Here's a new battery technology that might be good for evening out solar power production: the Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI) battery. Some such storage method will eventually become good enough to do away with most of the arguments about solar power fluctuating with time of day and weather. Meanwhile, getting on with a smart grid would go ahead and do that.
When we got our new solar panels we did not buy batteries with them, because enough batteries for 12 kilowatts of solar would have been quite expensive. Our old panels do have batteries backing up their 3 kilowatts, so when the grid is out we still have that much power, which can keep us up (refrigerator, lights, computers, Internet) for 10 hours even at night, and longer if the sun is shining. We're waiting for better electricity storage methods. Maybe AHI is it, or maybe something else will be.
Somebody thinks AHI is promising. PR dated 19 June 2012: Horizon Technology Finance Leads $15 Million Venture Loan Facility for Aquion Energy,
Horizon Technology Finance Corporation (Nasdaq:HRZN) ("Horizon"), a leading specialty finance company that provides secured loans to venture capital and private equity backed development-stage companies in the technology, life sciences, healthcare information and services, and clean-tech industries, today announced that Horizon and Silicon Valley Bank ("SVB"), a subsidiary of SVB Financial Group, have provided a $15 million venture loan facility to Aquion Energy, Inc. ("Aquion"), a developer and manufacturer of Aqueous Hybrid Ion ("AHI") batteries and energy storage systems.
Under the terms of the venture loan facility, Horizon provided a commitment of up to $10 million to Aquion and SVB made a commitment of up to $5 million. The funds provided under the venture loan facility will be used to support Aquion's continued growth.
"We are delighted to lead this venture debt facility for Aquion," said Gerald A. Michaud, President of Horizon. "This is an exciting opportunity for Horizon to partner with this unique, pioneering clean-tech company entering global commercialization, and we look forward to playing a key role as Aquion moves into full scale manufacturing of its AHI batteries."
We'll see how this plays out.
PS: Owed to John Pate.