Category Archives: Power Generating Technology – Alternate

Dispatchable Power from Energy Storage Systems Help Maintain Grid Stability

On 3 March 2015, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced the delivery of the world’s largest energy storage system, which has a rated output of 50 MW and a storage capacity of 300 MWh. The battery-based system is installed in Japan at Kyushu Electric Power Company’s Buzen Power Plant as part of a pilot project to demonstrate the use of high-capacity energy storage systems to balance supply and demand on a grid that has significant, weather-dependent (intermittent), renewable power sources (i.e., solar and/or wind turbine generators). This system offers energy-storage and dispatch capabilities similar to those of a pumped hydro facility. You can read the Mitsubishi press release at the following link:

http://www.mitsubishielectric.com/news/2016/pdf/0303-b.pdf

The energy storage system and associated electrical substation installation at Buzen Power Plant are shown below. The energy storage system is comprised of 63 4-module units, where each module contains sodium-sulfur (NaS) batteries with a rated output of 200 kW. The modules are double stacked to reduce the facility’s footprint and cost.

Buzen Power Plant - JapanSource: Mitsubishi

The following simplified diagram shows how the Mitsubishi grid supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system matches supply with variable demand on a grid with three dispatchable energy sources (thermal, pumped hydro and battery storage) and one non-dispatchable (intermittent) energy source (solar photovoltaic, PV). As demand varies through the day, thermal power plants can maneuver (within limits) to meet increasing load demand, supplemented by pumped hydro and battery storage to meet peak demands and to respond to the short-term variability of power from PV generators. A short-term power excess is used to recharge the batteries. Pumped hydro typically is recharged over night, when the system load demand is lower.

Mitsubishi SCADA

Above diagram: Mitsubishi BLEnDer® RE Battery SCADA System (Source: Mitsubishi)

Battery storage is only one of several technologies available for grid-connected energy storage systems. You can read about the many other alternatives in the December 2013 Department of Energy (DOE) report, “Grid Energy Storage”, which you can download at the following link:

http://www.sandia.gov/ess/docs/other/Grid_Energy_Storage_Dec_2013.pdf

This 2013 report includes the following figure, which shows the rated power of U.S. grid storage projects, including announced projects.

US 2013 grid  storage projectsSource: DOE

As you can see, battery storage systems, such as the Mitsubishi system at Buzen Power Plant, comprise only a small fraction of grid-connected energy storage systems, which currently are dominated in the U.S. by pumped hydro systems. DOE reported that, as of August 2013, there were 202 energy storage systems deployed in the U.S. with a total installed power rating of 24.6 GW. Energy storage capacity (i.e., GWh) was not stated. In contrast, total U.S. installed generating capacity in 2013 was over 1,000 GW, so fully-charged storage systems can support about 2.4% of the nation’s load demand for a short period of time.

Among DOE’s 2013 strategic goals for grid energy storage systems are the following cost goals:

  • Near-term energy storage systems:
    • System capital cost: < $1,750/kW; < $250/kWh
    • Levelized cost: < 20¢ / kWh / cycle
    • System efficiency: > 75%
    • Cycle life: > 4,000 cycles
  • Long-term energy storage systems:
    • System capital cost: < $1,250/kW; < $150/kWh
    • Levelized cost: < 10¢ / kWh / cycle
    • System efficiency: > 80%
    • Cycle life: > 5,000 cycles

Using the DOE near-term cost goals, we can estimate the cost of the energy storage system at the Buzen Power Plant to be in the range from $75 – 87.5 million. DOE estimated that the storage devices contributed 30 – 40% of the cost of an energy storage system.  That becomes a recurring operating cost when the storage devices reach their cycle life limit and need to be replaced.

The Energy Information Agency (EIA) defines capacity factor as the ratio of a generator’s actual generation over a specified period of time to its maximum possible generation over that same period of time. EIA reported the following installed generating capacities and capacity factors for U.S. wind and solar generators in 2015:

US renewable power 2015

Currently there are 86 GW of intermittent power sources connected to the U.S. grid and that total is growing year-on-year. As shown below, EIA expects 28% growth in solar generation and 16% growth in wind generation in the U.S. in 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 1.22.06 PMSource: EIA

The reason we need dispatchable grid storage systems is because of the proliferation of grid-connected intermittent generators and the need for grid operators to manage grid stability regionally and across the nation.

