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  • Aquion Energy batteries

    http://www.aquionenergy.com/

    I know they are kind of new but I wonder if anyone has any comments on them or knows anything more than their sparse website shows. It would be nice to have a step up from lead acid for long term storage.

  • #2
    Originally posted by MikeSolar View Post
    http://www.aquionenergy.com/

    I know they are kind of new but I wonder if anyone has any comments on them or knows anything more than their sparse website shows. It would be nice to have a step up from lead acid for long term storage.
    Trojan already has lead carbon batteries for sale and has had them for about a year in their RE and Industrial line of products.
    MSEE, PE

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sunking View Post
      Trojan already has lead carbon batteries for sale and has had them for about a year in their RE and Industrial line of products.
      I don't believe these are lead carbon. They are supposed to be capable of 100% DOD for at least 3000 cycles and are made with sodium, salt water with manganese and carbon electrodes. I don't know what else is in it but I'm curious about it. It is supposed to be 1/2 the price of lead acid

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MikeSolar View Post
        I don't believe these are lead carbon. They are supposed to be capable of 100% DOD for at least 3000 cycles and are made with sodium, salt water with manganese and carbon electrodes. I don't know what else is in it but I'm curious about it. It is supposed to be 1/2 the price of lead acid
        Now you know why they are only available in Australia, they will believe anything with a Green Stamp on it.
        MSEE, PE

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MikeSolar View Post
          I don't believe these are lead carbon. They are supposed to be capable of 100% DOD for at least 3000 cycles and are made with sodium, salt water with manganese and carbon electrodes. I don't know what else is in it but I'm curious about it. It is supposed to be 1/2 the price of lead acid
          That's right, although I can't put an exact finger on pricing. If you search out what Prof Jay Whitacre has done, you know he knows his stuff.

          Basically, an X-Ion (lithium or otherwise) battery works by intercalation. Theoretically they should last forever as the materials don't wear down. What DOES make them seem like wearing down is the SEI layer between the electrolyte and the anode and cathode. These can come from the inorganic solvent in the electrolyte of lithium batteries, and are accellerated with abuse. While at first the SEI layer is a protectant against initial aggresive decay, eventually the layer becomes so thick that the pores of the anode / cathodes are smothered, reducing the intercalation sites - much like clogging a sponge.

          What I'd like to see is information about the SEI layer in Aquion batteries - and if there even IS one. I suspect so, but perhaps it doesn't grow as fast as lithium ion batteries do.

          These batteries are really intended for the grid / micro-grid commercial operator. And of course we are so far dealing with a single-vendor. No mention seems to be made of having to use any sort of bms, although I suspect there is one. A handful of solar enthusiasts seem to be able to get their hands on them for testing, but they are under NDA as far as I know. They are also not super energy-dense, and as such are larger than lithium-ion.

          Still the big point is that by reducing the effect of the naturally growing SEI layer, and by using common chemicals, it is a very interesting technology. All the "green" and salesmanship bore me to tears. Tell me more about the SEI layer with Aquion batteries, and I'm all ears.

          As a Unix op for a long time, I find it interesting that two backers are formerly from Sun Microsystems, and of course Bill Gates is involved too, among others. I still use Bill Joy's VI editor in one form or another and of course we are all using his version of TCP/IP. Still, part of OUR taxes went to fund Aquion, like the darpa grant to develop unix back in the day, so I guess we should hope that our investment in this battery technology isn't wasted or stifled by monopolistic practices.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by PNjunction View Post
            That's right, although I can't put an exact finger on pricing. If you search out what Prof Jay Whitacre has done, you know he knows his stuff.

            Basically, an X-Ion (lithium or otherwise) battery works by intercalation. Theoretically they should last forever as the materials don't wear down. What DOES make them seem like wearing down is the SEI layer between the electrolyte and the anode and cathode. These can come from the inorganic solvent in the electrolyte of lithium batteries, and are accellerated with abuse. While at first the SEI layer is a protectant against initial aggresive decay, eventually the layer becomes so thick that the pores of the anode / cathodes are smothered, reducing the intercalation sites - much like clogging a sponge.

            What I'd like to see is information about the SEI layer in Aquion batteries - and if there even IS one. I suspect so, but perhaps it doesn't grow as fast as lithium ion batteries do.

