Axion Power’s Potential For Explosive Growth

Tom Konrad, CFA Axion Power International, Inc. (OTC:AXPW) has been developing its patented PbC lead-carbon battery technology, and in 2013 those efforts seem on the verge of paying off.   Unfortunately, Axion’s financing situation makes me unwilling to recommend its stock as an investment in the near term, but I do consider it one to watch.  This article will take a look at Axion’s technology and near term potential markets.  A follow-up article (published here) will discuss the company’s financing situation, and the things which will need to change before I consider the stock an...

Active Power Receives Order for First Parallel Multi-Megawatt UPS System

Active Power Inc (ACPW) announced that it has received its first order for two multi-megawatt systems in a parallel configuration. With this order, the total number of megawatt UPS systems sold is now eleven, with eight of these sales occurring in the last 4 months. Active Power's products are a proven alternative to problematic battery-based systems. CleanSource flywheel technology uses the kinetic energy from a constantly spinning steel flywheel to eliminate the need for lead acid battery-based systems.

Will New CAFE Standards Make Stop-Start Engine Technology Standard Equipment?

John Petersen On April 1st the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a joint final rule establishing fuel economy standards for all light duty vehicles sold in the United States. Since the existing standards don't apply to light trucks, I used vehicle sales forecasts from the Energy Information Administration's "Annual Energy Outlook 2010" to estimate a current baseline fuel economy of 19.6 mpg. The new rules will be phased in over a five-year period beginning with the 2012 Model Year and are certain to drive rapid evolution in the auto industry....

How the Hydrogen Economy Works

One of the major movers in the Alternative Energy sector are stocks that pertain to Hydrogen production and conversion into energy. You can learn more about the Hydrogen economy at the excellent How Stuff Works website using the following link: How the Hydrogen Economy Works.

Australian inventor makes engine that runs off air

An Australian inventor claims to have made the world's first commercially-viable motor vehicle powered by compressed air. The vehicle is being tried out by contractors in Melbourne's parks and gardens over the next 12 months as an alternative to conventional diesel or petrol engines.

The Graphite Hustle

by Debra Fiakas CFA The Klondike Gold Rush of the 1800s has given way to the Canada Graphite Hustle of the 21st Century.  In what may seem to many an interminable series on graphite resources developers we have made note of over a half dozen companies in Canada attempting to bring new supplies of graphite ore out of the earth.  The action is not limited to Canada.  There are at least a dozen other aspirants with plots in Canada and the rest of North America as well as in Australia and Africa. Piecing together disclosures by the...

Shares in Altair Nanotechnologies Purchased

I purchased shares in Altair Nanomaterials (ALTI) this morning for both my personal portfolio and also the mutual fund. ALTI is a holding company that specializes in nanomaterials and also contains a life sciences division. The materials company has research in high performance batteries, fuel cells, and photovoltaics. Altair announced earnings today and the stock is up on the morning trading. Revenue Increases 68 Percent for Third Quarter and 230 Percent for Nine-Month Period "An increase in revenue of 230 percent for the first three quarters of 2005 is representative of the significant progress Altair has...

Last Battery Developer Standing

by Debra Fiakas CFA Advanced battery producer A123 Systems, Inc. (AONE: Nasdaq) has flamed out, with the cinders of its lithium ion technologies snapped up by Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI:  NYSE).  Much has been written in the financial press over the past few weeks about the fate of A123 and the next step by Johnson Controls.  What is more, because A123 had received government loan assistance, the political pundits have taken advantage of the company’s embarrassment to make their case for or against government in general and public alternative energy investment in particular. What really has me...

Congratulating A123 Systems On Its Very Successful IPO

John Petersen This morning Reuters is reporting that A123 Systems, Inc. (AONE) increased the number of shares offered in its IPO from 25 million to 28.1 million and sold those shares at a price of $13.50. If the underwriters exercise their overallotment option, which is usually the case in IPOs of this size, the total IPO proceeds will be $437.5 million before costs, commissions and discounts. This IPO has been a long time coming but it was worth the wait. I want to congratulate the A123 team and the underwriters on a job well done. Assuming full...

