Storage technology start-up EnerVenue launched on Thursday with USD 12 million (EUR 10.1m) in seed funding, pledging to bring its metal-hydrogen batteries to the mass market.
EnerVenue said the investment will support its plan to accelerate the development of nickel-hydrogen batteries to offer them as a cost-efficient alternative to lithium-ion and other energy storage solutions.
Nickel-hydrogen batteries have been used by the aerospace industry for the past 40 years -- the International Space Station (ISS) and the Hubble Space Telescope are equipped with them -- but come with a hefty price tag.
“The performance and longevity of nickel-hydrogen batteries is well-established and second to none. We’re now able to deliver the same performance and durability at a breakthrough competitive price using new low-cost materials,” said EnerVenue founder and chief technology advisor Yi Cui.
While the cost of lithium-ion batteries has declined significantly, these, along with lead acid or redox flow alternatives, carry high operating expenses, struggle under extreme temperatures, and raise safety and environmental concerns.
The California-based company claims its “maintenance-free” metal-hydrogen batteries are exactly the opposite and can last more than 30 years, with cost-per-kWh cycles “as low as a penny”.
The start-up’s solution is developed for large-scale renewable and storage applications. Its metal-hydrogen batteries can operate in ambient temperatures ranging from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and can go through more than 30,000 cycles without degradation.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.841)
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