Methanol-powered fuel cells are being used to back up a
solar sensing system that gives wind farms data about wind. Wind farms need
information on wind patterns to run their operations. Second Wind markets a
solar-based remote Triton wind sensing system that gives wind farms advanced
data about the wind. To back up the solar system during cloudy periods, Second
Wind partnered with Sirius Integrator to create a backup system of fuel cells
powered by methanol. The backup system can run 60 days or longer with little or
no solar charging. When the sun comes back out, the methanol system shuts off.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
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