Travel Reports

In September, I attended these three conferences. They were all different, but also had a great deal in common. This writeup attempts to capture major themes and to provide highlights of some of the more interesting developments that came to light. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you’d like further details on anything discussed below (or anything you see on the agendas that I didn’t mention).

EESAT Electric Energy Storage Applications and Technologies Conf.
Sept 18-20, 2000, Orlando, FL

Distributed Power Strategies and Business Opportunities
Sept 25-27,2000, Washington, DC

Clean Energy Roundtable
Sept 27-29, 2000, Aspen, CO


One major common theme–

“Attack of the Killer Investment B’s”

Many investment banking firms are cranking up bigtime to get a piece of the action in high9s-clean-distributed energy technology. They’re starting to “get it” and don’t want to miss out, though there’s a lot they don’t know about it (and their in-house utility analysts aren’t much help). They’re attending these events in ever increasing force, and also putting on their own!

BofA Securities, CIBC World Markets, Robertson Stephens, First Albany, Deutsche Banc Alex Brown, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Lehman … They’re issuing research reports, initiating coverage, and investing in and pushing services to companies in this industry. Not only are they coming to energy conferences, they’re putting on their own, usually invitation-only for clients and other investors.

– Goldman Sachs will be handling Powercell’s (zinc-bromine flow battery) next financing, following a recent $30 Million infusion from a variety of investors.

– Credit Suisse First Boston is acquiring DLJ, which is doing a private placement for ZBB (the other zinc-bromine flow battery).

– Bear Stearns, famous for their very popular 250 page research report, “Distributed Energy Services” back in April, is coming out with one on microturbines in the next couple of weeks, with more to follow.

– Beacon Group, recently acquired by Chase H&Q, has been actively doing energy technology investments alongside their extensive array of more traditional energy sector plays.

– Price Waterhouse Cooper is helping STM (stirling motor) to raise $4M each coming from a coalition of DTE, Delco Remy, Ricardo (engine consultants) and a group from Singapore, to be followed in the near future with a probable private offering.

The main drivers behind all this excitement include deregulation/competition, demand for premium power, environmental concerns (new regs, Kyoto, etc.), and technology advances (renewables, distributed resources, and the internet). Add to that the general supply crunch here and abroad. While there are some aspects of the investment “flavor of the month”, these trends are seen as real, irreversible, and significant.

Traditionally, development stage companies are financed by venture capital or corporate money. Now, however, companies are going public earlier and earlier (“pre-earnings” and even “pre-revenue”). This means that retail investors are engaging in “public venture capital” as it has been called, taking on the higher risk of early stage companies.

Speaking plainly, there’s a bubble in the pre-ipo and public company stocks that is similar to what’s been happening in the dot-com world and elsewhere. The players are piling on, and both good and bad can come of it. While this industry enjoys all the attention and increased capital (and valuations), there will be a continual shaking out, with big winners and losers–as we’ve seen very recently. One just hopes the losers won’t put a drag on the whole sector.


Clean Energy Roundtable

This is one in a series of invitation-only conferences, many in Europe, targeting senior executives. The “Aspen Clean Energy Roundtable” meeting was the 7th annual such event, with many repeat attendees. A number of major energy companies, bankers, and NGO’s were represented, plus a sizable contingent from the DOE National Labs, but just a few utility people. Speakers are strongly discouraged from doing sales pitches, but rather to shed light on big trends and issues.

The biggest trend and issue — a widely held view that is an absolute necessity to come up with a “low/no carbon” energy future, in light of global climate risks and population growth and economic development. Furthermore, hydrogen is the key, as the main energy carrier of the future. There were a few visionaries who began talking about the potential of a “hydrogen economy” in the mid 70’s (during the first oil crisis). Maybe their day is coming.

Another prominent theme was the evolving role of government, from “Nanny” to enabler. Bruce Stram of Enron Energy Services spoke about this historic role of government, intervening heavily to cope with market imperfections, as less necessary as telecommunications and information flow improve. Instead, government should avoid “command and control” and instead punish social externalities with penalties, and support a vigorous R&D program.

Swiss Re reviewed their outlook that global climate issues represent huge risks to the insurance industry, noting losses from hurricanes and other weather-related damages. They’ve been very active promoting Kyoto, emissions trading, and clean development mechanisms.

Shell Hydrogen is a new independent business within the Shell group. CEO Don Huberts explained the parent company’s commitment to sustainable development (disposed of coal assets, and set up Shell Renewables and Shell Hydrogen). He described a 250 kW SOFC installation in Norway integrated with fish farming, use of an SOFC with injection of CO2 into depleted wells and deep aquifers, commercial and residential CHP with SOFC or PEM, and a proprietary natural gas processor to make hydrogen for residential fuel cells.

Valuing Renewables — Shimon Awerbuch of ICF Consulting reviewed his work on using a portfolio approach to valuing renewables. Traditional engineering-based approaches are completely inadequate–they ignore financial risk; they didn’t work in manufacturing (completely missed computers, robotics, and CAD); and they don’t work for high capital, low operating cost projects. Portfolio concepts are routinely applied in securities investment, where adding even a higher cost (lower return) investment to a portfolio can reduce the total risk, for an overall better result. See his articles Public Utilities Fortnightly, Feb 15, 2000, and Energy Policy (to be published)

Other presentations included:

CMS Energy is pursuing environmentally friendly technology solutions, including microturbines for gas field pumping operations, a methanol plant installed in Africa to eliminate a massive gas flare, and their own “virtual power plant” program they’re calling Elan (electric local area network).

