Arotech Receives Order from US Air Force for Man Portable Zinc-Air Batteries

Arotech Corporation (ARTX) announced today that its Battery and Power Systems Division has received a pilot order for its new 4th generation man portable Zinc Air battery packs from the US Air Force. Developed and manufactured by its Electric Fuel Battery Corporation subsidiary, Arotech's new battery pack is a 12 or 24 Volt battery with a total capacity of over 400Wh and Battery Energy Density of approximately 300Wh/kg. The new battery pack is optimized for use in vests, as man portable tactical radios are typically vest-worn in holsters. The pack is also designed for use in rucksacks. ...

First Quarter Earnings Omens and Bright Spots in Energy Storage

John Petersen The first quarter earning season is usually boring because it follows 45 days after year-end earnings reports and significant changes are the exception, rather than the rule. This year, the energy storage sector has been a clear exception and every company I track, other than the amazing gravity defying Tesla Motors, is down from its March 31st close. The following table summarizes the performance of the stocks I track from June 30th of last year and March 31st of this year through yesterday's close. While some of the declines can be attributed to...

Grid-scale Energy Storage: Lux Predicts $113.5 Billion in Global Demand by 2017

John Petersen Last month Lux Research released a bottom-up evaluation of the cost effectiveness of eight energy storage technologies in six grid-scale applications throughout 44 countries, including all 50 U.S. states. Their report titled "Grid Storage under the Microscope: Using Local Knowledge to Forecast Global Demand" predicts that annual global demand for grid-scale energy storage will reach an astounding 185.4 gigawatt-hours (GWh) by 2017 and represent a $113.5 billion incremental revenue opportunity for an industry that currently generates sales of $50 to $60 billion a year. In the grid-scale sector alone, Lux predicts an average...

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...

Aggressive New CAFE Standards; The IC Empire Strikes Back

John Petersen Last Friday President Obama and executives from thirteen leading automakers gathered in Washington DC to announce an historic agreement to increase fleet-wide fuel economy standards for new cars and light trucks from 27.5 mpg for the 2011 model year to 54.5 mpg for the 2025 model year. While politicians frequently spin superlatives to describe mediocre results, I believe the President's claim that the accord "represents the single most important step we've ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil" is a refreshing example of political understatement. After three decades of demagoguery, debate,...

Beacon Power Announces Award of Phase II SBIR Contract for Advanced Flywheel Energy Storage...

Beacon Power Corp (BCON) announced that it has been awarded a contract through the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and co-funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense. The contract, valued at $750,000, is for the preliminary design of a space-based flywheel energy storage system for satellite applications, and is a Phase II award under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program of the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Technology. Beacon announced completion of an associated Phase I project earlier this year. This was welcome news for this company...

Congress Funds $1.5 Million for Electro Energy’s Battery Development Program

Electro Energy Inc (EEEI) receive $1.5 million from the 2006 budget of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for continued development and demonstration of its bipolar wafer-cell Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery energy storage program. The funding was included in the Fiscal Year 2006 Energy & Water Development bill, which was passed by the U.S. Congress today and is expected to be signed by President Bush within the next week. The 2006 funding, will bring DOE's total investment in the development of the bipolar wafer-cell NiMH battery, in the energy storage program, to approximately $6.5 million.

Are Energy Storage Investors Chasing Their Tails?

John Petersen I didn't learn about normal bell shaped curves in kindergarten but I developed a pretty solid understanding of the concept by the second or third grade because at report-card time A's were worth a quarter, B's were worth a dime and C's had no value at all. By the time I reached college I was chasing the right hand tail of the bell curve on my own initiative. Law school and the competitive nature of my profession merely pushed my drive for the right hand tail up a notch. Old habits die hard, so I...

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...

