The Powair technology allows large capacities of electrical energy to be stored indefinitely, to be transmitted or distributed as and when required. The battery system can be charged directly from the grid, for peak shaving applications, or from renewable energy installations, providing stability to the grid and eliminating the need for fossil fuel powered peaking plant.

The project’s overall aim is to create a low cost modular and environmentally sustainable electrical energy storage system with high energy density and fast response. To achieve these aims, the project will radically extend the performance of zinc–air batteries from small scale single primary cells to rechargeable redox flow battery modules, which at production scale can be stacked to give powers of 20 kW to MWs with several hours of storage.

In tandem with the battery system, a novel distributed power converter will be developed to enable ‘plug and play’ scale up and hot swapping of battery modules (i.e. disconnection, replacement and reconnection of a single battery, can be performed without interrupting performance of the energy storage system).

The electronics will also selectively load the battery modules to allow proactive balancing of the batteries in a string during charge/discharge cycling and prevent any string from being significantly limited by a single weak battery, as is the case with existing systems.


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