Honeywell’s microturbine group sees their devices fitting into a seamless array of energy management systems, controlled over the internet in real time.

Stirling Energy Systems, in Phoenix, is gearing up to develop huge solar power farms using dish concentrators with the Swedish-made Kockums stirling engine.

H-Power is aggressively pursuing rural markets for their existing commercial small scale PEM fuel cell systems.


Electric Energy Storage Applications and Technologies Conf.

The message is similar to the June ESA meeting [See UFTO Note, 25 April, 2000]
–storage is coming into its own, as part of the boom in new energy technology, along with DG, renewables, premium power, etc. The complete proceedings will be published in hardcopy and on a CD, by early December.
Keynoter Bill Parks, the lead for DOE’s new Distributed Power effort, [UFTO Note May 31] noted the convergence of many issues, including growth (economic, population and energy demand), price spikes, high oil imports, power quality needs, air and water quality, and climate change. New companies are entering, and everyone proclaims to be green. On top of that, average energy efficiency in the US hasn’t improved, capacity margins are below 10%, and power infrastructure is aging. DOE’s expanded efforts will go beyond the core technology R&D emphasis, to deal with systems, and to address institutional barriers. For example, the IRS is reviewing depreciation schedules for CHP and DG.
Value of Storage – Tom Jenkin, Brattle Group, described an LP model they’ve developed to analyze in detail the arbitrage possibilities for a storage system. The model calculates the maximum net revenue over a one week period by optimizing the use of a generic storage device, hour by hour. At any given time, the device can do one of four things: charge (i.e. buy energy), sell energy, sell reserve capacity, or do nothing. Using price data for the California ISO, initial results suggest a capital cost of $250-$750/kW can be supported in this kind of application., 617-864-1576.
At EA Technology (UK), they’ve developed a model to calculate net present value cost-benefit of various storage technologies in various applications. Alan Collinson,
Regenesys, the National Power spin off, has announced their first commercial scale project (120 MWH, 15 MW) at a power plant in the UK. This is one of the prominent “flow” battery technologies discussed several times before in UFTO Notes. Notably, they have qualified it to provide blackstart, in addition to energy management, arbitrage, and frequency and voltage regulation. They also have an initial agreement with TVA to the first N American installation.
Tokyo Electric is getting good results with their advanced sealed Sodium-Sulfur battery. A key to safety is an innovative self-shut down mechanism where an inner tube expands if heated (by the reactions that would result from a leak) and blocks the ceramic electrolyte. A 6 MW, 48 MWH system has been operating since mid 1999, for load leveling and ancillary services.
AutoCap reported on the advantages of charging battery cells individually, greatly extending the expected life of batteries in large systems. When an entire string of cells are charged in series, due to variations some cells are overcharged and some undercharged. They’ve developed a system with an isolated charger, and a cell selector device that monitors and charges one cell at a time. This applies only to the maintenance charging, not the heavy recharging cycle after a discharge.
New Supercapacitor — there are countless stories around about ultracaps or supercaps. Many use low voltage aqueous electrolyte concepts, with extremely high surface area electrodes made of very porous materials, and utilizing the double layer effect. Though they can deliver unheard of capacitance in small packages (farads instead of microfarads), these cells have problems with high impedance and self-discharge. To reach any useful working voltage, cells must be put in series, and run into additional issues to do with voltage balance. According to tests of an 11,000 Farad unit at EPRI PEAC, a Russian company has a breakthrough concept involves an asymmetrical design, which solves these problems, and can deliver very high discharge rates over a wide temperature range, with high specific energy.
From the website:
“JSC ESMA electrochemical capacitors utilize a polar cell and aqueous electrolyte. The negative electrode is made of an activated carbon material having high surface area, where electric energy is accumulated at the electric double layer. The positive electrode is made of nickel hydroxide and designed for high charge/discharge rate. This combination of electrodes provides a 4-5 times increase in specific energy over capacitors designed with both electrodes made of a carbon material. The maximum operating voltage of the cells ranges from 1.3 to 1.6 V depending on the capacitor type and its operating mode. The capacitor is prismatic in shape, with a case made of plastic. It has a resealable safety valve in its cover to release gas during improper use when a certain value of excess pressure is reached. JSC ESMA capacitors have been designed to remain in service even if the operating voltage level is exceeded. Capacitor operating characteristics do not degrade if the capacitor is operated under an excessive voltage level over a short time. The capacitors can withstand a short circuit current caused by improper handling.”
Emitter Turn-Off Thyristor (ETO) is a new solid state switch developed at Virginia Tech that promises great improvement over GTOs and IGBTs. It is a hybrid based on the GTO and MOSFET. It is much smaller and simpler, it uses less drive power, and it is 10 times faster — it can turn off 3000 amps in 2-3 microseconds, vs. 30 for present devices. This speed will enable switches that can react to faults in time to safely turn off rather than relying on fusing. Virginia Tech is actively looking for licensees to commercialize the ETO. (I have pdf copies of the full paper and the patent application.)
Zinc Bromine Flow Batteries (ZBB & Powercell) Powercell’s standard unit is the PowerBlock, 100kW/100kWh, in one self contained package complete with power electronics, is in production. ( ZBB Technologies Inc. in Wisconsin is developing a larger utility scale version, with DOE funding. Two 400 kWh demonstration units are being installed on Detroit Edison’s system this Fall. Though based on the same original work at Exxon years ago, the two programs have important design differences.
Active Power, following on their very successful IPO, has a deal with Caterpillar, who is selling systems under the name CAT 250. This is a 250 KVA, 12 sec system. A price of $250-325/KVA was mentioned. Active Power has also recently built active harmonic filtering into the package. Duke Power reported on a demo installation at one of their customer sites.

