After years of research and development, electricity storage company Elestor is at the verge of introducing its revolutionary hydrogen bromine flow battery to the market. This technology is considered the next step in low-cost electricity storage at scale. New steps are possible thanks to “a multi-million investment” by Koolen Industries. In addition, EIT InnoEnergy, early day investor of Elestor, co-invested in this round and “increased their invested capital considerably”, according to a press release by Elestor.
From all different chemistries that theoretically could be used to design a flow battery, Elestor has selected hydrogen and bromine as active materials. This leads to several advantages, the company says on its website: “The choice for hydrogen and bromine is purely driven by Elestor’s mission to build a storage system with the lowest possible storage costs per kWh. While taking full advantage of the typical flow battery features, this mission cannot be accomplished without inexpensive chemistry. Hydrogen and bromine are abundantly available on a global scale. The supply is not restricted to geographical availability, and cannot be dominated by a small group of suppliers – unlike Lithium, Cobalt and Vanadium.”
The agreement with Koolen Industries forms an important milestone in the development of Elestor, paving the way for “a growth phase in anticipation of the commercial launch of Elestor’s storage systems”.
Kees Koolen, the owner of clean energy conglomerate Koolen Industries and former CEO of booking.com and early investor in Uber, says that with Elestor, another storage technology has been added to the group of companies that he invests in. “Elestor’s storage systems are designed for large scale stationary applications, whereby the storage costs per kWh are impressively low. Since the technologies we invest in are complementary and serve a different range of applications, we are together able to deliver turnkey solutions for virtually every demand, in all markets and on a very large scale. The unique Flow Battery technology from Elestor fits extremely well in that strategy.”
“The logical subsequent step is to build a giga-factory for large scale production of HBr flow batteries”
Wiebrand Kout (Founder & CTO of Elestor), expects that Koolen’s investment can help to ensure that renewable energy is always available for everyone, reliable and safe: “Storage against low cost is essential to fulfil this mission and this is where both companies find each other. The Elestor battery is revolutionary because it uses very low-cost active materials. Koolen Industries has access to connected technologies. Together, these concepts are key to making renewable energy affordable.”
CEO Guido Dalessi states that “in gearing up for series production, we need to increase investments in staff, test facilities, production engineering and automation. The logical subsequent step is to build a giga-factory for large scale production of HBr flow batteries. Teaming up with Koolen Industries is essential to successfully roll out these plans.”
Elestor plans to deliver their first hydrogen container to the municipal yard in Emmeloord, the Netherlands. Also, they will deliver two systems to locations in Germany and one to an island off the Norwegian coast.
In 2017, Elestor won the European IDTechEx award for ‘Best Technical Development within Energy Storage’. The jury of this award consisted of Fraunhofer Institut, Berlin University and Toyota Motors Europe.