‘All-iron’ flow battery maker ESS Inc nets BASF project contracts in Germany

Date: Mar 23, 2018

ESS Inc’s Energy Warehouse containerised battery storage solution. Image: ESS Inc.

ESS Inc, US manufacturer of a novel iron flow battery for stationary energy storage applications, has entered the German market via an agreement with investor, chemical company BASF.

The company’s ‘all-iron’ batteries, housed and sold in a solution called Energy Warehouse, are intended to offer long durations of energy storage beyond the limits of around 2-4 hours typically seen in grid or commercial-scale lithium battery storage.

ESS Inc claims it can comfortably go beyond six hours and is also suitable for microgrids. Durability advantages give it a potential 20,000+ cycle life, approximately over 20 years of operation. ESS said it also responds quickly to signals and the company offers full turnkey installation services. The battery’s proprietary electrolyte is made with iron, salt and water.

Beginning of ‘working relationship’ with chemicals giant BASF

In December, Energy-Storage.News reported that Germany-headquartered multinational chemical company BASF was among investors in a US$13 million Series B funding round for ESS Inc, which is BASF’s latest stake taken in the energy storage market following a lithium battery raw materials supply deal with Norilsk-Nickel, and a collaboration on EV battery production technology with the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW).

During last week’s Energy Storage Europe show, ESS Inc, from Portland, Oregon, announced that it will now deliver two Energy Warehouse units, each of 50kW / 400kWh for BASF facilities in an arrangement that BASF New Business head of sales and marketing Olaf Rogge said would “create a working relationship that will enable us to gain first-hand experience with the technology”.

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