Magnet-Motor (Germany) reported on their use of 2KWH/150 KW flywheels on public buses, ever since 1988. Company website:

Several programs are working on flywheels using superconducting magnetic bearings: the Shikoku Research Institute, Chubu Electric with Mitsubishi, and Boeing Phantom Works. This last one appears to have some resemblance to the earlier work at Argonne that was supported in part by ComEd. It is funded under the DOE Superconductivity Initiative.


Distributed Power Strategies and Business Opportunities
Sept 25-27,2000, Washington, DC

One of dozens of conferences on distributed power, this one had some big names and a high level of international participation, but no big announcements or new insights. As usual, the networking opportunities were at least if not more valuable than the sessions.
Ake Almgren, CEO of Capstone, was co-chair, with Mark Fallek of DTE Energy. In his opening remarks he noted that DG and central station plants are both needed, it’s not an either-or situation. DG can be thought of as another way to “distribute” power, not to “generate” it. Central station plants have a very long lead time, and difficult siting requirements. Also, T&D costs contribute as much as $4-500/KW to the price of power, which DG can avoid. Fallek cited some future global market estimates for DG of $38 billion/year. Premium power, now a $50 billion market, is growing at 30%/yr, suggesting $500 billion in 15 years.
Bob Shaw, who single-handedly invented venture capital in new energy technology, and who helped start many of the notable companies now making headlines, gave a perspective that was extremely bullish on DG and renewables, but a bit alarmed about the “bubble” situation. He is convinced that DG really will take over from central station power, sooner rather than later. DG is a perfect case of a “disruptive technology”. The engines built by US automakers every year are equivalent to the capacity of the entire US generating system. So, an industry 1/10 the size of Detroit could replace that system in a mere 10 years. The fact that VCs and Wall Street see energy technology as the “next big thing” is making capital available to this sector as never before, but it is also leading to unsustainable valuations that could become problematic. The paper is available online: I also have a copy of the powerpoint presentation, which provides some additional material.
“First, Second, or Third Coming??”
Is DG just a replay of one or two previous episodes, or very different this time? Shaw clearly espoused the latter view, but others were less convinced. In the 60’s, a midwestern gas company pushed a “total energy” concept based on reciprocating engines; maintenance problems and the poor suitability of recips to baseload operation proved the undoing. In the 80’s, the PURPA QF provisions led to a swarm of packaged cogen installations; QF contracts have all but faded from the scene. Shaw maintains that today’s convergence of developments is really different. Robert Swanekamp, editor of Power Magazine, took an extreme contrarian position that DG is a non-event, and that 1/2 of the large CCGT’s on order will be cancelled as a power glut emerges. He said he had no knowledge of the disruptive technology argument, but that didn’t stop him from dismissing it. (He was probably the only person present who hadn’t heard about Clayton Christensen’s ideas and their relevance to DG. See UFTO Note 19 April 1999; or
Technologies — there were a dozen or more presentations by companies: makers of fuel cells, stirling engines, and microturbines; power electronics, internet-based controls and energy management; and O&M.
Barriers — reports on the EEI and IEEE interconnection efforts; an excellent overview of competitive, institutional, regulatory and financial obstacles by Nat Treadway, (for a similar presentation, see

ESA Newsletter

(By special permission from ESA, here is their latest newsletter.)


The ESA has listened to its membership and is being responsive to what the membership says it wants from the ESA. In our survey of ESA members over the last few months, the number one thing you want from the ESA is promotion and a forum so that potential customers are aware of the value and opportunities for including energy storage in their business plans. Energy Storage: It’s About Time! Is the theme for our new brochure and our marketing campaign for the next several years? Our new brochure should be available at the Spring meeting and the ESA staff is hard at work to deliver this message throughout the industry.

Our upcoming meeting in Phoenix is also focusing on the customer. The meeting’s preliminary agenda (mailed last week) includes presentations by power quality customer’s that have incorporated energy storage, electric utility customer’s that are installing energy storage, and fuel cell developers incorporating energy storage into their designs. Along with the exceptional visits to Arizona Public Service Company and Salt River Project (not to mention the amenities available in the Phoenix area), we expect our meeting to have outstanding attendance.
I recently was invited to participate in a plenary session on Alternative Generation and Storage at IEEE’s Winter Power Meeting at Tampa, Florida. I used the opportunity to present our standard ESA electronic presentation (available to any ESA member) and the response was overwhelming. More than 30 participants immediately asked for more information and I suspect several will attend our upcoming meeting in Phoenix. I am more convinced than ever that the interest in energy storage is at an all time high. However, we must be more proactive in delivering our message.

Thus, the objective of our brochure and marketing campaign.

Our membership is reflecting the transition taking place in the electricity business. We are picking up several new members while others have merged, downsized, or gone out of business. We cannot improve without ideas, feedback and commitment from our membership. As always, contact us at any time by phone, fax, and email or via our website and stop in to pay us a visit the next time you are in Washington, DC. Register for the Spring meeting early and do not forget your dues with registration and encourage other business partners, customers, and colleagues to participate in the ESA.

