Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Zinc Air Inc. Captures Zinc Fuel Cell Technology

A Montana company has found a low-cost, environmentally safe solution to power electric vehicles for generations to come, thanks to a technology developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Kalispell, Mont.-based Zinc Air, Inc. (ZAI) has exclusive rights from LLNL for the zinc air fuel cell (U.S. Patent 5,434,020) invented by John Cooper, a retired LLNL chemist.

Zinc Air technology is now seeing life because of the anticipated demand for efficient, low-cost alternatives to lithium for electric vehicle battery production. One of the many benefits of this technology is that it enables continuous fuel feed while the system is under load, making it ideal for electronic vehicle and fleet power supply.

This technology on a small scale also may provide portable power as a generator (1-3 kW) or can be scaled up to provide enough power to operate high-use fleet vehicles and buses. ZAI is in discussions with multiple fleet vehicle manufacturers to develop products for their immediate needs. The company is developing and testing their technologies along with full-scale field testing ongoing.

ZAI is a privately held corporation headquartered in Kalispell, MT. It is focused on the development of sustainable energy storage solutions for transportation and smart grid applications intended to provide high levels of efficiency at low costs. ZAI is also committed to providing the “greenest” battery technology using zinc chemistry, which is abundant, inexpensive and environmentally friendly. In addition to the Zinc Air Fuel Cell, ZAI is in the process of developing a grid-scale storage technology to provide the next generation of batteries for smart grid applications, which will allow for the integration of wind energy and other renewable generation. For more information on ZAI, please contact the company by email at info@zincairinc.com.

 Zinc in use in bus fleet

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Zinc Air Inc Examines the Presidential Candidates and Energy Efficiency

Zinc Air Inc. has recently been named a recipient of the Business Innovators Award for developing technologies in renewable energy resources and energy storage systems. Zinc Air is a company to check out and join, if energy storage and delivery for our future is your concern. Our political leaders are not as clear with their messages.

Below are some quotes on energy efficiency from President Barack Obama and Republican front-runner Mitt Romney. I’ll start with Romney since his stand is less clear, at least to me. Romney pushed a green agenda while Governor of Massachusetts, but recently attacked renewable energy as “imaginary.” He doesn’t, however, appear to direct the same criticism at energy efficiency.

Romney on energy efficiency
“I also want to see us become more energy efficient. I’m told that we use almost twice as much energy per person as does a European, and more like three times as much as does a Japanese citizen. We could do a lot better. I’d like to see our vehicles, and our homes, and our systems of insulation and so forth become far more efficient. I believe that we have a role in trying to encourage that to happen.”Think Progress, June 6, 2011.
When he was governor of Massachusetts, Romney proposed a four step energy plan, which began with increasing energy efficiency for homes, businesses, state buildings, and vehicles.
In contrast, Romney pushes an agenda of energy production, not savings, on his campaign website. He criticizes Obama’s green energy programs, and calls for alternative energy funding to be used on basic research. The energy issues page does not mention energy efficiency or conservation.

Obama on energy efficiency
“The easiest way to save money is to waste less energy,” – Obama, January 24, 2012, State of the Union Address.
Obama has been unabashedly pro-energy efficiency. As I reported in February, Obama’s 2013 budget won accolades from energy efficiency advocates because it called for about $1.2 billion in spending for energy efficiency.
In addition, Obama’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future pushes energy efficiency across all sectors: buildings, homes, factories, vehicles, and calls for export of U.S. energy efficiency technologies.

Still, in the “Energy and Environment” section of his campaign website, energy production takes up most of the ink — wind, solar, oil and clean coal — as part of his “all of the above strategy.” The site includes a section on the fuel economy standards Obama negotiated with car manufacturers.
In Congress, Republicans and Democrats have both pushed energy efficiency legislation. It remains to be seen if the resource can remain free of the political fray in this election, where candidates seem determined to disagree on everything.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Zinc Air, Inc. is a Recipient In First Annual Innovative Business Awards

Columbia Falls, MT – Zinc Air, Inc. (ZAI), an emerging global player in the field of energy storage, is pleased to announce today that it will be recognized by Governor Brian Schweitzer with an innovative business award at the first annual Governor’s Innovation Day and Awards Dinner to be held August 28th at Montana State University. 

