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The UltraBatteryTM: Documenting Lead–Acid’s success in Commercial and Industrial Partial State-of-Charge Applications

Ecoult develops energy-storage systems for small- and large-scale partial state-of-charge (PSoC) applications exclusively using lead–acid technology. As with all lead–acid cells, the UltraBatteryTM is a safe, recyclable, low embodied-energy technology. Due to a Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO Australia) innovation, it is capable of near-continuous PSoC operation, opening its application suite to energy-storage applications, which it performs with very similar characteristics to high-quality lithium-ion technology. This is enabled first by the introduction of a carbon-based ultracapacitor built into each cell, and second by proprietary monitoring, balancing and software control developed by Ecoult.

Commercial and industrial applications, particularly in off-grid locations, require both power and energy capabilities from a battery, chiefly to utilize renewables and reduce diesel starts and fuel use. The power requirement comes from continuous high-powered cycling, for frequency control, renewable smoothing or application surges (e.g., industrial pumps and motor starts). Moreover, the battery must also be capable of overnight energy delivery. This presentation delivers an overview of Ecoult and its technology and explains the characteristics of four application areas where UltraBatteryTM has found a niche. These sectors (which overlap slightly) are: (i) remote hybrid power systems, (ii) utility and grid services, (iii) telecom and remote nanogrids, (iv) other commercial and industrial applications. These sectors are moving very quickly. Within the past 12 months, large commercial clients have shifted from making exploratory forays into renewables and storage, to beginning new projects with sophisticated deal-structures between major industrial generator providers and large financiers to procure, construct and manage megawatt-scale renewable and storage power plants in remote locations. Mining clients are particularly reliant on large quantities of energy delivered reliably at high power. Within India, Ecoult is particularly interested in the telecom market, given the vast size of the diesel fleet being used and the immediate reduction in costs and emissions that can be achieved with solar energy and battery storage. In Australia, telecom applications have seen fuel reductions as high as 90% on sites with adequate renewables. An account of will be given of recent DoD project in the USA, installed by Raytheon with energy-storage design and batteries provided by Ecoult. The system is designed to provide grid services, perform renewable smoothing and allow an airbase to switch instantly from grid-connected to islanded mode, thereby saving the government around USD 400 000 per annum in electricity and diesel costs.

John Wood

Chief Executive Officer, Ecoult

John Wood is the Chief Executive Officer of Ecoult. He joined the energy storage community in 2008 having previously launched technologies globally in Security, Identity, Payment Technology, and Telecommunications. As a technology CEO for more than 20 years, John has had the good fortune to have worked with excellent individuals and teams who have created businesses and numerous successful products. John is now leading the Ecoult effort to commercialize the UltraBattery® storage solutions.