Jon Hurwitch, ESA Executive Director



The Spring 1998 ESA meeting is fast approaching. The preliminary agenda and registration materials are in the mail. As always, we anticipate changes to the agenda, additions and deletions as well as details on the presentations. Updates to meeting program will be available via the ESA world wide web site.

This meeting is shaping up to be very exciting and we hope that you will find the new format refreshing. The Feature Forum is dedicated to presentations on how customers are using energy storage technologies. We have avoided over-booking this session so that the presenters can give longer, more detailed presentations and there is time for questions and answers.

The Fuel Cell Storage Session will both serve to introduce fuel cell technology, a close relative to energy storage, and the potentially interactive relationship between fuel cells and storage, particularly for grid-independent systems. The remaining sessions are broken into the three primary applications for storage, utility, power quality and renewables. In addition to a strong program, we have two tours planned at Salt River Project and Arizona Public Service Company.

ESA/SEIA to Host PV-Battery Storage Discussion at SOLTECH

The Energy Storage Association will be co-sponsoring a session at the SOLTECH meeting on Monday, April 27, 1998. The SOLTECH , Interstate Renewable Energy Council and Utility Photovoltaic Group annual meetings are being held in Orlando, Florida, April 25-30, 1998.

For more information on the panel discussion, please contact the ESA. For information on the SOLTECH meeting contact the Solar Energy Industries Association at 202/383-2670.

————————— EESAT ’98 Meeting

The ESA has received copies of the meeting program and registration and will be distributing them at the meeting in Phoenix. If you need copies ahead of time, please give us a call and we will put them in the mail to you.

Other Upcoming Meetings

Marriott Boca Center, Boca Raton, Florida
For information call, 561/997-2299, or

HydroVision98: Exploring Our New Frontiers
July 28-31, 1998
For information call, 816/931-1311, or. www.hydrovision98com

Powersystems World ’98: Managing your Facility in a New Energy Marketplace
November 7-13, 1998
Santa Clara Convention Center

ESA Participates at IEEE Winter Power Meeting Plenary Session

ESA Executive Director, Jon Hurwitch was one of five invited panelists for the Plenary Session on “Alternative Energy Generation and Storage: Concepts or Becoming Operational Reality?” The other panelists were, Gilbert Cohen, Kramer Junction Company; Douglas Hyde, Green Mountain Energy Resources; Ernesto Terrado, World Bank; and Richard Walker, Central and Southwest Services.

The Plenary Session attracted more than 1000 delegates primary from the U.S. electric utility industry. Jon delivered an abridged Energy Storage Overview presentation which was well received and generated a number of prospective ESA members.


1998 ESA Index

The Energy Storage Association is in the process of updating the ESA Index for 1998. If you have any changes or additions to your listing or that of your colleagues, please forward that information to the ESA as soon as possible. We hope to issue the 1998 Index at the Spring meeting in Phoenix.

1998 ESA Member Directory
This year the ESA will be preparing a directory of its membership that will include a discussion of the products and services offered by member companies. The directory will be available in electronic form via the ESA website.

We are asking members to please send us, preferably in electronic form, a brief write up about the company; information on your energy storage product and services; photos or other graphics, but in particular the company logo; contact name and information; and the URL address for a company website.

ESA Welcomes New Member, KEMA

The Energy Storage Association continues to stretch its membership boundary. In February 1998 KEMA Nederland B.V., a major Dutch utility became the second European ESA member. KEMA has been a participant in the International Energy Agency Annex IX and has its own storage research program. We will all have the opportunity to meet representatives from KEMA and hear more about their interest in energy storage at the ESA meeting in Phoenix.

Omnion and AC Battery Reunited

Delphi and Omnion believe the prospects for AC Battery” power quality products are substantial, particularly in light of the ever-increasing sophistication of manufacturing and data processing operations and the potential power supply problems that may occur as utility deregulation moves forward. AC Battery products offer unique technological advantages over competitive products in the field.

Trace Engineering and Statpower Technologies Announce Merger Plans

Trace Engineering Corporation of Arlington, Washington and Statpower Technologies Corporation of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada signed a Letter of Intent to merge the two businesses in November of 1997. The merger, expected to be completed in the first quarter of 1998, will result in the world’s leading manufacturer of small electronic power inverters.
According to Trace Engineering President Bill Roppenecker, “Trace and Statpower make an excellent strategic fit. We have complimentary technologies, products, and market strengths. By joining forces we get the critical mass necessary to effectively serve the rapidly growing market for mobile and renewable power sources.”

Trace Engineering and Statpower Technologies develop and manufacture electric power inverters, battery chargers, and other power conversion products for a variety of markets including the recreational vehicle, marine truck, mobile office, backup power, and renewable energy markets.

Department of Energy 1999 Budget Request
The Administration has submitted its fiscal year 1999 budget request to Congress. The House and Senate are expected to begin hearings on the budget this month.

The budget for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs has jumped from $908 million in 1998 to a proposed $1,198 million in 1999. This increase of 32% will help to support the President’s proposed Climate Change Technology Initiative for clean energy research and development.

The budget request breakdown by major program offices is:

$322M – Utility
$167M – Industrial
$293M – Transportation
$ 34M – Federal Energy Management
$317M – Buildings, States & Communities

The energy storage program request for 1999 stands at $6 M up from $3.9 M in 1998, and includes funding for the ESA-backed Storage 2000 initiative. The Energy Storage Association backed the recommendation of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) to increase the energy storage program budget to $20 M in 1999 to support renewable generation and storage programs. The ESA will work with the Sustainable Energy Coalition to continue to push for the PCAST budget recommendations during appropriations hearings in Congress.