“We are very pleased to call Montana home and thrilled that Governor Schweitzer has chosen to recognize the hard work we’ve been doing,” said ZAI Co-founder and CEO Dave Wilkins. “The technology we are developing will transform people’s lives across the globe by providing them access to cheaper, cleaner energy. We have assembled a world-class team here and we are all excited about the impact we can have. Montana is very much in our blood and is reflected in our dedication and the quality of work we do.”

These are just a few companies that exemplify the opportunities businesses have in Montana.  When you could be doing business anywhere in the world, why not do business in Montana with our low taxes, world-class schools, and a quality of life that is unmatched?,” asked Governor Brian Schweitzer.

The Governor’s Innovation Day and Awards Dinner will feature a panel of high level business leaders and investors, and tours of Montana State University’s cutting-edge labs and research centers concluding with the Governor’s Innovation Awards Dinner where selected Montana companies will be recognized for their excellence in innovation and the contributions their companies have made to Montana’s economy. 

“Montana’s innovation economy is on fire. Companies across the state are growing and creating jobs in new, innovative ways,” said Governor Schweitzer.  “This is a great opportunity for all companies to come together, network, and have a conversation about Montana’s growing innovation economy.”
Zinc Air, Inc. is developing grid-level energy storage solutions. Founded in 2009, and based on ten previous years of research, it is now commercializing systems for mega-watt applications. ZAI has assembled a world-class team of experts to deliver complete solutions to our customers. The ZAI solution is safe, cost effective and scalable to meet the needs of today’s ever changing energy landscape. To learn more, visit www.zincairinc.com

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Zinc Air Battery and the Zinc Economy: A Virtuous Circle

Why the Automotive Industry Must Adopt Zinc-Air Technology to overcome Peak Oil and Global Warming
A Policy White Paper
Executive Summary
Oil Demand must be reduced greatly over the next 10 years in line with declining oil supplies and to reduce CO2 emissions. The only practicable way to achieve this is to electrify Road Transport and replace petroleum with Electric Propulsion. The Lithium Ion battery has become the prime candidate to power electrified road vehicles in the near future.
Lithium supply and future production will be far from adequate to sustain global electric vehicle production. The current focus on LiIon batteries to the exclusion of all other batteries is a grave error that will lead to EV and PHEV production quickly becoming uneconomic due to insufficient Lithium supply.
Instead, the Automotive Industry should adopt the Zinc Air Battery and Fuel Cell technologiesZinc Air Batteries have the highest specific energy and lowest cost of any Electric Vehicle rechargeable battery technology and are therefore well suited for mass market introduction in millions of electric automobiles. The Zinc Air Fuel Cell has even higher specific energy than the ZnAir Battery. The ZnAir Fuel Cell is the only electric propulsion technology that could forseeably permit very quick recharge times comparable to refuelling a conventional vehicle with petrol. Due to its low weight, ZnAir technology is the only viable contender to power large trucks and heavy commercial vehicles which would require batteries 10 times as large as a car. Zinc production is the third or fourth highest of all metals – it is therefore the cheapest and most abundant battery metal and the only metal which can sustain large battery production in the volumes required by the Global Automotive Industry.
Zinc Air batteries must be equipped with a filter to absorb CO2 from the entry air. Therefore vehicles equipped with this technology can be designed to permanently reduce atmospheric CO2 levels, contrary to conventional vehicles.
In light of the logistical, temporal, environmental and financial constraints with which the world is faced, National Governments should prioritise the development of Zinc Air Battery powered automobiles and the development of a refuelling infrastructure for Zinc Air Fuel Cell powered commercial and utility vehicles. A “Zinc Economy” using already available and simple technologypresents a viable, practicable and quickly implementable path for society to transition from oil power to renewable electric power, to maintain the essential transport infrastructure on which society depends and lay a foundation for further more advanced developments in Electric Propulsion technology to follow.