The fluctuation of supply and demand of renewable energies is one of the major challenges of the energy transition: That electricity can be used even when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing. Efficient and affordable storage technologies are elementary for the future, because energy-intensive industries such as the chemical, steel, building materials and paper industries spend more than 17 billion euros on energy every year in Germany, according to their own figures. With its decentralized, hydropneumatically operating “pumped storage power plants to go,” the team from Hypnetic in Hanover aims to provide suitable answers.
Classic pumped storage power plants “park” water in a low-lying basin – such as a reservoir – during periods of low energy demand and pump it into a higher basin. If increased power demand occurs during peak power demand periods, the water is released from above and drives turbines that generate electricity. This requires a lot of space and elevation. Instead of using the difference in height of the water – as is usually the case – Hypnetic uses compressed air to store energy. Thanks to the enormous pressure of 350 bar, the system requires only a small amount of water with a high energy storage capacity. A waterfall, for example, would need 3,500 meters of altitude as an energy supplier for the same output. Thus, Hypnetic’s “pumped storage-to-go” delivers relevant amounts of electricity even from the size of a closet and can be used in a decentralized and flexibly scalable manner, regardless of geographical conditions.
“With our AI-based energy storage, energy-intensive industrial companies save costs and increase their supply security at the same time,” says Alexander Börgel, one of the three founders of Hypnetic, describing the benefit of the new energy storage for the market. Companies are expected to use the efficient, modularly scalable and resource-saving hydropneumatic-based energy storage systems to reduce their energy procurement costs by capping peak loads and to improve their image with “green marketing”. And: wind farm operators could sell their energy supply more profitably and contribute to grid stabilization. The Hypnetic storage system uses AI to maximize efficiency and maintenance.
Just a few weeks ago, Alexander Börgel, Niko Dalke and Eugen Zukin from Hypnetic won the special “University & Science” prize with their concept in the Startup-Impuls startup competition. Now the team and its project partner, the Institute for Electrical Energy Systems – Department of Energy Storage Systems at Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH), headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Richard Hanke-Rauschenbach, have been awarded EXIST funding. The startup will receive the generous funding of 130,500 euros for one year starting August 1, 2020 through the EXIST-Gründerstipendium, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the European Social Fund (ESF). The three engineers are currently developing the prototype with support from Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH). Market launch is planned for 2021.
“With high-tech startups, the road to market maturity is often long; it’s impossible for a company to cover it alone. The example of Hypnetic shows: Hanover’s various funding instruments are a perfect fit and accompany all the important steps up to the market,” says Doris Petersen, Managing Director of hannoverimpuls GmbH, delighted about the latest funding commitment.
Hypnetic is supported by starting business, the joint start-up service of Leibniz Universität Hannover and hannoverimpuls GmbH. starting business helps students and academic staff of all faculties to turn innovative ideas into viable business ideas. Hypnetic’s entrepreneurial idea has also already received funding from the Hannover Region as a lighthouse project.
Click here for the source of the article on the homepage of the business development agency hannoverimpuls.
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