's PowerCube is going where few batteries have gone before, storing and providing electrical power (and renewable energy) to utilities, industries, hybrid cars and locomotives.
The New Castle based manufacturer has spent the last seven years developing the revolutionary battery based on patented PbC Technology, a unique system that captures energy and provides short-term storage, including wind and solar generated energy, for utility-scale energy producers.
Axion's PowerCube is a 99% recyclable lead battery that lasts up to four times longer than advanced lead acid batteries and promises improved performance and lower energy costs.
"The missing link has always been storage," explains Tom Granville, CEO. "Without storage, when a wind farm generates power it cannot store, it goes off into space. The same thing happens with solar.
"We respond in microseconds to the need (of industries), allowing plants that run on grid power to switch to battery power. It smoothes out those peaks and valleys and allows industry to function at an even level. If we can plug this gap, they (industries) can shut down turbines, reduce emissions and conserve energy."
Axion, founded in 2003 by nine investors, is based on research initially developed in Toronto, Canada. The company operates two manufacturing plants, one in the former New Castle Battery Company, and employs 90 people. Axion reported revenues of $9 million in 2011 and expects to top $10 million next year, projecting company growth, hiring and expansion.
The system is currently used by one of the largest regional transmission organizations in the world, PJM Interconnection, which services more than 650 companies and 51 million customers.
A recent change in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulations paved the way for the PowerCube's use off the grid, Granville explains. Philadelphia-based Viridity Energy provides the software that manages the use of the PowerCube.
In addition to industrial uses, the PowerCube is targeting the huge, emerging microhybrid car and locomotive market, especially in Europe, says Granville.
"It's exciting for us to find a great work ethic here, people who want to work," says Granville. "Many have suggested that we take the company overseas, but quality control is important to us. For that reason, we plan on growing right where we are."
Source: Tom Granville, Axion Power