UAFNews-L UAF, industry partner to test battery technology for rural power

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From: “University of Alaska Fairbanks” <uaf-distribution>
Date: January 22, 2015 at 16:35:54 EST
To: uafnews-l
Subject: [UAFNews-L] UAF, industry partner to test battery technology for rural power
Reply-To: newsroom

UAF, industry partner to test battery technology for rural power

CONTACT: Melody Cavanaugh-Moen, 907-978-0693, Melody.Moen

The University of Alaska Fairbanks and industry partner Ambri will collaborate on a project to demonstrate a new battery technology that could lower consumer electric prices in rural Alaska.

The $1.5 million project, funded by a $749,000 grant from the Alaska Energy Authority and a match by Ambri and the UAF Alaska Center for Energy and Power, will use a liquid metal battery developed by Ambri. The battery could ultimately provide needed energy storage and increased system reliability, enabling communities to shift away from diesel fuel and toward renewable resources such as wind and solar for power generation.

“Ambri’s LMB technology has the potential to be a game changer for Alaska, providing reliable and economic solutions for Alaska’s renewable energy systems,” said Marc Mueller-Stoffels, UAF researcher and the project’s lead investigator.

Phase one of the grant will test a 35 kWh battery at ACEP’s Power Systems Integration Laboratory in Fairbanks. The lab was built in 2011 on the UAF campus to mimic communities with hybrid diesel power and is ideal for testing early-production equipment like Ambri’s battery. After lab testing, UAF and Ambri will install a larger 100 kWh battery module in Eagle, Alaska. The installation, in partnership with Alaska Power and Telephone, will test the battery under challenging conditions and in conjunction with a solar array.

The benefits of Ambri’s liquid metal battery include the abundance and low cost of core materials, moderate to low toxicity compared to other battery chemistries, flexible operations in extreme environments and an expected cycle life of 20 years.

“Ambri is excited to bring its energy storage technology to serve Alaska’s power system needs,” said Phil Giudice, Ambri’s president and chief executive officer. “With Marc and the team at ACEP, we look forward to demonstrating the practical application of Ambri’s technology and unlocking the potential for lower-cost, safe, reliable and sustainable electricity systems in Alaska, and leading the way for a better energy future for Alaska, the U.S. and the world.”

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