North American Clean Energy, 13 September, 2021.
On the eve of The Battery Show this week in Michigan, Urban Electric Power announced that its rechargeable alkaline battery has completed a critical UL testing standard for fire safety, confirming a key advantage over lithium-ion batteries which are susceptible to thermal runaway.
An independent testing laboratory heated a zinc manganese-dioxide cell from Urban Electric Power to over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit (538 degrees Centigrade). The lab reported that “thermal runaway was not achieved,” after being subjected to abuse tests consistent with UL 9540A standard for thermal runaway fire propagation in battery energy storage systems. The same battery cells also passed testing to the UL 1973 standard earlier in the year, covering batteries for use in stationary applications such as for capturing power from PV solar and wind turbine, uninterruptible power supplies, etc.
The tendency of lithium-ion batteries to feed hot-burning, hard-to-extinguish fires has been in the headlines this summer as a grid-scale Tesla Megapack caught fire in Australia and took 150 firefighters four days to put out. Fires in Tesla electric vehicles can take 40 times as much water to put out as a typical car fire, according to firefighters. And last month, Chevrolet recalled every Bolt ever made and recommended that owners meanwhile park them outdoors because of the fire risk.
Urban Electric Power’s chemistry was invented at City College of New York and can now compete for installations in such dense urban environments, as its name suggests — to provide day-to-day reliability, and add resiliency after natural disasters such as Hurricane Ida, without elaborate fire suppression systems that address the thermal runaway issues of other technologies.
In addition to their fire safety advantages, Urban Electric Power’s modular batteries are far more affordable than lithium-ion for residential, commercial, and grid-scale power backup, solar+storage, and microgrid applications. They avoid the use of conflict minerals such as cobalt, which is used in lithium-ion batteries. They remain non-toxic and occupy half the space of comparably-rated lead-acid batteries, which can also reach thermal runaway. And they can replace diesel generators, eliminating noise, emissions, and need for refueling.
Urban Electric Power is the only energy storage company among 20 startups chosen for this year’s Incubatenergy Labs program by the Electric Power Research Institute to partner with top electric utilities; and, the only one among five startups in the F3 Tech innovation accelerator program starting this month.
Urban Electric Power will attend The Battery Show this week in Novi, Michigan, and Avicenne Energy’s BATTERIES 2021 conference at the end of the month in Lyon, France, among other upcoming trade shows.
To learn more about Urban Electric Power’s rechargeable alkaline battery technology, see https://urbanelectricpower.com
To set up an interview with one of its engineers, journalists may contact Peter Kelley at email@example.com, +1 202-270-8831.