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Harvesting a solar farm

April 25, 2014 in Battery Energy Storage, Electric Vehicles, EV News, Greentech, Large Energy Storage, LEAF, Nissan, Solar

OSAKA, Japan – The man-made island of Yumeshima in western Japan’s Osaka is now home to the world’s first large-scale energy storage system, a project that also highlights the potential to reuse electric vehicle batteries.

Photo courtesy of Nissan

Photo courtesy of Nissan

Hikari-no-Mori, or “Forest of Light,” is a mega-solar project of 36,000 solar panels built on top of a landfill and managed by Sumitomo Corporation.

“This is the Osaka ‘Hikari-no-mori Project’ mega-solar power generation facility, a project with eight other companies,” said Mugihiko Ozeki, Senior Associate, Battery Business Development at Sumitomo. “We are testing the system controlling the output of the battery packs that charge the energy generated by this 10-megawatt mega-solar power station, linking the data from the photovoltaic panels in real time.”

A joint venture between Sumitomo and Nissan called 4R Energy – Reuse, Resell, Refabricate and Recycle – uses 16 lithium-ion batteries from EVs to help monitor energy fluctuations and store the solar farm’s energy output.

Natural energy sources, such as solar and wind, vary in strength and frequency, and the innovative battery management system developed by 4R is the first of its kind, says the firm’s President Eiji Makino.

“Depending on use, a battery’s degree and rate of deterioration, and the battery’s condition, vary by vehicle,” says Makino. “So 4R has created a technology that allows us to have optimal control in regulating those conditions.”

The project is part of a three-year test under Japan’s Environment Ministry to expand renewable energy resources and power grid management. In Japan, electricity liberalization will be realized after 2016.

Photo courtesy of Nissan

Photo courtesy of Nissan

The batteries have up to 70% of capacity remaining – the average left after 100,000 kilometers or five years of driving.

Sumitomo General Manager Norihiko Nonaka said his company, in cooperation with 4R, expects to make the results of the project commercially viable in five years or so.

“The electricity-value-chain is divided into three sections: electricity generation, transmission and distribution. We would like to focus on electricity generation and transmission. If we rely on renewables to obtain energy, like solar and wind, they don’t always generate the necessary amount of energy and that may cause an issue with supply-and-demand,” said Nonaka. “On the other hand, if the cost of batteries is too high and is economically inefficient, 4R will have to continue to work and investigate the situation and market in the long term, about five years or maybe after 2020. By saving energy into power storage or batteries, our goal is to create a balance in supply versus demand, or create a system with the battery to maintain the quality of the electricity.”

In the meantime, the mega-solar farm will offer insights on energy management and storage, illumination that will eventually provide a power supply for Osaka.

This article is a repost, credit: Nissan. Video courtesy of Nissan.

Tesla Flying High, Electrification Movement

September 25, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Model S, Tesla

New Tesla Store  Fremont Factory Store Photo courtesy of Tesla

New Tesla Store
Fremont Factory Store
Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla stock (TSLA) hit another new record high today, $186.30 per share. And, yes, TSLA also had a record close, $185.24. As stated previously, some of this recent run may be attributed to Q3 institutional window dressing. Regardless, it is the strong fundamentals in the electrification movement that has TSLA flying high.

At LAX or SFO airport locations, the 85 kWh Model S is now available as a rental at Hertz. Tesla fans can rent a Model S at SFO and take a drive down to the new Tesla Fremont Factory store.

Around the world, clean energy technologies and projects are advancing at an accelerated rate, spurred by a fun competition amongst progressive business and political leaders to advance the world beyond fossil fuels. In the US, Google and Tesla are the leading green business advocates. Google is aiming to be 100% powered by renewable energies, and the company recently agreed to an electrifying purchase of 240 MW from the future Happy Hereford wind farm (Texas). As to Tesla, the company’s Model S and Supercharger technologies are the pinnacle of the electrification movement. Nothing says goodbye to fossil fuels better than an image of a Model S at a free Supercharger station.