Active Power Ships First CleanSource XR Unit

Active Power Inc (ACPW) announced the shipment of its first CleanSource® XR evaluation unit to one of the largest producers of electricity in the United States. The CleanSource XR unit will be tested under a variety of conditions for both backup power and load-shifting applications. CleanSource XR stores energy in the form of heat and compressed air. When power is needed, the compressed air is routed through a thermal storage unit to acquire heat energy. The heated air spins a simple turbine-alternator to produce 5 to 85 kW of electric power for up to several hours. Unlike commonly...

Why Energy Storage Investors Must Understand Economies of Scale

John Petersen One of the most seductive and dangerous stock market myths is the immensely popular but demonstrably false notion that the rapid cost reductions and performance gains we enjoyed during the information and communications technology revolution will be repeated in the age of cleantech. The persistence of the mythology is astonishing when you consider that the entire history of alternative energy proves that cost reductions and performance gains are extraordinary events, rather than common occurrences. Investors who buy into economies of scale mythology without carefully considering the fundamental differences are in for a world of disillusionment and...

Hydrogenics Delivers US$ 1.5 million HySTAT Hydrogen Generator to North American Nuclear Power Plant

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced today that it delivered a HySTAT(TM) Hydrogen Plant in December to a North American nuclear plant. The high-purity hydrogen generated is being used to prevent corrosion and extend the life of stainless steel tubes in the nuclear reactor as part of an upgrade for the purpose of renewing the plant's operating permit. The hydrogen generator in this application consists of two HySTAT-A electrolyzer modules, each capable of producing 33Nm3/hr of hydrogen further demonstrating the scalability of Hydrogenics line of hydrogen generation products.

New Investment Report Highlights $360-Million Market for Power Grid Frequency Regulation Services in the...

The market for grid frequency regulation services open to new service providers in the United States in 2004 was valued at nearly $360 million - and is expected to increase in 2005 - according to a Technology Brief issued today by Ardour Capital Investments, LLC. Frequency regulation is the target market for Beacon Power Corp (BCON) Smart Energy Matrix flywheel energy storage system, two demonstration systems of which are being built under contract to the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The Technology Brief is available online at www.ardourcapital.com, under...

Exide: Many Alliances, Fewer Results

Debra Fiakas Alliance photo via BigStock  Exide Technologies (XIDE:  Nasdaq) is one of the largest transportation and industrial battery suppliers in the U.S., vying for market share with Johnson Controls (JCI:  NYSE) and EnerSys (ENS:  NYSE) among others.  Batteries are a competitive business, even as the automotive sector has attempted a recovery from the 2008 free fall in new car sales.  Electric vehicle and renewable energy storage applications have helped expand addressable market.  However, for a conventional battery producer capturing a share of these...

Tesla Vs. Hydrogen

By Jeff Siegel One of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's dreams may soon be coming to fruition. During his time as governor, while singing the praises of renewable energy progress in the Golden State, the Terminator would often tell tree-hugging Californians about his dream of building a hydrogen highway that would enable hydrogen-powered vehicles to run from Mexico to Canada  via California. Not only did Prius drivers and vegans applaud the governor's dream, but it even got a decent amount of support from former GM Chairman Bob Lutz and President George W. Bush. Since that time, California has managed to build...

Understanding Manufacturing Economics for Grid-Scale Energy Storage

John Petersen I have a new favorite word AGGREGATION! At the risk of sounding like a reporter, I’m going to summarize a pre-holiday news story you might have missed but need to know about. In late November the PJM Interconnect, the largest of nine regional grid system operators in the US, announced that it had begun buying frequency regulation services from small-scale, behind the meter, demand response assets in Pennsylvania. The first resources brought on-line by PJM were variable speed pumps at a water treatment plant and a 500 kW industrial battery array...