Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Paper Battery Company Wins NYSERDA Award

The Paper Battery Company (Troy, NY) received a $1 million award from The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to continue development of a fully printed energy-storage device that is as thin as a piece of paper. NYSERDA's funding will be matched by the company and private investors.

Paper Battery is a three-year-old company located at the Russell Sage College INVEST Incubator. It has designed an ultracapacitor that it claims to be thinner than any product currently in production. The firm's first product line is called the PowerPatch, which is a patternable device, scalable in voltage, energy and power in a single package. The device uses a cellulose-based material to contain and separate the various components, and its thinness and flexibility allows it to fit around the confines of tightly-packed electronic equipment. It also integrates directly into system structural elements such as printed circuit board layers, reducing component count and opening new applications for power distribution and management.

Ultracapacitors are energy-storage devices that give off short bursts of energy and, in one application, are used by computer manufacturers to provide emergency power to allow equipment to finish processing and save critical data changes in the event of a power outage or other problem. The technology also has a variety of clean-energy applications, including hybrid electric cars (for rapid acceleration and regenerative braking), flexible solar panels, and other products that require high power and long charge/discharge cycle lives.

"Ultracapacitors serve a vital role in the clean-energy economy, and Paper Battery's product design make it unique in this growing market," said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. "NYSERDA is proud to invest in a company that sits at the exciting intersection of nanotechnology, advanced materials and energy storage." Paper Battery's design captures 30 percent more energy than other ultracapacitors, according to Shreefal Mehta, the company's President and CEO. The product is also safer for the environment because it uses less metals than energy storage devices currently being manufactured. "Thanks to NYSERDA's funding, the company will be able to retool print stations and build a pilot line in order to meet customer requests for samples," said Mehta. "This funding will allow the company to position itself for scaling to commercial production, growth and job creation."

The company, which currently employs four people, expects to hire up to 10 new employees by this time next year, with plans to start commercial manufacturing in 2013. In terms of business strategy, the goal is to positive cash flow by 2015 through direct sales to OEMs as on-board integrated power modules. According to an executive summary on the company's website, technical discussions and tests are ongoing with market leading OEMs. A co-development R&D contract has also been signed with a leading medical diagnostic device company for wearable diagnostic sensor patches. Development partnerships for large consumer portable electronics and for specialty military and medical markets will be explored with commercial partners. The production and technology platform will mature with partnerships for large volume consumer markets (>$500M/yr) and larger format structural sheeting energy storage in transportation and grid applications, according to the company.

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