trains could be on the UK’s railways by 2021.

An Alstom and Eversholt Rail joint venture has revealed concept designs and plans to convert Class 321 rolling stock into hydrogen powered trains of the future, operational as a soon as 2021.

Codenamed ‘Breeze’ the new trains would be converted Class 321 units, some of the UK’s most reliable rolling stock.

The characteristics, fleet size and availability for conversion to a Hydrogen Multiple Unit (HMU) make the 321 stock the ideal choice for conversion.

The trains will use a combination of a fuel cell and a lithium ion battery that gives the train a range of approximately 1,000km, similar to a typical diesel powered unit.

Full article here.

Before the Electric Car Takes Over, Someone Needs to Reinvent the Battery

To deliver an electric vehicle that’s cheaper, safer and capable of traveling 500 miles on a single charge, the auto industry needs a breakthrough in battery technology. Easier said than done.

Scientists in Japan, China and the U.S. are among those struggling to crack the code of how to significantly boost the amount of energy a battery cell can store and bring an EV’s driving range into line with a full tank of gas. That quest has zeroed in on solid-state technology, an overhaul of a battery’s internal architecture to use solid materials instead of flammable liquids to enable charging and discharging. The technology promises major improvements on existing lithium-ion packs, which automakers say are hitting the limits of their storage capabilities and may never hold enough power for long-distance models.

Full article here.

Graphene nanotechnology charges onto the battery market

New graphene nanotechnology in batteries could reduce charging times, improve durability and boost energy density.

Jas Kandola, CEO of the Graphene Corporation, said his company has developed high-performance graphene-lithium batteries in a commercially viable way.

The firm, which has research, development and commercial operations based in both the UK and India, has created a “proven, unique and cost-efficient process for producing all grades of graphenes, graphene oxides and graphene composites”.

It has developed a battery designed to the specifications of a large mobile phone brand – it boasts an energy density up 45% higher than comparable lithium-ion options, a weight reduction of 30% and is able to reach 80% charge in only 20 minutes.

Full article here.

Centrica, Uber launch electric vehicle trial to monitor impact on UK energy grid

Thousands of electric vehicles are to be hooked up to Britain’s electricity grid to test its ability to cope with power fluctuations caused by a mass roll-out of the technology.

The trial of 3,000 of the vehicles in London and the South of England has been approved by Ofgem, Britain’s energy regulator, and is being led by Uber and Centrica, the owner of British Gas.

The cars will be on the road by the second half of next year and the trial will continue until 2022.  data will be collected about the distance traveled, the cost of trips, as well as the amount of energy consumed and the times of day at which vehicles were charged.

Full article here.