California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program has required that utilities procure 33% of their electricity from “eligible renewable energy resources” by 2020. On 7 October 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill (SB 350) that increased this goal to 50% by 2030. There is no concise definition of “eligible renewable energy resources,” but you can get a good understanding of this term in the 2011 California Energy Commission guidebook, “Renewables Portfolio Standard Eligibility – 4th Edition,” which you can download at the following link:

http://www.energy.ca.gov/2010publications/CEC-300-2010-007/CEC-300-2010-007-CMF.PDF

The “eligible renewable energy resources” include solar, wind, and other resources, several of which would not be intermittent generators.

In 2014, the installed capacity of California’s 1,051 in-state power plants (greater than 0.1 megawatts – MW) was 86.9 GW. These plants produced 198,908 GWh of electricity in 2014. An additional 97,735 GWh (about 33%) was imported from out-of-state generators, yielding a 2014 statewide total electricity consumption of almost 300,000 GWh of electricity. By 2030, 50% of total generation is mandated to be from “eligible renewable energy resources,” and a good fraction of those resources will be operating intermittently at average capacity factors in the range from 22 – 33%.

The rates we pay as electric power customers in California already are among the highest in the nation, largely because of the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program. With the higher targets for 2030, we soon will be paying even more for the deployment, operation and maintenance of massive new grid-connected storage infrastructure that will be needed to keep the state and regional grids stable.

 

 

Solar Impulse 2 Preparing for the Next Leg of its Around-the-World Journey

In my 10 March 2015 post, I provided basic information of the remarkable Solar Impulse 2 aircraft and its mission to be the first aircraft to fly around the world on solar power. On 10 July 2015, I posted a summary of the first eight legs of the around the world flight, which started in Abu Dhabi on 9 March 2015 and ended on 3 July at Kalaeloa, a small airport outside Honolulu, Hawaii.

After arriving in Hawaii, the Solar Impulse team determined that the batteries had been damaged due to overheating on the first day of the Leg 8 flight and would have to be replaced. Solar Impulse reported the following root cause for the overheating:

“Since the plane had been exposed to harsh weather conditions from Nanjing to Nagoya, we decided to do a test flight before leaving for Hawaii. Having to perform a test flight followed by a mission flight had not been taken into account in the design process of the battery system, which did not allow the batteries to cool down in between the two” (flights).

By November 2015, the Solar Impulse engineers had upgraded the design of the whole battery system and integrated a battery cooling system. You can read the details on the Solar Impulse website at the following link:

http://blog.solarimpulse.com/post/133346944960/cool-batteries-solarimpulse

A further delay in starting Leg 9 was caused by the seasonal shortening of daylight hours in the Northern hemisphere. The late autumn and winter daylight hours weren’t long enough to allow the batteries to be fully recharged during the day along the planned route to the U.S. mainland and back to Abu Dhabi.

Solar Impulse 2 routeSource: Solar Impulse

On 26 February 2016, the upgraded Solar Impulse II made a successful “maintenance” flight in Hawaii. The flight lasted 93 minutes, reached an altitude of 8,000 feet (2,400 meters), and included tests of the stabilization and battery cooling systems.

Solar Impulse is planning to restart its around-the-world journey on 20 April 2016.

Solar Impulse composite photo over HawaiiSource: Solar Impulse

You can subscribe to news releases from the Solar Impulse team at the following link:

http://www.solarimpulse.com/subscribe

 

 

 

Is EPA Fudging the Numbers for its Carbon Regulation?

In my 2 July 2015 post, I commented on significant deficiencies in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Power Plan proposed rule. On 3 August 2015, the EPA announced the final rule. You can read the final rule for existing power plants, the EPA’s regulatory impact analysis, and associated fact sheets at the following link:

http://www2.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan/clean-power-plan-existing-power-plants

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. The IER home page is at the following link:

http://instituteforenergyresearch.org

On 24 November 2015, the IER published an insightful article entitled, Is EPA Fudging the Numbers for its Carbon Regulation?, which I believe is worth your attention. The IER’s main points are:

  1. U.S. Energy Information Agency’s (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) is the data source usually used by federal government agencies in their analysis of energy issues.
  2. EPA stands out as an exception. It frequently chooses not to use EIA data, and instead develops it’s own duplicative, different data.
  3. In the case of the Clean Power Plan, the EPA’s own data significantly underestimates the number of coal plants that need to be retired to comply with the Plan. The result is a much lower estimate of the economic impact of the Plan than if EIA data had been used.