Excerpts from the President’s State of The Union Address

In his State of the Union Address in January, President Clinton introduced his proposal for $3.6 billion in tax incentives over the next five years that will go directly to consumers in an effort to get advanced energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies into the marketplace.

Some specific tax credits include:

– 20% credit on purchase price for energy-efficient building equipment which includes: fuel cells, electric heat pump water heaters, advanced natural gas and residential size electric heat pumps, and advanced central air conditions;
– 15% credit for qualified investment up to a maximum of $1,000 for solar water heating systems and $2000 for rooftop photovoltaic systems;
– five year extension of 1.5 cent/kWh tax credit for electricity produced from wind or closed-loop biomass

A copy of the report containing the proposed tax incentives is available via the world wide web at:

The National Regulatory Research Institute Issues Unbundling Report

According to a recent report, Unbundling Generation and Transmission Services for Competitive Electricity Markets: Examining Ancillary Services, the nationwide cost of ancillary services is about $12 billion a year, roughly 10% of the cost of the energy commodity. The report sponsored by the National Regulatory Research Institute and prepared by Oak Ridge National Laboratory is available from NPRI for $29.95 by calling 614/292-9404 (report number NPRI 98-05.)

The report notes that although the utility industry has made substantial progress in identifying and defining the key ancillary services, much remains to be done. Developing metrics, determining costs, and setting pricing rules are important because most ancillary services are produced by the same pieces of equipment that produce the basic electricity commodity. Thus, production of energy and ancillary services is highly interactive, sometimes complementary and sometimes competing. In contrast to today’s typical time-invariant, embedded-cost prices, competitive prices for ancillary services would vary with system loads and spot prices for energy.

The individual ancillary services differ substantially in their features, competitiveness, provision, and pricing. Operating reserves, for example, can likely be provided by competitive markets. The primary supplier cost for this service is the opportunity cost associated with foregone energy sales; significant fuel costs are incurred only when these reserves are called upon to respond to the loss of a major generation or transmission outage.

The report provides an overview of the twelve ancillary services plus details on two of those services, operating reserves and voltage support.

Cara Molinari Joins ESA Staff

On February 17, Switch Technologies welcomed new staff member Cara Molinari. As Executive Assistant, Cara will be taking over the responsibilities of ESA Coordinator including handling communications with members, finance, office administration, meeting planning, library maintenance, and website updates.

Prior to joining Switch, Cara was a Work Assignment Manager and Communications Specialist for Technical Resources International, Inc. of Rockville, Maryland. Cara brings experience in the preparation of communications and marketing materials including newsletters, brochures, and educational materials; and meeting planning to Switch and the ESA. Cara received her BS in Sociology and Italian Studies from St. Joseph’s University. Cara is fluent in Italian and proficient in Spanish and French.

You will have an opportunity to meet Cara in person at the upcoming ESA meeting in Phoenix.

Premium Power RFP Issued

The Department of Commerce, Advanced Technology Program released a request for proposals for premium power technology research and development. The goal of the program is to promote U.S. economic growth by supporting sustained, High-Risk Research and Development to accelerate progress in power technologies critical to changes occurring in information systems, telecommunication, and distributed electric power. Technologies within the scope include advanced rechargeable batteries, photovoltaic arrays, fuel cells, ultracapacitors and flywheels. In FY98, $82 million is available for new projects.

Proposals for the first round are due April 8, 1998. Proposal kits can be obtained by calling the ATP hotline at 800-ATP-FUND or e-mail at: Information on the premium power program is also available via the ATP website at:

JON HURWITCH, Executive Director
LAURA WALTEMATH, Projects Director

Please contact ESA office at:

Ergenics Hy-Stor Battery Energy Storage

I’ve been staying in close contact with this company for a long time, and reported about them to UFTO the first time in Dec 95 and again in Oct 96, describing their Hy-Stor battery technology. They haven’t received a lot of attention in the storage/battery industry over the years, but my personal view is that they could be a major dark horse in the business.

In addition to the utility scale device, they’ve also built a “D” cell. Inherently, the technology features very high cycle life, high power and energy density, and suffers no ill effects from over charging or discharging.

They’re continuing to make major progress, and are looking for investment capital and partners.


Dave DaCosta, President
or Phil Burghart, Sr. VP

Ergenics, Inc.
247 Margaret King Ave.
Ringwood NJ 07456

(Disclosure: I do some consulting for the company,
and have a finders fee agreement with them.)

The company issued this press release this morning:
Thursday January 15, 9:30 am ET
Company Press Release SOURCE: Ergenics, Inc.

New Energy Storage Technology Leads Way to Low Cost Electric Power Supply

RINGWOOD, N.J., Jan. 15 — Ergenics announced today that it has initiated the second phase of its electric utility battery energy storage program. The program is directed at producing a long life (10 years), 25 kilowatt, 100 kWh battery module capable of daily deep discharge cycles for a variety of electric utility applications.

The initial product will be a simple peak shaving system which will be charged with low cost, “base load,” power at night and discharged during the afternoon peak load in order to reduce incremental generating capacity and its associated higher costs. This system is being developed for utility testing overseas where the differential cost between base load and peak load power is 3-5 times higher than in the U.S. The potential overseas market for the company’s battery energy storage system exceeds $30 billion. Ergenics is currently funded to build the first full scale submodule for testing based on a design previously approved by its foreign partner. The battery’s modular design allows construction of battery energy storage systems ranging in size from 100 kWh to 4,000 kWh.

