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CSE:ZAIR
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Zinc8 Energy advancing innovative battery technology that uses zinc and air as fuel

Snapshot

The company has developed zinc-air flow batteries as an alternative to lithium-ion batteries for use in applications that require long duration, high-capacity storage

Zinc8 Energy Solutions -

Quick facts: Zinc8 Energy Solutions

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CSE:ZAIR

Price: 0.275 CAD

Market Cap: $41.23 m
  • Redefining long-duration energy storage
  • Extensive partner network
  • Experienced management

What Zinc Energy Solutions does:

Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc (CSE:ZAIR) (OTCPINK:MGXRF) (FRA:0E9) is redefining long-duration energy storage, with its low-cost zinc-air battery that offers a 20,000-hour operating life and more than eight hours of storage.

The global rise in electricity sourced from renewable sources such as wind turbines and solar has led to increased demand for advanced batteries that can be used to stabilize intermittent supply.

The company developed the zinc-air batteries as an alternative to lithium-ion batteries for use in applications that require long-duration, high-capacity storage.

The batteries can store current from wind or solar and can be deployed in commercial settings, or as an industrial backup to replace diesel generators. The total addressable market in the commercial and industrial space in the US alone is US$350 billion.

Here's how it works: Energy is stored in the form of zinc particles, similar in size to grains of sand. When the system is delivering power, the zinc particles combine with oxygen drawn from the surrounding air. When the system is recharging, zinc particles are regenerated, and oxygen is returned to the surrounding air.

The technology already has 20 issued US patents with four more pending. The system is designed to deliver power in the range of between 20 kilowatts (kWh) and 50 megawatts (MWh) and energy storage between 120kWh and 1GWh over extended periods.

Energy in the system is also stored in electrolytes, which is limited only by the size of the tank and the amount of fuel provided, whereas in lithium batteries, storage within electrodes is limited by the size and number of electrodes. The system also has no fire hazard potential, unlike lithium-ion batteries, and is cheaper to run.  

How is it doing:

Zinc8 kicked off 2021 by raising more than $15 million in a private placement. The money will be used for further research and development and the commercialization of its patented zinc-air battery/storage system as well as general working capital requirements.

In addition, the company also announced recently that outstanding warrants were exercised from previous private placements throughout 2020, providing it with more than $3 million in proceeds. 

The capital increase comes after the company leased a 16,000 square-foot testing and assembly facility. Zinc8 intends to build five Zinc-air batteries to complete the certification process and advance the production schedule by establishing pilot production capability. 

As the company advances its technology, it recently revealed plans to deploy its Zinc-air Energy Storage System (ZESS) at the University at Buffalo (UB).  

This collaboration with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) marks the first long-duration use in New York State -- a development that will support further integration of renewable power sources into the state grid. The state has an energy storage goal of 3GW by 2030 and supports a nation-leading commitment of 100% electricity from zero-carbon emission sources by 2040.

Zinc8 won the contract to accelerate the new technology via the Innovation Challenge, a partnership between the NYPA and the Urban Future Lab at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering. 

The selection of the UB site will allow for the demonstration of a 100kWh/1MW Zinc-Air Battery Energy Storage System to facilitate the wider use of renewable resources. The primary functions of the deployment will be to provide peak shaving capability by leveling out peaks in electricity consumption, increase campus resiliency, and assist in training campus utility staff with new energy storage technology.

Also, it signed recently a $200,000 contract with one of the leading cloud providers to demonstrate its patented Zinc-air system for validation. Zinc8's technology will be tested for resilient backup application, as the 10-hour kilowatt/80-kilowatt-hour unit will undergo required assessment tests agreed upon by the cloud provider to address its unique use-cases in data centers.

Zinc8 is also in a deal to deliver its innovative zinc-air system to a ground-breaking low-energy architectural project in British Columbia. The system is designed to deliver power in the range of 20kW to 1MW or more and energy of 160kWh to 8MWh or more -- and will be deployed at the ‘75 house, which is currently being built on an estate in Surrey. 

The company has also signed an agreement in principle with Australian engineering firm SmartConsult (The Wyer Company Pty Ltd). The companies have agreed to explore joint-venture (JV) projects linked to the deployment of Zinc8's ZESS. 

The agreement focuses on deploying the system at aquatic centers, remote mines, and behind-the-meter applications using SmartConsult's extensive relations with a broad range of energy users, energy systems suppliers, and a pipeline of customers in Australia.

In another similar tie-up, Zinc8 and India-based manufacturer Vijai Electricals Ltd have agreed to explore JV projects in that power-hungry country using ZESS as well as the potential to manufacture components of the battery system in India.

Inflection points:

  • More deals and projects
  • Progress on New York activities
  • Expect full commercialization of battery/storage system in early 2023

What the boss says:

"As a result of the successful financing in the first quarter, we have been able to drive a number of initiatives that get us steps closer to commercial production," said CEO Ron MacDonald in a statement. 

"As evidenced by the subsequent events to the quarter, we have new customers, an accelerated build program going on for several batteries at the new facility and additional business development opportunities on the horizon. We have specific plans and timelines to certify and test zinc-air energy storage systems over the course of this year with additional catalysts and related milestones we expect to announce along the way."

MacDonald added: "We have a strong balance sheet and understand that we are in the early innings for the transformation of the energy market. We believe that long-duration energy storage solutions will play a significant role during this transformation and that fact has been reinforced by the growing demand in the energy storage market."

Contact the author: patrick@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow him on Twitter @PatrickMGraham

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