It appears to me that the EPA created and used data skewed to produce a more favorable, but likely unrealistic, estimate of the economic impact that will borne by the U.S. power industry and power customers as the Clean Power Plan is implemented. Form your own opinion after reading the full IER article at the following link:

http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/is-epa-fudging-the-numbers-for-its-carbon-regulation/

Update 19 Feb 2016

On 8 February 2016, the American Nuclear Society (ANS) released their, “Nuclear in the States Toolkit Version 1.0 – Policy Options for States Considering the Role of Nuclear Power in Their Energy Mix.” The toolkit catalogs policies related to new and existing nuclear reactors for state policymakers to consider as they draft their Clean Power Plan compliance strategies.   The Toolkit identifies a range of policy options that individually or in aggregate can make nuclear generation a more attractive generation alternative for states and utilities.

You can download this document at the following link:

http://nuclearconnect.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/ANS-NIS-Toolkit-download.pdf

On 9 February 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issues a stay on implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) pending the resolution of legal challenges to the program in court.

The ANS noted that, “….the stay provides them (the states) an opportunity to take a new look at the carbon offsets that existing nuclear plants provide, which they weren’t encouraged to do under the CPP rules.”

 

What are the Sources of Electric Power in the USA?

The sources of electric power used in California have changed significantly between 2004 and 2014. The distribution of California’s energy sources, among natural gas, renewables (wind & solar), hydroelectric, and nuclear is shown in the following chart. California does not use coal or petroleum to generate electric power.

CA energy use 2004 - 2014  USA energy use 2004 - 2014

Nationally, on a percentage basis, coal use is on the decline and use of natural gas and renewables is on the increase in most states.

Check out the following NPR website, which is the source of the above charts, to see similar charts for all 50 states.

http://www.npr.org/2015/09/10/319535020/coal-gas-nuclear-hydro-how-your-state-generates-power?utm_source=howtogeek&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

 

 

 

Building a Modern Wind Turbine Generator

MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa’s largest energy company, began installing wind turbines in 2004. In May 2013, MidAmerican Energy announced their latest plan to invest up to $1.9 billion to expand its wind generation fleet and add up to 1,050 MWe of wind generation in Iowa by year-end 2015. Once this expansion is complete, approximately 3,335 MWe, or approximately 39%, of MidAmerican Energy’s total owned generation capacity will come from wind-powered generation from 1,715 wind turbines.

MidAmerica Energy wind turbines Source: MidAmerica Energy

You can visit the wind energy page on the MidAmerica Energy website at the following link:

http://www.midamericanenergy.com/wind_overview.aspx

Fact sheets on this site provide details on the two types of wind turbines currently being installed:

  • 1.5 MWe General Electric wind turbine (most common in the MidAmerica fleet)
  • 2.3 MWe Siemens wind turbine (largest in the MidAmerica fleet)

The impressive dimensions of the larger Siemens machine are shown in the following diagram:

MidAmerica Energy 2.3 MWe wind turbine Source: MidAmerica Energy

MidAmerican Energy Company has posted a 5+ minute time-lapse video on YouTube showing their three-week construction process for the Siemens wind turbine. This is worth watching to get a better understanding of the modest site preparation work required, the very large scale of the pedestal and rotor components, and the short time frame required to complete a wind turbine generator and have it ready to be put into revenue-generating service.  You can view the video at the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/84BeVq2Jm88?feature=player_detailpage

Now complete this process several hundred times and you have a respectable sized wind farm.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) defines “capacity factor” as follows:

“Capacity factors describe how intensively a fleet of generators is run. A capacity factor near 100% means a fleet is operating nearly all of the time. It is the ratio of a fleet’s actual generation to its maximum potential generation”.

EIA reports average monthly and annual capacity factors for utility generators. For utility generators not primarily using fossil fuels, the results are at the following link:

http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_6_07_b

Here are average capacity factors reported by EIA:

EIA capacity factors 1

As a renewable power source, wind has a significantly higher capacity factor than solar. However, over the long term, a wind farm delivers only about one-third of it’s “nameplate rating.” This statistic, of course, does not capture the real-time variability in electrical output as wind conditions constantly change.