Beyond the offshore project, Ergenics is exploring electric energy supply applications in the United States where electric utility deregulation is expected to create enormous opportunities for energy storage systems distributed across the power grid. Ergenics ultimately envisions household units which will provide reliable energy during power outages. These units will also store power purchased at low off-peak rates for later use in periods when energy would be more expensive.

Ergenics’ Hy-Stor(R) battery system is well suited for utility batteries. It couples the established know-how of the high energy storage density of metal hydrides with the extraordinary cycle life capabilities of nickel-hydrogen electrochemical cells which have been used in orbiting satellites for over twenty years. Half fuel cell and half battery, the only chemical reaction in the nickel-hydrogen battery is the simple oxidation and reduction of the nickel hydroxide electrode. This makes possible attainment of 10 years of life and tens of thousands of deep and shallow discharge cycles. In addition, and unlike any other battery, nickel-hydrogen batteries are tolerant of overcharge and overdischarge operation. This is especially important for higher voltage batteries where a large number of cells are connected in series. Complicated and costly electronics to balance the state-of-charge of the cells are not required.

Ergenics is a world leader in the development and commercialization of metal hydride technology. In addition to utility battery energy storage systems, Ergenics is developing hybrid electric vehicle batteries under a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract, high energy, long life battery packs for electric bicycles, and hydrogen storage units for fuel cells. Privately owned, Ergenics, Inc. has its headquarters and principal manufacturing operation in northern New Jersey.

DOD Exploratory Battery Workshop

Subject: UFTO Note — DOD Exploratory Battery Workshop
Date: Thu, 01 May 1997
From: Ed Beardsworth

(This little known workshop has come to our attention, and may interest people who follow battery technology closely. It is a tri service DOD event, and covers early stage R&D at DOD labs and contractors, at a fairly technical level. It is open to outside attendees, on a limited-space available — basis. Anyone wanting to go should contact Ms. Meskin as indicated. Note the very low registration cost.)

| ** UFTO ** Edward Beardsworth ** Consultant
| 951 Lincoln Ave. tel 415-328-5670
| Palo Alto CA 94301-3041 fax 415-328-5675


June 30-July 3, 1997
Burlington, Vermont

The purpose of this workshop is to assess current DoD-sponsored battery 6.2 development programs in order to identify technology challenges and coordinate future efforts. This year the scope of the workshop has been broadened to include all high energy batteries with those of lithium chemistry receiving the major focus. Speakers will come from 6.2 efforts and will include both government and industrial participants.

This workshop is sponsored by Office of Naval Research and coordinated by the High Energy Battery R&D Group, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division and Advanced Technology & Research Corporation (ATR).


U.S. Army — Robert Hamlen, Ph.D; Sol Gilman, Ph.D.;
Harold Christopher, Ph.D.; Allan Goldberg
U.S. Navy — Carl Mueller, Ph.D.; Patricia Smith, Ph.D.
U.S. Air Force — Richard Marsh; Steve Vukson
DARPA — Lawrence Dubois, Ph.D.; Robert Nowak, Ph.D.

To maintain a technical workshop environment, attendance is limited, and advance registration is required.

Please send Registration Form (below) to:
Ms. Adrien Meskin, ATR, 15210 Dino Drive, Burtonsville, MD 20866-1172
or fax to Adrien at (301) 394-3916.

A packet of registration materials including hotel information, airport, and agenda will be sent upon receipt. The registration fee is $100.00. You have a choice of paying at the workshop or including a check with your registration form. Make checks payable to ATR/Battery Workshop.

The workshop will be held at the Hampton Inn-Burlington/Colchester. A block of rooms has been reserved for all participants at the Government per diem rate for both single and double rooms. For reservations call 1-800-HAMPTON and refer to reservation code 5th Battery Workshop.

For further information, contact Adrien at the following: email–; phone–(301) 989-2499; and fax (301)989-8000.










5th Workshop for Battery Exploratory Development
June 30-July 3, 1997
Burlington, Vermont

Monday, June 30
9:00-1:00 Registration
1:00 Opening Remarks Peter Keller, NSWC Carderock
1:05 Welcome James Barnes, NSWC Carderock
1:15 Introduction of Keynote Speaker
Stanley James, NSWC Carderock
1:20 Lithium and Lithium-ion Polymer Batteries: Status andOutlook
Bruno Scrosati, University La Sapienza


Organization and Battery Program

2:00 Navy — Carl Mueller, Patricia Smith, NSWC Carderock
2:40 Army — Robert Hamlen, CECOM; Sol Gilman, ARL
3:20 Break
3:30 Air Force — Richard Marsh, Wright Laboratory; Dan Radzykewycz,
Phillips Lab
4:10 DARPA — Robert Nowak, DARPA
4:40 Adjourn
6:30 Buffet Dinner

