NantEnergy has announced, at the One Planet Summit in New York, that the global environmental impact of the company’s green rechargeable battery system has now reached the breakthrough manufacturing cost of below $100 per kilowatt hour.
NantEnergy claim the battery system is the world’s safest and most reliable battery system. It is also the world’s first scalable air breathing zinc rechargeable battery system which uses just zinc and air, integrated with digitally controlled intelligence. The energy system is monitored in real time in the cloud and has been successfully deployed in nine countries with more than 3,000 systems supporting 110 villages and 1,000 installations across mobile phone tower sites.
The technology has broken the manufacturing cost barrier of $100 per KWh. Manufacturing at scale will commence in 2019, with the aim of providing a competitive source of energy compared to other energy storage technologies and making carbon free energy affordable and accessible in developing countries. Microgrids featuring air breathing zinc rechargeable batteries with solar-powered storage are now providing sole source of power to more than 200,000 people in over 110 communities in Africa and Asia.
“The concept of adapting nature and biology to address the issues facing our planet, including the need to reduce hydrocarbons, is fundamental to our work at NANT” said Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, Chairman of NantEnergy, Founder of NantWorks. “Our air-breathing rechargeable zinc smart storage system epitomises this vision. This is the first energy system that combines zinc, an essential mineral energy source needed for prenatal growth and the human body, with oxygen, an essential gas needed by every living cell, with the power of the sun to generate a chemical reaction in a sustained, repeatable, rechargeable manner, generating electrons and energy. By harnessing biology, chemistry, the air and the sun, we are designing energy sources of the future to electrify the world”.
NantEnergy aims to combine technology and nature to deliver reliable, affordable green energy to everyone, while avoiding the use of lithium, lead or fossil fuel sources of energy. The technology began with Thomas Edison who had tried to create a rechargeable zinc-derived battery, but the problem of zinc rechargeability bedeviled him. Over 100 years later, NantEnergy is confident it has solved that problem and proven the viability and global scalability of deployment of the system.
“Zinc occurs naturally in the earth and in the food we eat; it is healthful and abundant,” Soon-Shiong added. “The desire to develop zinc as a source of rechargeable energy has eluded scientists for a century and I am so proud of our scientific team who have made this important breakthrough. By harnessing nature and technology, we have created a path to solve carbon and other types of pollution and establish low-cost, decentralized energy which can provide power to people everywhere”.
During the One Planet Summit in New York, Soon-Shiong noted that these green, air-breathing batteries avoid lithium and cobalt, replace diesel and lead-acid batteries, and present no risk of fire or environmental contamination.
Chuck Ensign, Chief Executive Officer of NantEnergy, added that the company has made the safest, de-risked, globally-deployed system in the world with a six-year history of over 1,000,000 cycles to date. This in turn eliminates the need for lead, lithium and cobalt, which are scarce and dangerous materials.
NantEnergy, formerly Fluidic Energy, has dedicated itself to accelerating the worldwide transformation to clean, reliable energy through innovative and intelligent energy storage solutions. Enabled by groundbreaking battery technology and smart-grid intelligence, the company designs, manufactures and markets long-duration energy storage solutions globally.
The system generates energy as follows:
When sun is available, electricity is generated from photovoltaic solar panels and in the charge process, Zn Air battery system uses this electricity to convert zinc oxide to zinc and oxygen.
This electrochemical reaction generates zinc which serves as a storage form of energy.
In the discharge process, the battery system converts the electrochemical energy from the zinc by combining (oxidizing) the zinc with oxygen from air, generating electrons.
Thus, the cycle is from electricity generated from multiple sources, to zinc storage, via an electrochemical reaction, and then, to electrons leading to the transmission of electricity.
The breakthrough is in the ability of the system not only for zinc to retain its ability to charge for prolonged periods of time, but also for the cycle of charging and discharging of zinc to be sustained over 1,000s of repeated cycles without deterioration.