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SunPower To Use Ice and Batteries For Storing Solar Energy

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Utilities that produce solar or wind power have to develop ways of storing the energy when demand is low and the power produced is higher than the one consumed.

SunPower, a solar panel maker from California, wants to develop an experimental program for its customers, by collaborating with three energy storage companies. They even got a $1.8 million grant from the state of California through the solar initiative program.

A major, yet unnamed retailer, will help SunPower’s energy storage program, whose aim is to demonstrate that energy storage systems can be integrated with existing photovoltaic parks.

One of the companies that SunPower will collaborate with will be Ice Energy, specialized in storing energy in the form of ice. The advantage of this kind of solution is that it’s cheaper and greener than conventionalĀ lithium ion batteries.

Another company working with SunPower will be Xtreme Power, working with their “dry PowerCell”. Their proposed solution combines ultracapacitors and high-capacity batteries to provide speedy access to the energy and high efficiency (though at a higher cost than Ice Energy’s).

The third energy storage supplier will be ZBB Energy, using their zinc bromide flow battery.

Alternative energy suppliers are visibly turning towards their storage-oriented colleagues and form alliances that little by little undermine fossil fuels. Let’s hope these ventures will work for them and for the customers.

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