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Energy Giant Shell, venture capitalists Ankur Capital, APVC invest in Offgrid Energy Labs' pathbreaking energy storage 'ZincGel' technology

IANS | February 15, 2022 07:39 PM

NEW DELHI:Offgrid Energy Labs, a deep science, Intellectual Property led global innovator unveils its first innovation - rechargeable zinc-based battery (ZincGel). Backed by investors including Shell Ventures, Ankur Capital, and APVC Singapore, Offgrid Energy Labs aims to disrupt the global energy storage market through new materials and design for stationary batteries.

Growing demand for sustainable energy storage has highlighted three key problems with current battery technologies: imbalanced performance, environmental impact, and high prices that are commercially unviable. Offgrid Energy Labs is reimagining these vectors by incorporating unique design, using commonly available recyclable materials, and driving efficient performance through a modular battery technology platform, ZincGel. Targeting not just the stationary storage market segment, Offgrid Energy Labs' ZincGel technology provides modular solutions for low powered mobility applications as well.

With over 15 patents, design and trademarks for its innovation, ZincGel battery-tech with breakthrough science, aims to outperform conventional energy storage batteries in terms of power density, battery-life, and cost efficiency. Offgrid Energy Labs innovations are accelerating the shift towards democratised, sustainable, safer and efficient energy storage solutions. The company primarily focuses on renewables energy storage, microgrids, electric vehicle charging and grid applications in utilities.

ZincGel Battery technology has energy efficiency at par with lithium-ion battery with twice the life cycle and negligible operational cost - thereby saving up to 30 per cent cost for energy storage projects.

Offgrid Energy Labs was founded in 2018 by four clean-energy enthusiasts - Tejas Kusurkar, Brindan Tulachan, Rishi Srivastava, and Ankur Agarwal who share a common vision of providing commercially viable, sustainable energy storage technology. Innovating on core chemistry with Zinc (one of the oldest materials used since the 1800s for batteries) is a vital outcome in the science of energy storage. The founding team believes ZincGel technology is a credible alternate to lithium-ion technology in most stationary and low powered mobility applications.

"This is a significant milestone for us. We have designed ZincGel as a modular platform that can be tweaked basis application requirements. With the ability to prioritise between charging speed, temperature stability and energy density, our innovation is focused on addressing a wide variety of stationary & low powered mobility applications, said Kusurkar, Co-founder & CEO, Offgrid Energy Labs.

"We are here to transform the narrative from Lithium-Ion battery packs to sustainable battery storage serving both the stationary as well as mobility applications. Demand for batteries is set to skyrocket soon not just in India, but across the globe. What differentiates ZincGel technology is innovative chemistry, design and democratised materials. We look forward to announcing further strategic pilots that solve vexing problems in the energy storage space, " said Srivastava, Co-founder, Offgrid Energy Labs.

Sanjay Varkey, Director, Shell Mobility, India, said: "By teaming up with innovative partners, Shell aims to accelerate the development of solutions that provide more and cleaner energy solutions. We are excited to be working with Offgrid Energy Lab going forward and to support their journey as they work to address the gaps in the fast-growing energy storage market."

Ritu Verma, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Ankur Capital said: "As a deep science investor we at Ankur are very excited to be partnering with the Offgrid Team. Their novel battery chemistry opens up a range of applications from fast charging to stationary storage solutions for the renewable power sector. The price points, sustainability of materials being used and pilot partnerships that OffGrid has tied up with were all reasons for us to invest. We believe the market for such solutions is growing rapidly as we shift towards more renewable energy generation and mobility across the board."

With successful pilot runs for its prototype, Offgrid Energy Labs plans to commercially launch ZincGel products in 18 months. Deploying non-toxic materials that are globally available in abundance, ZincGel battery technology ensure its faster adoption in energy storage. The company has envisaged two major sources of revenue- through licensing the battery technology and by use of its novel electrolyte by existing battery manufactures.

"Launching out of stealth mode, Offgrid Energy Labs has worked diligently with global energy companies backing its technology and now partnered to station their solutions in relevant applications. We got a golden opportunity to showcase our innovative ideas and scalable business solutions to global investors, " Kusurkar added.

Offgrid Energy Labs relies heavily on building partnerships to take ZincGel products to market and is also evaluating manufacturers for their products in India and around the world.

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