ESS Tech, Inc. is a leader in safe, long-term energy storage solutions for the renewable power industry. Safe, long-term energy storage is key to the success of the renewable power industry because it will stabilize a grid that relies on intermittent power generation from wind and sun and help facilitate distributed power generation. Distributed power generation is the concept that large grids can be powered by numerous smaller, renewable power-generating facilities backed up by long-term energy storage.
Long-term, in this case, is a 6 to 12-hour cycle driven by solar patterns. Solar generating equipment creates power during the day and ESS, Inc batteries store the excess and deliver at need when the sun goes down. The company was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in Wilsonville, Oregon.
The company is in business to design, produce, market and sell iron flow batteries for the commercial and renewable utility market. Why iron flow? Iron flow offers many advantages including cost, performance and safety. Regarding cost, materials used are the lowest cost available and readily found in the earth’s crust. This also gives the batteries the lowest cost to operate over a 6-12 hour storage cycle. With more than 70% of all new power generating capacity from intermittent wind and sun, sustainable, scalable and safe battery storage solutions are more important than ever.
Regarding performance, iron flow batteries have an unlimited life cycle, experience no capacity degradation during their lifespan and are designed for a 25-year operating cycle. This compares to a 7-10 year life cycle for conventional battery technology so there is a clear competitive advantage. Regarding carbon-based energy storage, ESS, Inc batteries can roughly double the savings that intermittent power generation produces and are uniquely suited to micro-grid use.
As for safety, the batteries are water-based and use easy-to-extract minerals like iron. The batteries are non-hazardous to the environment and are fully recyclable as well. Because the materials used are abundant, operations are more sustainable than other types of battery production as well. In addition to their environmental track record, using non-hazardous materials results in lower operating costs.
Iron flow batteries are not new technology so there is reduced risk versus other battery makers. ESS Inc iron flow batteries are second-generation technology proven to work over time. Performance ratings are guaranteed by 3rd party Munich Re, so there is little doubt to the claims. The company guarantees greater than 15% improvement in efficiency versus lithium-ion batteries and the savings are maximized the longer the energy is stored.
The company offers 2 solutions labeled Energy Warehouse and Energy Center. The Energy Warehouse is a utility-scale solution that provides turn-key modular designs for easy installation and scalability. The Energy Center solution is designed for businesses and industries that wish to capitalize on renewable energy storage solutions. Among the many use cases for industries is to generate and store renewable energy to offset power needs during peak consumption/cost.