First European Supercharger station Photo courtesy of Tesla

First European Supercharger station
Photo courtesy of Tesla

The world is filled with various exhibitions and conferences on clean energy / clean transportation subjects, enabling industry experts to share best practices. These events create more deals and more jobs, leading to a more efficient electric economy and higher global production. ABB, Alstom and Siemens have been standout leaders in Western Europe where the electrification movement is most advanced.

In time (especially as battery technology advances), there will be some interesting city, state and national upgrades to the new electric era. Battery technology is the key. As fast as the electric wiring for streetcars, light rail and trains goes up, it may be coming back down as battery technology improves. In addition, large warehouse structures will eventually dot the landscape, housing large battery storage for renewable energy projects.

BYD has made it very clear that the company wants to be a worldwide leader in electric urban transport with its electric buses (K9) and taxis (E6), as well as lead in battery storage technologies with renewable energies. The company is obviously well positioned to service the monumental clean energy needs of China, but the greening of China will be a grand collaborative scheme. BYD’s efforts to transform Aruba to a zero carbon footprint are a tiny carbon step in respects to China.

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ViZn Energy Systems, Inc. Launches Large Scale Energy Storage Battery for Micro-Grid Market

September 22, 2013 in Environment, EV News, Greentech, Large Energy Storage

Photo courtesy of Idaho National Laboratory Wind Energy Program

Photo courtesy of Idaho National Laboratory Wind Energy Program

Zinc Redox Flow Battery is Capable of 10,000 Cycles and 20 Plus Year Lifespan

What is the key to effectively utilizing alternative energy sources such as wind and solar? Safe and inexpensive storage. Today (9-17-13) the industry moves one giant step closer to solving the world’s energy limitation as ViZn Energy Systems, Inc. (formerly Zinc Air, Inc.) starts manufacturing its new Zinc Redox Flow Battery for customer pre-orders in the US and Europe.

ViZn’s Z20 160 kWh Zinc Redox Flow Battery is one of the most cost-effective and safe energy flow batteries on the market capable of providing scalable storage systems for the growing micro-grid markets and renewable integration.

“Right now more than 50 percent of all power generated is wasted before it ever gets to the end user,” explains Craig Wilkins, ViZn Energy Systems, Inc., President and CEO. “Storage batteries like our flow battery could help eliminate the billions of dollars of wasted energy each year. The impact this could have on the world is tremendous. It is understandable why the global smart grid market is expected to cumulatively surpass 400 billion dollars worldwide by 2020, according to a recent report by GTM Research.”

With more than fifteen years of research and intense product development cycles behind it, ViZn’s patented flow-battery technology breaks the cost/benefit threshold that is currently limiting widespread adoption of storage. Delivering a 1MW /2.5MWh battery system at lower pricing than current competition allows for more rapid industry adoption, wider commercial acceptance, and greater reduction of fossil fuel carbon emissions. ViZn’s Zinc Redox Flow Battery has overcome the key obstacles faced within the industry with an inventive use of materials and chemistry to provide a solution that is:

  • Cost Effective: ViZn implements low-cost chemistry, construction materials, and manufacturing processes that provide the foundation for a cost-effective system. In a micro-grid application, the ViZn battery system teamed with renewable generation can provide 20 percent annual returns over diesel-only generation.
  • Safe: ViZn’s battery is intrinsically safe with chemistry used in food-grade material that is non-flammable, non-explosive and non-toxic.
  • Scalable: ViZn’s Zinc Redox Flow Battery has the ability to scale to hundreds of Megawatts.
  • Reliable: ViZn’s Zinc Redox Flow Battery is estimated to have a 20 plus year lifespan.
  • Sustainable: ViZn’s Zinc Redox Flow Battery is composed of widely abundant and low cost materials.

“ViZn’s Zinc Redox technology has been designed to provide economical value by optimizing the balance between power and capacity. Our battery can provide power services such as renewable integration, regulation and ramping, while having enough energy capacity to economically provide load shifting and energy arbitrage,” said John Lowell, ViZn Energy Systems, Inc. COO and VP of Manufacturing and Product Development. “In addition, the 20 year life and safe operation of our battery separate us from other competing technologies.”


ViZn Energy Systems, Inc. is taking orders for the Z20 160 kWh Zinc Flow Batteries now with volume manufacturing ramping up in Q2 of 2014.

