Sustainable Products that Go Beyond "Business-As-Usual"
For the past 15 years, BuildingGreen has been awarding products that improve significantly upon standard business practices with a focus on sustainability- conserving resources and reducing usage of harmful materials. This year, BuildingGreen named Aquion saltwater batteries as one of their Top 10 Products for 2017!
The Illinois Institute of Technology nanogrid: a recent installation featuring Aquion saltwater batteries.
Here's what BuildingGreen had to say about our batteries and why we were chosen for the list:
"Renewable energy is finally being taken seriously as an alternative to utility-scale power generated through fossil fuel consumption. Localized photovoltaic (PV) systems that were once niche products are now mainstream.
But not being able to store this power in an environmentally safe manner remains a significant drawback to wider adoption. Without a battery storage system, most grid-tied PV systems cannot be optimized for efficiency, nor can they provide energy security in case of outages. Yet current battery backups usually use toxic lead-acid batteries (relatively inexpensive) or lithium ion batteries (such as Tesla’s Powerwall, a former BuildingGreen Top 10 winner). Lithium ion storage has great potential but is still expensive, has flammability issues, and requires rare earth minerals as electrolytes.
Aquion’s aqueous hybrid ion (AHI) “saltwater” battery is a safer alternative that uses a non-hazardous sodium sulfate electrolyte instead of lithium salts (lithium ion) or sulfuric acid (lead–acid). Though Aquion uses a cathode made of lithium manganese oxide—the same technology used in some lithium-ion batteries—its sodium titanium phosphate anode is the key to the system and its environmental benefits.
This anode reacts selectively with sodium ions, allowing for the long, slow deep-cycle discharge that is critical for energy storage. Both the electrolyte and the anode materials are cheap and abundant and create a simple, low-maintenance system that is inexpensive to manufacture and safe to operate, with impressive environmental credentials: it is the first battery to meet Cradle to Cradle standards (C2C Bronze, though Silver in Material Reutilization and Water Stewardship), and it has eliminated all PVC from its system, even in the wiring.
Aquion batteries can operate at ambient temperatures between 23ºF (–5ºC) and 104ºF (40ºC) and are available in the S-line module (a single 2 kWh stack) or the M-line module (comes in stacks with 25 kWh of storage). They are also available in bulk for large-scale storage needs."
Alongside Aquion on the list were eco-friendly innovations from various companies in textiles, water piping, electric lawnmowers, and modified wood. Read the full article and learn about the rest of the award-winners here.