As a point of comparison, you can find the EIA capacity factor results for utility generators primarily using fossil fuels at the following link:

http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_6_07_a

Here are average capacity factors reported by EIA for selected fossil generators (I only included those that are likely to be base loaded):

EIA capacity factors 2

EPA Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule Does Not Adequately Recognize the Role of Nuclear Power in Greenhouse Gas Reduction

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed what they called, “a common sense plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants.”  You can access the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule and many related documents at the following EPA link:

http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/clean-power-plan-proposed-rule

This Plan proposes to limit carbon emissions from existing fossil fuel fired electric generating units, including steam generating, integrated gasification combined cycle, or stationary combustion turbines (in either simple-cycle or combined-cycle configuration) operating or under construction by January 8, 2014. Main points of the Clean Power Plan include:

  • Wind and solar power are the preferred EPA options.
  • Natural gas is an interim solution.
  • New nuclear capacity is not a compliance option.
  • The EPA allows compliance credit for:
    • New nuclear plants currently under construction, and
    • Preservation of existing nuclear plants that might otherwise be retired

I’ve already formed my opinion on the Clean Power Plan. To help you form your opinion, I recommend that you refer to the following recent analyses by four respected government and industry organizations that have reviewed the Clean Power Plan.

Institute for Energy Research (IER)

On 15 June 2015, the IER issued the results of their analysis entitled, EPA’s Clean Power Plan Ignores New Nuclear as a Compliance Option. IER concluded that the compliance formulae in the Clean Power Plan are biased toward new wind and solar power development. Deployment of these technologies, which currently are not capable of delivering reliable capacity, will decrease the reliability of the electric grid. IER also concluded that the Clean Power Plan will result in much higher electricity prices for all American consumers, while having only a marginal impact on global temperature based on EPA’s computer models.

You can read the IER analysis at the following link:

http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/epas-clean-power-plan-ignores-new-nuclear-as-a-compliance-option/

National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA)

On 21 May 2015, the NACAA issued a report entitled, Implementing EPA’s Clean Power Plan: A Menu of Options, containing 25 chapters, each of which explores a particular approach to greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction in the electric power sector.  NACAA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association of air pollution control agencies in 41 states, the District of Columbia, four territories and 116 metropolitan areas.  Each chapter of their Menu of Options includes a brief descriptions of: (1) the option and it’s pros and cons; (2) the regulatory backdrop, policy underpinnings, implementation experience, and GHG reduction potential associated with the option; and (3) benefits of the option to society and the utility system, including costs and cost-effectiveness. In the last chapter, a variety of emerging technologies and other policy options for reducing GHG emissions are addressed.

An interesting table and two figures included in Chapter 6 of the Menu of Options are reproduced below.

NACAA Table 6-1 Source: NACAA

In 2012, electric power generation technologies with zero or low GHG emissions accounted for 31.4% of the USA’s total generating capacity. The data in Table 6-1 shows that 82.2% of the zero or low GHG emission generating capacity came from nuclear and hydroelectric power plants. The remaining low-emission generation capacity came from biomass, wind, geothermal, and solar power plants.

NACAA Figure 6-3Source: NACAA

In Figure 6-3, “life cycle GHG emissions” include those associated with operation as well as construction, fabrication, and fuel processing.  While nuclear power is not included among the “technologies powered by renewable resources”, it’s clear in Figure 6-3 that nuclear power meets the GHG reduction performance of the other technologies using renewable resources.

NACAA Figure 6-7  Source: NACAA

In Figure 6-7, note the relative cost-of-energy differential between nuclear power and fossil power. This difference makes it difficult for nuclear power plants to compete head-to-head with coal and natural gas merchant power plants and encourages the early retirement of some nuclear power plants on economic grounds.  While most renewable power sources have even higher costs-of-energy, various financial schemes subsidize their power generation.

You can download individual chapters or the entire NACAA Menu of Options at the following link:

http://www.4cleanair.org/NACAA_Menu_of_Options

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

On 22 May 2015, the EIA released their analysis of the Clean Power Plan. The EIA analysis supports the IER finding that the Clean Power Plan will result in much higher electricity prices for all American consumers, even in a scenario that allows GHG reduction credit for new nuclear generation.

You can read the EIA press release at the following link:

http://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/powerplants/cleanplan/

You also can download a PDFs copy of the May 2015 EIA report, Analysis of the Impacts of the Clean Power Plan, at the following link:

http://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/powerplants/cleanplan/pdf/powerplant.pdf

Nuclear Energy Institute’s (NEI)

To address the “clean power” attributes of nuclear power, I refer you to an NEI Knowledge Center webpage: Environment: Emissions Prevented, which you will find at the following link:

http://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/Environment-Emissions-Prevented

Here you’ll find a link to data on the amount of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide emissions avoided in the U.S. during the years 1995 to 2014 by virtue of having about 20% of U.S. electric power generated by nuclear power plants instead of fossil power plants. NEI reports the total avoided emissions for this period as follows:

  • Sulfur dioxide: 57.75 million short tons (52.4 million metric tons)
  • Nitrogen oxides: 22.92 million short tons (20.8 million metric tons)
  • Carbon dioxide: 13,063.6 million short tons (11,851 million metric tons)

On this website, NEI states:

“Nuclear energy facilities avoided 595 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2014 across the U.S. This is nearly as much carbon dioxide as is released from nearly 135 million cars, which is more than all U.S. passenger cars. The U.S. produces more than five billion metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Without the emission avoidances from nuclear generation, required reductions in the U.S. would increase by more than 50 percent to achieve targets under the Kyoto Protocol.”