To learn more, visit

About ViZn Energy Systems, Inc.

ViZn Energy Systems, Inc., formerly Zinc Air, Inc., is comprised of a visionary team of scientists, engineers and business leaders that are passionate about creating and commercializing a revolutionary energy storage solution for the micro grid market. Founded in 2009 and based on ten previous years of research, ViZn is commercializing energy storage systems for mega-watt applications. The ViZn solution is safe, reliable, cost effective, and scalable to meet the needs of today’s ever changing energy landscape.

This article is a repost, (release 9-17-13) credit: ViZn Energy.

Dr. Alan Gotcher

September 21, 2013 in Battery Energy Storage, Environment, EV News, EV Star of the Week, Ford, Greentech

Xtreme Power / Duke Energy, Notrees Energy Storage Project Photo courtesy of Messe Dusseldorf North America

Xtreme Power / Duke Energy, Notrees Energy Storage Project
Photo courtesy of Messe Dusseldorf North America

Dr. Alan Gotcher is the star of the week.  He is the CEO of Xtreme Power (power management and energy storage solutions).  Xtreme Power and partner, Duke Energy, were recently honored as the winners of the Energy Storage North America Innovation Award for the Notrees Wind Energy Storage Project in Texas.  Notrees is the largest wind energy storage system in North America with 36 MW of battery storage.

Xtreme Power / Duke Energy, Notrees Energy Storage Project Photo courtesy of Messe Dusseldorf North America

Xtreme Power / Duke Energy, Notrees Energy Storage Project
Photo courtesy of Messe Dusseldorf North America

The Xtreme press release stated: “Xtreme Power and Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the U.S., completed the Notrees project in December 2012 – providing environmentally friendly and flexible capacity to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the electrical grid in Texas and manages 75% of the deregulated market in the state.  The Notrees project represented Xtreme Power’s eighth successful project installation in one year.  To date, Xtreme Power has installed 77 MW in the field and counted 25,239 MWh charged/discharged.”

Ford Motor has a Xtreme battery storage system with solar power (Detroit Edison) at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan.  According to Ford, the solar battery storage system saves the company approximately $160,000 a year.  At this plant, Ford manufactures the Focus Electric, C-Max energi and Fusion energi.

Dr. Gotcher has successfully developed several storage working models in the field and has attracted great attention with the significant 36 MW storage system at Notrees.  Xtreme is a private company which has been funded since in its founding with over 90 million from some very notable investors, such as Dow Chemical, BP and Fluor.  Xtreme Power is obviously one to watch.

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Smart grid and innovative energy-storage device enter service

September 9, 2013 in Environment, EV News, Greentech, Large Energy Storage, Solar, Wind

Pellwom, Germany Energy Supply System Photo courtesy of E.ON

Pellwom, Germany
Energy Supply System
Photo courtesy of E.ON

Island of Pellworm points the way to the energy supply system of the future

On the North Sea island of Pellworm, state-of-the-art technologies have been deployed that exemplify the transformation of Germany’s energy system. Today northern Germany’s first smart local energy system was officially inaugurated by Schleswig-Holstein Premier Torsten Albig, E.ON SE Board of Management member Leonhard Birnbaum, and Schleswig-Holstein Netz AG Board of Management member Matthias Boxberger. The system serves as a platform for testing and refining the local storage of renewable-source electricity and the operation of a smart grid.

E.ON and Schleswig-Holstein Netz have worked together to install a special energy-storage system and to establish data links between customers’ electricity meters and the island’s wind and solar power plants, making it possible to harness as much locally produced energy as possible. If surplus electricity is generated on windy, sunny days, it is feed into large-scale batteries and into small-scale storage devices at customers’ homes. On cloudy or windless days, the batteries supply power for the island’s residents.

The purpose of the SmartRegion Pellworm project is to address several challenges of the energy transformation at the same time. It aims to balance the intermittent output of renewables and to use more of this output locally. The technology already deployed on Pellworm could – in the future and on a larger scale – help reduce the need for transporting large quantities of bulk power across Germany and Europe and, consequently, reduce the need for network expansion. The nearly €10 million project is being conducted by a broad-based innovation alliance consisting of partners from industry and science. SmartRegion Pellworm, which received funding from several federal ministries as part of the Federal Energy Storage Initiative, is now entering its decisive operational phase.

