What?

Skip Technology is developing a novel flow battery for storing large quantities of electricity. Initial generations of the battery will fit into a standard cargo container and can be used individually or chained together to fit the customer's storage needs.

One of the biggest benefits of flow batteries is that the total energy stored is decoupled from the voltage and/or power desired. For example, if you want to use lithium-ion batteries chained together to make a large storage battery, you get to choose the voltage of the system OR the total power stored, but not both. This is because each small cell has a set voltage and chaining them together just adds those voltages, one on top of the other.
You want more storage, you get more voltage... Sorry.

Flow batteries, however, can be directly tweaked to the customer's needs. The voltage is determined by the number of charge transfer cells and the energy stored is just a function of how big of liquid storage tanks you wish to include with your battery. Want super high voltages/power? Easy, include a lot of cells and ramp it up! Want more modest voltages with more energy stored. Also easy. Take out some cells and leave more room for bigger liquid tanks and, thus, more energy storage!

Why?

We're close. We're really close. Solar and wind energy prices continue to fall and in some places are already displacing carbon fuels on cost alone. However, they still suffer for the supply/demand handicap. In short, when you want to turn on your AC may not be at the same time the wind is blowing or the sun is shining at your local power plant. This can be mitigated by sharing power across continent sized regions, but even that level of smoothing may not be enough at certain times of day or seasons. What we need is a way to store the electricity for a short to medium period of time (a couple of hours to a few days) for when we actually want to use it.

At Skip, we are creating a cargo sized battery that can economically store that electricity until it needs to be used. These batteries will sit between the renewable energy production and the utility grid. As electricity is produced, any extra power that isn't used charges up the batteries. When demand overtakes the current supply, the batteries make up the difference. In short, the peak sun at noon can now power your air conditioning at home at 6 pm.

How?

Skip Technology is developing a new type of flow battery. We've identified a chemistry that can store large quantities of electricity in a cargo sized storage tank. Additionally, we have solved some of the most vexing problems that have held back the use of flow batteries for decades. In combination, Skip's battery will last decades, has inexpensive electrolyte fuels and will require little to no maintenance. This will not only unlock battery usage in a number of new locations, but will fundamentally shift the balance of renewable and carbon energy production.

Awards

Skip Technology is proud to announce that it was awarded a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2019. This grant delivers $1.2m in research funds over two years and will kickstart the Skip's product development and help move our battery technology from the lab to putting it in customers hands!

The People

Skip Technology was founded in 2018 by Dr. Ben Brown and Dr. Brennan Gantner. They lived together through graduate school and have been friends for almost twenty years. They named their company after the bus line they shared each day on the way to and from the university, the Skip.

Dr. Benjamin Brown

Dr. Benjamin Brown (President/Co-founder)

Ben has a Physics degree from Harvey Mudd College and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Univerity of Colorado Boulder. He is an expert in fluid dynamics, computer modeling and programming. He is routinely awarded time on NASA's biggest supercomputers for his research.

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Dr. Brennan Gantner

Dr. Brennan Gantner (CEO/Co-founder)

Brennan has a physics degree from Santa Clara University and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado Boulder. He is an expert in prototype designing and building, as well as project management. He designed, built and launched a sounding rocket for his doctoral thesis.

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Dr. Madisen McCleary

Dr. Madisen McCleary (Chief Engineer)

Maddy has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Portland and a Ph.D. in Material Science from Montana State. She is an expert in fuel cells, corrision studies and material design.

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