Tuesday, July 1

8:00 Registration
8:25 Opening Remarks Peter Keller, NSWC Carderock

Secondary Battery Technical Presentations

8:30 New Generation of Silver Zinc Batteries for Navy Vehicles
Roberto Serenyi, Yardney Technical Products, Inc.
8:55 Nickel/Metal Hydride Development
Air Force Nickel/Metal Hydride Battery Development
Steve Vukson, USAF Wright Laboratory
Bipolar Nickel/Metal Hydride Battery
Martin Klein, Electro Energy, Inc.
9:30 Rechargeable Lithium/Copper Chloride Battery Development
Fred Dampier, Lithium Energy Associates, Inc.
10:00 Break
10:15 Affordable Batteries for Undersea Vehicles (Lithium/Cobalt
Charles Kelly, Alliant Techsystems
10:45 Advanced Lithium Batteries for Underwater Vehicles
Synthesis of a High Energy Density Manganese Oxide Cathode
Alex Shiao, Maxpower, Inc.
Electrode Fabrications for High Energy Density and
High Rate Capability Rechargeable Lithium Systems
Kirakodu S. Nanjundaswamy, Eagle-Picher Industries Inc.
11:30 Particulate Sol-Gel Synthesis and Characterization of LiMO2
( M = Co, Ni, NixCo1-x ) Powders
Prashant Kumpta, Carnegie Mellon University
12:00 Lunch
2:00 Synthesis and Properties of Sol-Gel Derived Electrode
and Electrolyte Materials
Bruce Dunn, UCLA
2:30 Polymer Gel Electrolytes
Shyam Argade, Technochem Company
3:00 Break
3:15 Polymer Battery Technology Reinvestment Program
Recent Developments in the Ultralife Solid State SystemTMBattery
Edward Cuellar, Ultralife Batteries, Inc.
High Capacity Lithium Ion Solid Polymer Battery Development
Vincent Teofilo, Lockheed Martin Missles and Space
Flexible Manufacturing/Rapid Prototying of
Lithium Ion Polymer Batteries
David Roller, Alliant Techsystems
4:00 SAFT Li-ion Battery Development Program
N. Raman, SAFT America Inc.
4:45 Adjourn

Wednesday, July 2, 1997

8:00 Registration
8:25 Opening Remarks
Peter Keller, NSWC Carderock
8:30 Cathode Materials for Lithium Ion
William Smyrl, U of Minnesota
9:00 Cr (III)-modified LiMn2O4 Intercalation Materials for
Li Rechargeable Batteries
Rick Howard, Covalent Associates, Inc.
9:30 Low-cost, Lightweight Rechargeable Lithium Ion Batteries
Grant Ehrlich, Yardney Technical Products, Inc.
9:45 Low Temperature Electrolytes Formulated for Li-ion
Battery Applications
Yair Ein-Eli, Covalent Associates, Inc.
10:00 Break
10:15 Development of Large Li-ion Batteries for Aircraft
and Spacecraft Applications
Lynn Marcoux, BlueStar Advanced Technology Corporation
10:45 BB-X590 Battery Development for U.S. Army Applications
David Fouchard, Rayovac Corp.
11:15 Lithium-Ion 8 Ah Prismatic Cells for Navy UnderwaterApplications
Chris Castledine, Rayovac Corp.
11:45 Lunch
1:45 Ambient Temperature Rechargeable Lithium Ion BatteryTechnology
Thomas Reddy, Yardney Technical Products, Inc.
2:15 High Energy Lithium/Metal Disulfide Rechargeable Batteries
for Undersea Propulsion
Nicholas Papadakis, Northrup Grumman Corp.
2:45 Advanced Development Program for Lightweight
Rechargeable “AA” Zinc-Air Battery
Alexander Karpinski, Yardney Technical Products, Inc.
3:00 Break

Primary Battery Technical Presentations

3:10 Primary Battery Introduction
Peter Keller, NSWC Carderock
3:15 Power for Army Munitions
Allan Goldberg, ARL
3:30 Directions in Thermal Battery Research
John Erbacher, GRC International, Inc.
3:45 Development of a Thermal Battery with Novel Electrochemistry
Shyam Argade, Technochem Company
4:15 Development of High Rate Primary Zinc-Air Cylindrical Cells
Joseph Passaniti, Rayovac Corp.
4:30 Adjourn

Thursday, July 3, 1997

8:00 Registration
8:25 Opening Remarks
Peter Keller, NSWC Carderock
8:30 Development Status of Six Kilowatt Four Hour Sonobuoy Thermal
Nicholas Shuster, Northrop Grumman Corp.
9:00 Development of Lithium/Carbon Monofluoride Cells for Navy
Daniel Rohde, Rayovac Corp.
9:30 21st Century Land Warrior Li/MnO2 Pouch Battery
James Drass, Power Conversion, Inc.
10:00 Break
10:15 Advanced Primary Battery Development at BlueStar
Advanced Technology Corp
Lynn Marcoux, BlueStar Advanced Technology Corp
10:45 High Energy Density Ultrasafe LiMNO2, Pouch Cell
William Hoge, Ultralife Batteries, Inc.
11:15 Adjourn

HYSTOR-Nickel Hydrogen Battery

Subject: UFTO Note — HYSTOR-Nickel Hydrogen Battery
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 1996 13:13:19 -0700
From: Ed Beardsworth
| * UFTO * Edward Beardsworth * Consultant
| 951 Lincoln Ave. tel 415-328-5670
| Palo Alto CA 94301-3041 fax 415-328-5675
This press release came out today. They’re making good progress in the EV field, but my own view is that they could be terrifically valuable in stationary applications.

UFTO first mentioned Ergenics in December 1995, repeated in “DU 1.0”.

Ergenics Demonstrates Advanced Electric Vehicle Battery

RINGWOOD, N.J., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ via Individual Inc. — Ergenics announced today that it has achieved a major milestone in its rechargeable battery development program with the demonstration of its first Hy-Stor(TM) multi-cell bipolar advanced battery for electric vehicles. The outstanding performance of the Hy-Stor battery is made possible by coupling the established know-how of high energy storage density of metal hydrides with the unmatched high cycle life capabilities of nickel-hydrogen batteries, which have been used successfully in orbiting satellites for over two decades.