List of Battery Stocks

Battery stocks are publicly traded companies whose business involves the manufacture of batteries, battery components, or battery management systems used to store electricity through electrochemical means. Advanced Battery Technologies Inc (ABAT) Albermarle Corp (ALB) Axion Power International (AXPW) BioSolar, Inc. (BSRC) BYD Company, Ltd. (BYDDY) China BAK Battery (CBAK) Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (300750.SZ) Eguana Technologies Inc. (EGT.V) Electrovaya, Inc. (EFL.TO) EnerSys (ENS) EnSync, Inc. (ESNC) Flux Power Holdings, Inc (FLUX) Global X Lithium ETF (LIT) Highpower International (HPJ) Johnson Controls (JCI) Lithium Technology Corporation (LTHUQ) Livent Corporation (LTHM) mPhase Technologies (XDSL) NGK Insulators Ltd. (NGKIF, 5333.T) OM Group (OMG) Powin Energy Corp. (PWON) Redflow Limited (RFX.AX) Saft Group (SGPEF) Ultralife Batteries Inc (ULBI) Umicore S.A. (UMI.BR, UMICY, UMICF) Vendum Batteries, Inc. (VNDB) If you...

Toyota’s Straight Talk On Plug-in Vehicles

John Petersen Most investors know that Toyota Motors (TM) is the world's biggest manufacturer of hybrid electric vehicles, or HEVs. Since 1997, Toyota has sold over two million cars using its Hybrid Synergy Drive® and earned a sterling reputation for fuel efficiency and customer satisfaction. What many don't realize is that Toyota is also the world's biggest manufacturer of advanced automotive battery packs. Toyota entered the battery business in 1996 when it bought a 40% interest in Panasonic EV Energy, a joint venture company that was formed to make NiMH batteries and battery packs for the Prius. Over...

Selling Exide

Tom Konrad CFA Electric Storage Battery Company advertisement for Exide batteries in the journal Horseless Age, January 15, 1918 I sold my position in Exide Technologies (NASD:XIDE) on April 25th after the company was forced to shut down its Vernon secondary lead recycling facility by the California Department of Toxic Substances (DTSC.)  In addition to the known arsenic furnace emissions, the DTSC cited the facility’s underground storm water system as not being in compliance with CA requirements. When I last wrote about Exide, I felt that the problems at the Vernon facility were not...
NaS Catalina

Lesser Known Battery Chemistries

by Debra Fiakas, CFA The last post Vanadium Flow Battery Companies, featured several companies bringing vanadium redox flow batteries to the market for large-scale energy storage projects.  These highly efficient and long-lived batteries take advantage of the unique properties of vanadium.  There are other interesting chemical mixes on the battery market that could yield returns for investors. Sodium-sulfur There are at least eight different installations of sodium-sulfur or NaS batteries around the world.  One of the largest is the Yerba Buena Energy Storage System owned by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PCG:  NYSE) in California.  Rated at 4 megawatts or 24 megawatt hours, the system can provide backup electricity...

Battery Cost Forecasts and The Origin of Specious*

*with humble apologies to Charles Darwin John Petersen The Oxford Dictionary defines the adjective 'specious' as: Superficially plausible, but actually wrong; Misleading in appearance, especially misleadingly attractive. The Wiktionary offers a broader definition as: Seemingly well-reasoned or factual, but actually fallacious or insincere; strongly held but false; Having an attractive appearance intended to generate a favorable response; deceptively attractive. Over the last two years I've patiently analyzed the evolving price and performance forecasts of electric vehicle advocates and lithium-ion battery developers. In the process I've shown them to be possible, but unlikely, and...

Metal-Air Battery Stocks

by Debra Fiakas CFA Earlier this year, we added metal air batteries and the companies who are working to commercialize the technology on our list of promising acts to follow.  The Israeli battery developer, Phinergy, was added to our Mothers of Invention Index.  Back when I wrote the post “More in the Air than Spring” back in April 2013, Phinergy had attracted a bit of attention for a road test of Citroen C1 car outfitted with a technology far different than conventional lithium ion.  No one knows Phinergy.  It is too small and too foreign to impress...

Paper Batteries

by Debra Fiakas CFA A comment left recently on one of my earlier articles mentioned Vendum Batteries, Inc. (VNDB:  OTC/BB), a developmental stage company working on battery power solutions.  When looking into Vendum I expected the usual flowery promises investors hear from every other battery developer  -  some new metal alloy for the electrodes, an alternative electrolyte, or maybe a creative form factor.    However, Vendum is not just any battery “wanna-be.” Ok, Vendum does have an alternative electrode, but it is not just a tweak of the usual metal mixes.  It also has an alternative form factor,...