            These batteries are really intended for the grid / micro-grid commercial operator. And of course we are so far dealing with a single-vendor. No mention seems to be made of having to use any sort of bms, although I suspect there is one. A handful of solar enthusiasts seem to be able to get their hands on them for testing, but they are under NDA as far as I know. They are also not super energy-dense, and as such are larger than lithium-ion.

            Still the big point is that by reducing the effect of the naturally growing SEI layer, and by using common chemicals, it is a very interesting technology. All the "green" and salesmanship bore me to tears. Tell me more about the SEI layer with Aquion batteries, and I'm all ears.

            As a Unix op for a long time, I find it interesting that two backers are formerly from Sun Microsystems, and of course Bill Gates is involved too, among others. I still use Bill Joy's VI editor in one form or another and of course we are all using his version of TCP/IP. Still, part of OUR taxes went to fund Aquion, like the darpa grant to develop unix back in the day, so I guess we should hope that our investment in this battery technology isn't wasted or stifled by monopolistic practices.

            The way they talk about them, it seems they want them to be used for off grid as well. I would be very interested in seeing how they work because the only other options, at the moment, if you want better longevity than a lead acid is a flow battery or NiFe, and both have their issues. Still, I don't think we have seen this much work into storage in decades.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MikeSolar View Post
              The way they talk about them, it seems they want them to be used for off grid as well. I would be very interested in seeing how they work because the only other options, at the moment, if you want better longevity than a lead acid is a flow battery or NiFe, and both have their issues. Still, I don't think we have seen this much work into storage in decades.
              Since the big push for Renewable energy there is a lot of people and organizations drilling down and looking for the ultimate energy storage device. What is being spent is probably the national budget for a small country. Finding a solution first will make someone a whole lot of money and maybe worth the risk of spending a lot to do so.

              It is still too early to tell if anyone has found a low or moderate costing (and marketable) storage system although a lot of companies like to boast about what they are doing and how green it will be. That is pretty much advertisement to get more investors and money to continue the research.

              Who knows. Maybe Aquion Energy will turn out to be a viable device. Successful breakthroughs happen but they are usually not the result driven by greed. Most times they happen by accident.

              Comment


              • #8
                My coworker is using Aquions in his off-grid office system in Colorado. He has only had them a month or so, so no long term reports, but so far, they are working great. They are treated a bit differently than lead batteries, they come with #10 wire and connectors on them, so you can combine them in a combiner box, using a breaker on each string, and you can only charge and discharge at a fairly low rate. He's got them charging from a Schneider XW charge controller, and again, so far so good. I'm getting more training on them next month, really looking forward to getting more details.

                Amy
                Solar Queen
                altE Store

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Amy@altE View Post
                  My coworker is using Aquions in his off-grid office system in Colorado. He has only had them a month or so, so no long term reports, but so far, they are working great. They are treated a bit differently than lead batteries, they come with #10 wire and connectors on them, so you can combine them in a combiner box, using a breaker on each string, and you can only charge and discharge at a fairly low rate. He's got them charging from a Schneider XW charge controller, and again, so far so good. I'm getting more training on them next month, really looking forward to getting more details.

                  Amy
                  That is not good.
                  MSEE, PE

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I wouldn't say good or bad, just different. The product line he has are designed for small systems, so 15A max per string is fine for what is is designed for. I'm sure the bigger lines have faster rates, but again, I haven't had any training on them yet, so it's all speculation on my end until I do.

                    Amy
                    Solar Queen
                    altE Store

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      FLA are problematic with solar having an upper charge/discharge limit of C/8. Anything less is a real problem. Many applications require C/4 to C/2. Once you drop below 4 Sun Hours, you got a problem of charge rates being too excessive.
                      MSEE, PE

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Still, even with the odd install system, I'd be willing to try them out. Don't know if they are available up here yet.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Aquions are now available!!!!!

                          I'm very excited. I just met with Aquion yesterday. altE Store is taking orders for the S20 stack immediately! Due to pent up demand, there's currently a 6-8 week lead time, but they are available for order and will be shipping from Pennsylvania in January. We'll be able to ship anywhere in North America, including to freight forwarders to go to the islands and beyond.

