Exergy, a startup from the University of Tokyo, signed a contract with Yaskawa Environmental Energy in January 2019 to develop a frequency converter to match their proprietary-technology-based proton battery, which is used for a next-generation storage system. These batteries function as a type of a booster to a grid system to provide adjustment in case of sudden fluctuations.
The Switch frequency converter is designed to provide a reaction time in the range of tens of milliseconds to compensate for grid variations in frequency and voltage. The converter enables Exergy’s energy storage system (ESS) to support the grid for 2 minutes at a 1 MW capacity (charge or absorb) with the fastest time for grid fluctuations.
Typically, power drops from renewable energy are covered by conventional generators. Ramping up a thermal power station takes up to 15 minutes. Exergy’s fast-reacting power batteries keep the grid stable. Unlike a lithium battery that can charge or discharge for a long time, proton batteries have a very short and rapid response time of about 2 minutes.
Exergy battery’s maximum power output is up to 57 greater than that of a regular battery.
Unique business model
Exergy plans to lease its solution, so the end user does not need to pay for a large asset. This means that Exergy is in the business of providing energy capacity – not supplying batteries. The company’s business development is focused on the European market, where renewable energy solutions are growing at a rapid pace.