Premier Torsten Albig praised the project’s exemplary nature: “Today the focus of attention in Schleswig-Holstein is on the island of Pellworm, where distributed generation is being combined with innovative storage technology and smart grid management. The island generates its own electricity, stores surplus output in large-scale batteries, and draws on this power when it needs it. SmartRegion Pellworm is the result of an innovative public-private partnership between companies, research institutes, and universities in the state of Schleswig-Holstein.”

Leonhard Birnbaum, whose responsibilities on the E.ON SE Board of Management include technology and innovation, emphasized that “the expansion of renewables in Germany has created a situation where on particularly windy or sunny days the supply of power exceeds demand ever more frequently and by an ever wider margin. Consequently, the power system is increasingly pushed to the limits of its capacity. That’s why E.ON is investing in the development of smart grids and large-scale energy-storage technology. We need to learn more about, and gain much more experience with, these technologies. SmartRegion Pellworm showcases promising solutions for the energy supply system of the future.”

“This project is a great opportunity to hone our innovative edge and to enhance our expertise in smart-grid and energy-storage technologies here in Schleswig-Holstein,” says Matthias Boxberger, member of the Schleswig-Holstein Netz Board of Management. “We want to balance electricity production and consumption, thereby making better use of the energy system and at the same time keeping it robust and affordable. This project is about harnessing as much locally produced energy as possible, which will reduce the need for transporting power across great distances. In this sense, Pellworm is a test platform for the entire spectrum of energy solutions for Schleswig-Holstein.”

As part of the SmartRegion Pellworm project, the island’s existing power infrastructure was supplemented by a variety of components that make it possible to better control energy flows and to achieve an optimal balance between power output and usage. The integration of large-scale batteries into the regional power grid is one of the new approaches taken by the project. Another is the design of the large-scale storage system, which combines two state-of-the-art battery technologies: lithium ion and redox flow. Other key components of the island’s innovative power system included two automated distribution substations, special converter technology, and an energy management system.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by E.ON Group management and other information currently available to E.ON. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. E.ON SE does not intend, and does not assume any liability whatsoever, to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

This article is a repost, credit: E.ON,

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Envision Solar to Launch First Fully Mobile, Autonomous and Sustainable Electric Vehicle Charging Station

August 15, 2013 in Battery Energy Storage, Electric Vehicles, EV charging, EV News, Solar

EV ARC™ is a standalone solar charging station that requires no foundation, trenching, building permit or grid connection

The first photograph of the finished EV ARC™ product Photo courtesy of Envision Solar

The first photograph of the finished EV ARC™ product
Photo courtesy of Envision Solar

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. – August 15th, 2013 – Envision Solar International, Inc., a leading sustainable infrastructure product designer and developer, announced today that it has completed the engineering and fabrication of the world’s first fully autonomous, fully mobile, fully renewable Electric Vehicle Charging station. The EV ARC™ is ready to ship to customers.

The EV ARC™ is a cost-effective, easy-to-install, standalone solar charging station that requires no foundation, no trenching, no building permit and no grid connection.

Designed to fit inside one standard parking space the EV ARC™ does not reduce available parking because vehicles park on its ballasted pad. EV ARC is ADA compliant and will offer EV Charging day or night through the use of on board battery storage. The EV ARC™ is delivered to the customer site ready to operate and requires no installation work.

“EV ARC™ is a paradigm shifting technology product which should appeal to anyone who is interested in rolling out EV chargers,” said Desmond Wheatley, President and CEO of Envision Solar. “The fact that these units are installed in minutes and can be moved without disrupting the host site makes EV Charger installation painless and available to anyone for the first time. They are very attractive and act as a billboard for sustainability. This product has a great deal of appeal and the pre-release interest has been very encouraging.”

Invented, engineered and fabricated in the United States, the EV ARC™ fits inside a standard parking space and generates approximately 16 kWhrs per day that are stored and ready for use in the 22 kWhr on board battery storage. The system’s clean solar electrical generation is enhanced by EnvisionTrak™ which enables the solar array to follow the sun, generating 18 to 25 percent more electricity than a conventional fixed array.

