New metal-hydrogen battery outfit EnerVenue launched today with $12 million in seed funding. The investment enables EnerVenue to accelerate development of its safe, maintenance-free, and cost-efficient clean energy storage solution. Based on technology proven over decades under the most extreme aerospace conditions – including powering the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope – EnerVenue now brings metal-hydrogen batteries to the mass market with financial and performance advantages over lithium-ion and other incumbent renewable energy storage alternatives.
“As an example of metal -hydrogen batteries, nickel-hydrogen batteries have proven to be an incredibly powerful energy storage technology – albeit an expensive one – for the aerospace industry over the past 40 years,” said Dr. Yi Cui, a Professor of Materials Science at Stanford University, and Founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Advisor for EnerVenue. “The performance and longevity of nickel-hydrogen batteries is well-established and second to none. We’re now able to deliver the same performance and durability at a breakthrough competitive price using new low-cost materials.”
Renewable energy generation is expected to account for more than half the world’s power supply by 2035, rising to 75% by mid-century. The cost of lithium-ion batteries has decreased quickly and markedly, enabling more enterprises and utilities to harness renewable energy sources at scale. However, lithium-ion batteries – as well as lead-acid or redox flow alternatives – incur sometimes high operating expenses, often struggle in extreme hot or cold climates, have a limited lifespan, and can impose safety and environmental challenges. The EnerVenue’s metal-hydrogen batteries can last more than 30 years, with cost-per-kilowatt-hour cycles as low as a penny.
“Ultra-long battery life with zero maintenance requirements even in the harshest climates is game-changing for stationary use cases such as solar plants in hot desert environments, wind farms, and micro-grids in difficult-to-reach locations,” said Jorg Heinemann, CEO, EnerVenue.
The EnerVenue metal-hydrogen batteries are developed for large-scale renewable and storage applications and designed to be:
- Durable: Operates in -40° to 140°F ambient temperatures; 30+ year lifespan; 30,000+ cycles without degradation; excellent overcharge, overdischarge, and deep-cycle capabilities.
- Safe: No fire or thermal runaway risk; no toxic materials; easy to recycle.
- Flexible: Broad charge/discharge range of C/5 to 5C; future-proof with no limitations on use cases; scalable form factor for grid-scale implementations
- Maintenance-free: No moving parts; 30+ year lifespan with no routine maintenance or augmentation.
- Affordable: Low-cost materials; CAPEX that beats lithium-ion learning curves; no ongoing maintenance costs.
- Proven: Nickel-hydrogen batteries have completed more than 200 million cell-hours in orbital spacecraft and more than 30,000 charge/discharge cycles.
The seed round is led by Dr. Peter Lee, Chairman of Towngas, a leading energy company in Asia with 158 years of history, and includes Doug Kimmelman, founder of Energy Capital Partners. “Our investors bring more than capital – and we’re very excited about the investing team that has come together for our seed round,” said Heinemann. “EnerVenue will also benefit tremendously from the manufacturing facilities our investors provide for development, and the access we now have to captive projects where we can clearly demonstrate the bankability of what we are bringing to the market.”
“Most analysts predict our overall energy mix shift to at least 75% renewable by 2050,” said Kimmelman. “The world has been assuming a major battery breakthrough to support that shift. EnerVenue will be one of the companies delivering the energy storage breakthroughs we need.”
EnerVenue was founded out of EEnotech, a materials-focused startup foundry that incubates and accelerates nanotechnology-driven solutions to water purification, grid-scale energy storage, smart wearable textiles and other energy and environment problems. Meng Sui, CEO of EEnotech said “EEnotech has established a mechanism to source breakthrough technologies from top institutions and develop fast into commercial prototypes with capital efficiency. EnerVenue is a great example.”
News item from EnerVenue