SEABROOK, N.H., Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- SustainX, Inc., developer of an industry-leading, transformative technology for utility-scale energy storage using compressed air, today announced that it has received a 7th U.S. patent that provides additional technology options for its isothermal compressed-air system, including variants allowing either hydraulics or a mechanical crankshaft.
The crankshaft design is a mature, simple, reliable technology, has low frictional losses making it very efficient, and can transfer large amounts of power, which supports the construction of SustainX's, megawatt-scale storage systems.
The new patent award comes at the same time SustainX was named as a "2011 Global Cleantech 100" company, a list of leading businesses created by the Cleantech Group after a review of more than 4,200 clean technology companies around the world. The Global Cleantech 100 list highlights the promise of private, clean technology companies, focusing on those companies which are most likely to make the most significant market impact over the next five to 10 years. Zip Car and Digital Lumens, both also New England companies, were named on the list last year.
"The patent award is an important milestone for SustainX because it combines the mature, reliable technology of crankshafts with our patented heat-exchange methods and allows us to design energy-storage systems that are more powerful, compact, and efficient than ever," said Dax Kepshire, Vice President and co-founder of the company. "This patent (No. 12/879,595) expands the types of systems that SustainX can develop, providing more market options."
A SustainX isothermal (constant-temperature) energy-storage system removes heat from air being compressed for storage and adds heat to air being expanded to generate electricity. This prevents the temperature extremes that can occur with high-pressure compression and expansion of air. The four-year-old company has already received several US patents for core elements of its technology, completed a pilot project, and is on track to demonstrate its first megawatt-scale, grid-connected system in collaboration with AES Energy Storage under an award from the Energy Storage Program at the US Department of Energy.
SustainX is working in the emerging market for utility grid-scale energy storage being created by both the growth in renewable generation and the need to make conventional power plants as efficient as possible. SustainX aims to be an alternative to costly "peaker" plants that burn natural gas or other polluting fuels. With its energy storage technology, wind and solar power, for example, can be stored for later use by utilities when the wind slows or the sun doesn't shine.
SustainX was founded in 2007 by engineers from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. It has received funding from the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Energy Storage Program at the US Department of Energy, as well as equity investments from top-tier investors Polaris Venture Partners, Rockport Capital, Cadent Energy Partners, General Catalyst Partners, and GE Energy Financial Services.
SustainX has received seven US patents to date on core aspects of its technology, solidifying its leading position in the field of compressed-air energy storage. The patents cover a wide range of isothermal systems, including both existing SustainX systems and those in development. The four-year-old company is on track to demonstrate its first megawatt-scale, grid-connected system in collaboration with AES Energy Storage, LLC under an award from the Energy Storage Program at the US Department of Energy.
SustainX's transformative energy storage technology, which it terms ICAES™ (for Isothermal Compressed-Air Energy Storage), uses no fuel. The company's competitive advantages stem from its patented proprietary thermodynamic and control innovations, a design centered on mature industrial components, and reliance on ambient-temperature, nontoxic working fluids.
SustainX ICAES is targeting the emerging market for bulk (grid-scale) energy storage being created by the growth in renewable generation, and aims to disrupt costly "peaker" plants that burn natural gas or other polluting fuels.
Media Contact: Larry Carpman SustainX, 617-338-6601, firstname.lastname@example.org
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