“One of the main prerequisites to mass adoption of electric vehicles is having broadly dispersed and rapidly deployed charging stations,” said Wheatley. “The EV ARC is ideal for any entity looking for rapid, hassle-free deployments of a charging infrastructure without all the challenges associated with conventional units. The fact that the energy is clean and renewable unlike 75 percent of America’s grid supplied electricity is important too. EV ARC™ makes EVs truly emissions free. It changes the deployment story and further advances us to a day when range anxiety is a thing of the past.”

The past year has seen a major uptick in deployments of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).  This acceleration is a direct result of developments in the market for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). According to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, the EVSE market is expected to expand steadily as well.  Unit sales of EVSE will rise from under 200,000 in 2012 to 3.8 million in 2020.  According to the Pike Research study, 11.4 million EV charging stations will be in operation worldwide by 2020.

About Envision Solar International, Inc.

Envision Solar,, designs, manufactures and deploys unique, proprietary and architecturally accretive renewable energy systems with a Drag & Drop Infrastructure™ product line. The company’s flagship products include the patented Solar Tree® array and Solar Tree® Socket™ solar shaded parking solutions with EnvisionTrak™, a proprietary and patent pending solar tracking machine, and SunCharge™ Column Integrated Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.

Based in San Diego the company integrates only the highest quality components into its Made in America products ensuring long and trouble free service and timeless beautification of the parking lots they serve. This unique approach to the industry allows the company’s commercial and institutional customers to take full advantage of the value creation associated with transforming parking lots into beautiful, shaded, renewable energy generation plants shrouded in the “Green Halo.”  Envision Solar is listed on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol [EVSI]. For more information on Envision Solar, visit or call (866) 746-0514.

Forward-Looking Statements

This Press Release may contain forward-looking statements regarding future events or our expected future results that are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties.  All statements in this Report other than statements of historical facts are forward looking statements.  Forward looking statements are generally accompanied by terms or phrases such as “estimate,” “project,” “predict,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “target,” “plan,” “intend,” “seek,” “goal,” “will,” “should,” “may,” or other words and similar expressions that convey the uncertainty of future events or results.  Statements contemplating or making assumptions regarding actual or potential sales, market size and demand, prospective business contracts, customer orders, trends or operating results also constitute forward looking statements.  Our actual results may differ substantially from those indicated in forward looking statements because our business is subject to significant economic, competitive, regulatory, business and industry risks which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control.  Our operating results, financial condition and business performance may be adversely affected by a general decline in the economy, unavailability of capital or financing for our prospective customers to purchase products and services from us, competition, changes in regulations, a decline in the demand for solar energy, a lack of profitability, a decline in our stock price, and other risks.  We may not have adequate capital, financing or cash flow to sustain our business or implement our business plans.  Current results and trends are not necessarily indicative of future results that we may achieve.

This article is a repost, credit: Envision Solar International, Inc.,

Tesla Stock, TSLA

August 2, 2013 in EV Star of the Week, Tesla

Tesla Model S platform exhibit in London Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla Model S platform exhibit in London
Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla stock (TSLA) is the star of the week.  TSLA closed at $138 per share (8-2-13), which is a new record close, up 1.81% on the day.

  • Tesla Model S platform (photo right)
  • TSLA also deserves public recognition

On August 7, Tesla will report its quarterly financials, displaying its bolstered balance sheet from its relatively recent funding, and management will discuss the outlook for the company.  TSLA, the stock, looms large behind future expansion plans.  After all, TSLA is “big money” that can be tapped for expansion.

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk has no shortage of ideas
  • The world wants and needs sustainable solutions 

The relatively recent funding round greatly bolstered Tesla’s balance sheet, freeing the company to explore huge growth opportunities.  Battery storage is a relatively new Tesla venture that has huge potential, whether for residential, commercial or electric power suppliers.  Solar and wind are intermittent energy sources, and battery storage provides a solution.

Tesla is building a sustainable transportation model in the US with its Model S cars and Tesla stations, and it can take that model around the world.  Obviously, the US stock market agrees with the current Tesla plan; however, the world is big place, and there is a tremendous amount of work to be done.  TSLA can help.