Guess What the First Application Will Be
Prepare to be played. The Swiss Micro Finance firm, Micro Finance Investment AG, knows how to use new media. The are now feeding out tiny tidbits of bait to generate a whirlwind of interest in what promises to be a fantastic breakthrough in battery technology. A few days ago, the company hinted that they are the money behind an unnamed firm or consortium that will be taking their breakthrough 1 MW battery on tour starting mid-2010. Hot on the heels of that teaser comes the press release on the first joint venture contract for use of the new battery technology. You will never guess what indispensable need will be filled by this technological advance.1 MW Battery Breakthrough Mystery
So should we take this seriously or not? In addition to a 1 MW battery breakthrough, Micro Finance is promising to double battery life, and to offer a battery pack management system capable of storing and distributing up to 100 MW of power. If true, this would revolutionize solar and wind power applications, where the storage of power generated only when the wind blows or the sun shines is a serious issue in delivering a steady-state energy supply. From the press release:
These large scale batteries developed in partnership with world renowned companies attain a competitive advantage both commercially and technologically, by achieving a higher power and energy density, as well as improved performance under cold temperatures. The employment of Nano technology further enhances the cycle life doubling the current cycle life of available Lithium batteries.
BusinessGreen quotes the chief financial officer of Micro Finance, Andreas Stamatiou:
A battery of this scale is perfectly suited for renewable energy such as wind farms and the proposed Destertec project to build solar farms in North Africa."
Joint Venture will Electrify the Oceans
So can you guess which developing nation or carbon-spewing industrial economy will benefit first from the promise of this new technology? Need a hint? The first joint venture partner is Leopard Yachts. Yes, coming soon to a corporate day charter near you: the peak of human energy management talent. Along with that plum, Micro Finance Investment AG gives away the "secret identity" of their subsidiary firm: "After excessive interest from industry and the media, Micro Finance Investment AG reveals today its battery company Nation-E." (Can interest in a finance project be "excessive"?)
1 MW Battery Already in Production
But how not to take this seriously? A few battery manufacturers have hinted at such capacities in the pipeline. Nation-E is making tour dates to show off the real thing, albeit in limited edition. An estimated 18 months would be required to move the batteries into full production, assuming the introduction meets with wide appeal.
Will the mystery manufacturer be a battery company we already know and follow? Perhaps the super-secretive EEStor? Or is there a new force at work? Can Micro Finance deliver on the excitement being generated? We wait with baited breath.