The Hy-Stor battery offers safety, performance and economic advantages over lead-acid, nickel cadmium and nickel metal hydride batteries. Ergenics is initially targeting its application to the market for electric and hybrid electric vehicles, where it provides much longer cycle life, much greater range between charge cycles, a greater temperature range of operation and substantial cost efficiencies.

Unlike space batteries, which store their required hydrogen in pressurized containers, the Hy-Stor battery stores its hydrogen, in even higher densities, in a chemical bond with powdered metal at ambient temperatures and ambient, or slightly lower, pressures, thereby eliminating the safety hazards associated with highly pressurized gas tanks, etc. Furthermore, the manufacture of the Hy-Stor battery is a very “clean” process, as is its subsequent operation. Since it involves no heavy metals or toxic substances, it is environmentally friendly.

The Hy-Stor battery will provide an electric vehicle with more than double than the range between recharges of currently available lead acid batteries and 20% greater range than nickel metal hydride batteries, at equivalent levels of acceleration performance. At the same time, the Hy-Stor battery will retain its stored energy when not in use, i.e., it will not “self discharge” as happens with other types of batteries when idle, and will last far longer, longer than the average life of an automobile today, due to its extraordinarily high cycle life. Hence, its overall economics should prove most compelling.

Ergenics, believes that, eventually, the hybrid electric vehicle will prove to be the most popular and, indeed, effective means of achieving energy saving and pollution control objectives. It will have a base load, highly efficient internal combustion engine, and use a battery for purposes of acceleration and to store power from regenerative braking. In that case, the Hy-Stor battery should prove an ideal application with its life of 2,000 cycles at 100% discharge, 100,000 cycles at 15% discharge and high power pulse capacity.

Ergenics’ Vice President for Research & Development, Mark Golben, comments, “This milestone is the final step leading us to fabrication of a full size electric vehicle battery.” With cutting edge innovative technology, Ergenics has been granted over 25 U.S. patents and corresponding foreign patents. Privately owned, Ergenics, Inc., with its headquarters and principal manufacturing operation in northern New Jersey, is a world leader in the development and commercialization of metal hydride technology.
CONTACT: Philip A. Burghart, Senior Vice President, Ergenics, Inc.
201-962-4480, or fax, 201-962-4325

Bulletin #21

UFTO Bulletin #21 April 29, 1996

To: UFTO Members: . . in this issue: . . . . . .

Tampa Meeting EdF Project Employee Patents DOE Workshop

This will be a quick note, to be followed up in more detail later in the month, since I’m leaving town tomorrow April 30 for a week (see item 3 below).


I hope you and your company representatives found both meetings to be useful and productive. I know I did. Copies of any trip reports or notes would be much appreciated.

One key bit of guidance I got was that email is working well for UFTO, so I should emphasize sending materials that way–which is why this Bulletin is coming to you this way.
2. WELCOME A NEW MEMBER: Sierra Pacific Power Co., in Reno NV joined UFTO. Bob Balzar is our point of contact, and he can be reached at 702-689-4028. (See the new UFTO member list handed out in Tampa.)
3. One of the major departments in the R&D part of Electricite de France has agreed to a proposal I submitted to them to investigate their R&D portfolio, to get a sense of what they have to offer and how it could be communicated. The sheer size of EdF’s programs plus the fact that their work is primarily focused on electric utility needs means that we can be sure to find a treasure trove of technology.

While this project is separate and apart from UFTO, I anticipate benefits to you as UFTO members, since I’ve positioned you as the “test audience” for EdF technology information. I’ll keep you posted. I’ll be traveling to EdF in Paris, leaving Tuesday April 30 and back here in the office on May 9. (Don’t be too envious–it’ll be a lot of hard work and long hours, honest!)
4. Texas Utilities wants a survey done on Employee Invention/Patents policies and procedures, across utilities and more importantly other technology companies. Are you sufficiently interested in participating to want to kick in some resources (e.g., UFTO consulting time or dollars)? This could work like the “benchmarking” study I did earlier this year, or it could be a full-fledged UFTO deliverable. Let me know!

5. DOE Office of Industrial Technology is sponsoring a 1/2 day conference this Thursday May 2 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm entitled “Electric Utility Restructuring: Impact on Industries of the Future” in which experts will describe the coming changes and what they mean to the seven industries in OIT’s Industries of the Future Program. Speakers include John Anderson, Elcon, Richard O’Neill, FERC, and several representative of gas turbine manufacturers (on opportunities in DU). It’s open to anyone, so if someone can get to it, enjoy! Let us know what you learn.

If I get the agenda via email, I’ll foward it to you. In the meantime, For more information, call Stan Blazewicz , 202-586-4679
6. The Utility Battery Group is holding its next meeting in Vernon Calif, on May 15-17. You should be on their mailing list. The agenda brochure should arrive in the mail any day now.

Contact Paula Taylor, Energetics, 410-290-0370 or 301-564-8017.

The new membership policy has been established–companies can join for only $1000. Let me know asap if you want me to attend for you.


Au Revoir, Mes Amis!


Sincerely yours,

Edward Beardsworth, Consultant

951 Lincoln Ave___________Tel 415-328-5670___Fax 415-328-5675

Palo Alto CA 94301________EMAIL: