The $300,000 grant from the Solar Energy Program of the state’s Commonwealth Financing Authority will be used to demonstrate the advanced energy storage technology of PbC batteries within a "Smart Grid" system where power is generated from renewable energy sources such as the sun energy or wind power, stored during slower, overnight periods and then delivered to the grid during times of peak demand.
"Energy storage is a key component in the operation of a Smart Grid system and a perfect vehicle to demonstrate the value of our PbC battery products," said Axion Chief Executive Officer Thomas Granville. "In order to best leverage the value of renewable energy sources like the sun and wind energy, the energy gained during high generation periods must be stored in batteries like ours and then discharged during periods of high demand, or peak load. Our PbC batteries, which cycle longer and are capable of recharging both more rapidly and with greater charge acceptance when compared with other advanced lead acid batteries, will be commercialized for these very storage applications."
In the state-funded project, the Axion PbC batteries will be coupled with a UPS power conditioner provided by Eaton Corporation, and a solar panel-to-electric conversion system, as well as an electric vehicle charging station, provided by Envision Solar.
The Axion grant was the only storage project approved as part of the state’s Solar Energy Program. The other 12 approved projects were for solar generating systems.
Axion has developed and patented a next generation energy storage device that won the prestigious Frost & Sullivan Technology Award for North America in the field of lead-acid batteries. According to Frost & Sullivan, Axion’s new PbC® batteries have "the potential to revitalize the lead-acid battery industry by breathing new life into an established technology that is not well suited to the requirements of important new applications like hybrid electric vehicles and renewable power."
Axion Power International, Inc. is the industry leader in the field of lead-acid-carbon energy storage technologies. Axion believes this new battery technology is the only class of advanced battery that can be assembled on existing lead-acid battery production lines throughout the world without significant changes to production equipment and fabrication processes.
It also believes it will be able to manufacture carbon electrode assemblies in volume at low cost using standard automated production methods that are commonly used in other industries. If and when its electrode manufacturing methods are fully developed, Axion believes it will be able to sell carbon electrode assemblies as virtual plug-and-play replacements for lead-based negative electrodes used by all other lead-acid battery manufacturers. Axion’s future goal, after filling their plant’s lead-carbon battery production capacity, is to become the leading supplier of carbon electrode assemblies for the global lead-acid battery industry.