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One of the biggest concerns with a large-scale move toward electric vehicles is the ability of the electrical grid to cope with the extra load. The grid is designed to have balanced loads across all points. If the loads in any area get too high or too low, the grid can collapse. Altairnano Technologies, creators of the NanoSafe batteries used the Phoenix SUT, are collaborating with AES on home energy storage systems.
Back in March power company AES invested $3 million in Altairnano. The home energy storage units could act as buffers to absorb power when there is an excess and release it when there isn't enough. The system could be used to store energy from solar panels or wind turbines for use when it's needed. If enough of these types of systems are installed in peoples houses it could allow power companies to put off building additional generating capacity.

[Source: CNET via Engadget]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 5 Months Ago
      meant to say:

      "Later on they will go after the HOME storage market but that is not what this agreement is for."

      ============

      THis is a fabulous, world class product. This agreement is testimony to that fact. If AES is anxious to buy into the company and deveolp grid stabilizing products with Altair, then that will only help to build volumes to lower the cost of this battery for the EV market. This "industrial use" of the Nanosafe could ONLY be possible with the very long life of the battery. FOr those who don't know, Altair cycled this battery in their lab 25,000 times until they finally gave up. At that point it still had 85% capacity. No other battery in the world can make that claim. Btw, 25,000 cycles is the equivalent of 68 years of once-a-day full cycle charge-to-discharge for an EV!

      It is in effect the first "Lifetime Battery" in the world!
      • 5 Months Ago
      It can save electricity consumption from the grid if a good windmill or solar panel recharge it. Solar panels and windmills need buffers and accumulators because they give unstable electric current. You store energy in the battery and you use it later on when needed. A good system can maybe if large enough replace the grid connection and even you can sell your excess back to the grid electric compagny.
      • 5 Months Ago
      This pretty much mandates time-of-use based electricity fees. The consumer gains nothing, otherwise.
      • 5 Months Ago
      I know what you mean Sam! When people just thought of using grid-able vehicles, after Toyota announced it would make a plug-in hybrid, look what happened! A San Francisco power outage of biblical proportions. Craigslist, LiveJournal and Second Life all went down for several hours. Imagine what could happen when the test vehicles come to California. OMG, what would happen if they passed the cold start test??? I shudder to think.
      • 5 Months Ago
      It's your new e-Flex hybrid HOME. Altairnano: load levelling for your car and house!
      • 5 Months Ago
      Simply adding a smart thermostat to refrigerators, AC units, and water heaters would likely accomplish the same goal for a lot less money.
      • 5 Months Ago
      "One of the biggest concerns with a large-scale move toward electric vehicles is the ability of the electrical grid to cope with the extra load"

      It's a given that EVs will be charged at night.
      With modern EVs achieving at least 100 miles of range, most people won't need to recharge to get through their day. Studies have shown that The U.S. can support a huge number of EVs (in the millions) at night. I don't think electrical infrastructure is much of a problem. Over the years, as EVs slowly become more popular, slightly more power plant will be built rather than if EVs never existed. To me, saying that EVs are a concern to the electrical grid, is like saying it is a concern for every American to own a laptop and a cell phone.
      • 5 Months Ago
      I'm an Altair shareholder and appreciate the coverage but this article is just not correct. The agreement is for a load-leveling product. Later on they will go after the storage market but that is not what this agreement is for. Here's the press release from the company:

      Altair Nanotechnologies Executes Joint Development and Equipment Purchase Agreement with AES Corporation for Advanced Energy Storage Products
      Monday July 23, 9:45 am ET
      Altair Nanotechnologies is Jointly Developing Energy Storage Solutions to Improve the Electric Grid


      RENO, Nev.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. (NASDAQ: ALTI - News), a leading manufacturer of safe, high-performance NanoSafe(TM) battery pack products and energy storage products announced today that it has finalized a joint development and equipment purchase agreement related to Altairnano's battery technology and energy storage products with global power leader AES Corporation (NYSE: AES - News). AES is one of the world's largest power companies, with operations in 28 countries on five continents. AES's generation and distribution facilities have the capacity to serve 100 million people worldwide.
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      Earlier this year, AES completed a $3 million strategic investment in Altairnano.

      Under the terms of the deal, Altairnano and AES will jointly develop a suite of energy storage solutions specifically for AES. These energy storage products are expected to deliver in excess of 1MW of power and 500 KWh of energy. Altairnano is working with AES to apply these products and systems at strategic points within the electrical grid to more efficiently deal with congestion, peak energy consumption, and real-time fluctuations in electricity demand. The quick response time, extended life, and power profile of the Altairnano batteries and energy storage products are well suited to improving performance in these areas with lower environmental impact than traditional generation solutions.

      Delivery to AES of the prototype Altairnano energy storage products is scheduled for the end of the year.

      "This agreement demonstrates the unique product performance of Altairnano's technology to improve the operation of the electrical grid, one of the most critical infrastructures in the world," said Altairnano President and Chief Executive Officer, Alan J. Gotcher, PhD. "We are very proud to work with the AES Corporation in these market applications and we look forward to jointly creating solutions for their businesses around the globe."