                          Here's a bit more technical details from what I learned yesterday. I'll be getting more details shortly, but here's the Readers Digest version. Each S20 "stack", the smallest component sold, is 48V 51ah, or 2.4kwh. Their Module is 12 stacks in parallel for 25.5kwh. The old lead acid parallel restriction doesn't exist, you can parallel as many as you need to make as big of a system as needed, even up to the MWh. Each stack is limited to about 12A. So if you need to draw 6000W @ 120V, that's 50A. 50A/12A= 5 stacks needed (minimum). That's 51ah x 5 = 255ah, 48V, 12.2kwh. You wouldn't want to go smaller than that regardless of which battery type you use, so the 12A per stack restriction really isn't a big deal for most off-grid or battery back-up systems, which is its sweet spot. It is not intended for high draw, fast discharge applications.

                          As far as the charging side, same deal, if you have a 3000W solar array, 3000W / 48V = 62.5A / 12A limit = 5.2 stacks, round up to 6 stacks. 6 x 51ah x 48V = 14.7kwh battery bank. If we figure the panels can generate 3000W x 6 sun hours (summer) x .67 inefficencies = 12kwh generated. So a 14.7kwh battery bank that we discharge down to 80% DoD is 11.7kwh. Hmmm, that seems pretty well matched.

                          There is still the issue of most inverters will shut down at a higher voltage than the batteries can go down to. They are working with the major manufacturers to open up that voltage window. So meanwhile, 100% DoD isn't possible with an inverter system. They expect 3000 cycles at 100% DoD (30V), and 4000 cycles at 80% (40V). So, the disadvantage of not being able to drain the batteries completely actually extends the life by almost 3 years, turning it into a plus. You just need to size the system accordingly.

                          Amy
                          Solar Queen
                          altE Store

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Amy@altE View Post
                            I'm very excited. I just met with Aquion yesterday. altE Store is taking orders for the S20 stack immediately! Due to pent up demand, there's currently a 6-8 week lead time, but they are available for order and will be shipping from Pennsylvania in January. We'll be able to ship anywhere in North America, including to freight forwarders to go to the islands and beyond.

                            Here's a bit more technical details from what I learned yesterday. I'll be getting more details shortly, but here's the Readers Digest version. Each S20 "stack", the smallest component sold, is 48V 51ah, or 2.4kwh. Their Module is 12 stacks in parallel for 25.5kwh. The old lead acid parallel restriction doesn't exist, you can parallel as many as you need to make as big of a system as needed, even up to the MWh. Each stack is limited to about 12A. So if you need to draw 6000W @ 120V, that's 50A. 50A/12A= 5 stacks needed (minimum). That's 51ah x 5 = 255ah, 48V, 12.2kwh. You wouldn't want to go smaller than that regardless of which battery type you use, so the 12A per stack restriction really isn't a big deal for most off-grid or battery back-up systems, which is its sweet spot. It is not intended for high draw, fast discharge applications.

                            As far as the charging side, same deal, if you have a 3000W solar array, 3000W / 48V = 62.5A / 12A limit = 5.2 stacks, round up to 6 stacks. 6 x 51ah x 48V = 14.7kwh battery bank. If we figure the panels can generate 3000W x 6 sun hours (summer) x .67 inefficencies = 12kwh generated. So a 14.7kwh battery bank that we discharge down to 80% DoD is 11.7kwh. Hmmm, that seems pretty well matched.

                            There is still the issue of most inverters will shut down at a higher voltage than the batteries can go down to. They are working with the major manufacturers to open up that voltage window. So meanwhile, 100% DoD isn't possible with an inverter system. They expect 3000 cycles at 100% DoD (30V), and 4000 cycles at 80% (40V). So, the disadvantage of not being able to drain the batteries completely actually extends the life by almost 3 years, turning it into a plus. You just need to size the system accordingly.

                            Amy
                            Amy

                            That is pretty good information but you neglected to include any pricing for a single stack or if there is a price discount by getting the 12 stack system.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was concerned about giving pricing because I have been (rightly) warned not to advertise on this forum. I'm trying to find the balance between being helpful and informative and not breaking the rules. Right now I only have pricing for the stack, not the x12 module, but I'm sure there is a discount, not sure how much. I'll check. I will say the stack is a little over $1000, plus freight shipping. You can go to the altestore website for more details, and someone there can work up a shipping quote for you, as well as find out the module pricing.
                              Last edited by Amy@altE; 12-11-2014, 10:09 AM. Reason: updated price range
                              Solar Queen
                              altE Store

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