Funding to boost renewable energy storage development

Friday, 17 February, 2017

CSIRO offshoot and energy storage company Ecoult has been awarded $4.1 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to support further development and innovation necessary to transition to a renewables-based economy.

The new funding through ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program will enable Ecoult to develop its solar battery monitoring and management systems and extend innovations of the CSIRO-pioneered UltraBattery technology.

Formed in 2007 by the CSIRO and later acquired in 2010 by US-based East Penn Manufacturing, Ecoult aims to use the funding to increase both the utilised battery range of charge and the performance characteristics of UltraBattery energy storage systems and solutions, decreasing cost and increasing competitiveness via improved measurement, understanding and management techniques.

The project will also expand the UltraBattery’s integration across multiple inverter brands and types so it can be paired with a wider range of products. Fleet owners, technicians and end users will all benefit from remote, online access to monitoring and control systems, reducing costs and providing greater visibility of energy consumption, from anywhere, at any time.

This is the second round of funding Ecoult has received from ARENA. The previous funding was used to successfully complete the UltraBattery for both PV Support and the Remote Area Power Systems Project, which led to the creation of the small, kilowatt-scale UltraFlex battery storage device.

John Wood, Ecoult CEO, said, “Energy storage is a fast growing, innovative sector. With ARENA’s new round of funding, it means Ecoult can continue to improve its technology in a way that can effectively shift our dependency on fossil fuel consumption to more effective use of renewable resources.

“Providing cost-effective, grid-scale energy storage solutions, our UltraBattery supports the uptake of renewable energy in Australia and abroad. The combination of its fast charge, power and energy capabilities, lower operating costs, safety, recyclability and high-temperature tolerance makes it a robust technology to withstand the hot Australian climate. These capabilities are particularly significant for key applications in many parts of the developing world.

“Over the past 10 years, since our inception at CSIRO, and through the critical funding from ARENA, our team continues development at pace to change the way people and companies think about energy storage and renewable energy.

“We’re always looking at how to enhance and improve our technology through its entire life cycle and excited about what this could mean for energy storage in the future,” said Wood.

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