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June 27, 2022, 7:31 a.m. EDT

These solar and green hydrogen ‘nanogrids’ come together like Legos, keep hospitals humming after hurricanes

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By Rachel Koning Beals

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“They’re very safe because they’re low pressure, less than 300 pounds per square inch (PSI). So that’s like an aerosol can — hairspray,” she added. “So you have two inputs to power the battery: solar and green hydrogen. That way you don’t need so much battery storage, and that allows it to be mobile.”

The selling point of these units is their mobility. But they also exemplify the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that will be necessary to help upgrade a strained national power grid — a grid that will only see more demand pressure as electric vehicle charging /zigman2/quotes/203558040/lastsale TSLA -1.10% and electric heat pumps in homes become more popular.

In fact, EVs are already being thought of as a potential source to send their extra power back to the grid using what’s been coined “vehicle-to-everything” technology (V2X) .

Read : EVs can store power for our homes and the grid: Why ‘vehicle-to-everything’ technology is a must-follow investing theme

Could the Sesame Solar nanogrids send back what they aren’t using or fortify electricity availability even when there’s not a disaster?

“Absolutely,” said Flanagan. “I mean, we can be grid-tied, though we’re designed to be off-grid because you typically need us when the grid is down.”

The Air Force, she detailed, is using some nanogrids to have on hand as power sources at base medical facilities to help meet a federal mandate for energy resiliency.

Flanagan said long-term cost and cost savings from these units is hard to predict and is evolving. The elimination of longer-term battery storage and the reliability of these “self-charging” nanogrids in case a city’s power outage is extended are the value-add that can be hard to quantify.

As for the energy used, alternative energy tends to cost more up front in capital outlays. But when you combine multiple sources of energy — solar plus green hydrogen plus wind — that’s a far lower cost per kilowatt, an estimated 25% less than when fossil fuels are the source.

And next? Flanagan says her industry should evolve to rethink of mobile power as mobile renewable power as a service, much like her early tech days in rethinking software as cloud-based SaaS.

“I think that will really be a breakthrough in the market,” she said. “You’re just sort of using what [power] you need to just meet demand. Not too much more, not too much less. Just right. And that’s a new economic model.”

US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 265.25
-2.96 -1.10%
Volume: 67.73M
Sept. 30, 2022 4:00p
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$831.15 billion
Rev. per Employee

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