2013 paper, “Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power”.

Supporting the above NEI position on the GHG reduction merits of nuclear power, there is a related 2013 article by NASA scientists from Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University entitled, “Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power”.  You can read a short article on this paper on the Scientific American website at the following link:

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/nuclear-power-may-have-saved-1-8-million-lives-otherwise-lost-to-fossil-fuels-may-save-up-to-7-million-more/

You also can read the complete paper at the following link:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es3051197

In their study, authors Pushker A. Kharecha and James E. Hansen used historical production data from 1971 to 2009 and calculated that global nuclear power has prevented an average of 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths and 64 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent (GtCO2-eq) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that would have resulted from fossil fuel burning. From their analysis, the authors drew the following conclusion:

“In conclusion, it is clear that nuclear power has provided a large contribution to the reduction of global mortality and GHG emissions due to fossil fuel use. If the role of nuclear power significantly declines in the next few decades, the International Energy Agency asserts that achieving a target atmospheric GHG level of 450 ppm CO2-eq would require “heroic achievements in the deployment of emerging low- carbon technologies, which have yet to be proven. Countries that rely heavily on nuclear power would find it particularly challenging and significantly more costly to meet their targeted levels of emissions.”

So, what do you think about the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan? Is this the “common sense plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants” promised by EPA; a politically motivated piece of crap designed to kill the nuclear and coal power industries; or something in between?

 

Efficiency in Electricity Generation

On 9 March 2015, Siemens announced that it had achieved a generation efficiency record at the Cengiz Enerji Samsun combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in Turkey. With an installed capacity of 600 MWe, this plant achieves a net efficiency of almost 61%. This makes Cengiz Enerji Samsun the most efficient fossil-fired 50 Hz power plant in 2015, not only in Turkey, but in the world.

You can read more at the following link:

http://www.globalenergyworld.com/news/15838/Siemens_Achieves_Record_Efficiency_With_The_Samsun_H-class_Power_Plant.htm

If you wonder how this level of generation efficiency compares to other types of electric power generators, then I recommend that you read the July 2003 report, “Efficiency in Electric Power Generation,” drafted by Union of the Electricity Industry – EURELECTRIC (Brussels, Belgium) and VGB PowerTech (Essen, Germany).

Report cover page

While this report is 12 years old, I think it remains one of the best single sources of comparative efficiency information on a very wide range of generator types. You can download a pdf version of this report by doing an Internet search for:

Efficiency in electricity generation – Eurelectric

The link you need should be at or near the top of your search results.

Eurelectric pdf document search result

One of the key results presented in this report is a chart showing comparative efficiencies. The new Cengiz Enerji Samsun power plant raises the bar a few percentage points for “Large gas fired CCGT power plant”.

5 July 2016 update:  New record for fossil plant efficiency

On 17 June 2016, General Electric (GE) and Électricité de France (EDF) began operating the first ever combined-cycle power plant equipped with GE’s 9HA large gas turbine.  GE advertises the 9HA as the “world’s largest and most efficient heavy duty gas turbine”.  There are two models, 9HA.01 and 9HA.02 that have claimed simple cycle outputs and net efficiencies of 397 MWe @ 41.5% net efficiency, and 510 MWe @ 41.8% net efficiency, respectively.  In a combined cycle application, the power outputs and efficiencies increase substantially.  GE claims the 9HA.01 delivers 592 MWe @ 61.6% net efficiency, while the 9HA.02 delivers 755 MWe @ 61.8% net efficiency.  You can download a GE specification sheet on the 9HA at the following link:

https://powergen.gepower.com/content/dam/gepower-pgdp/global/en_US/documents/product/gas%20turbines/Fact%20Sheet/9ha-fact-sheet-oct15.pdf

With regard to the new 605 MWe combined cycle 9HA.01 power plant at Bouchain, France, GE announced that this plant has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plant, with a demonstrated net efficiency of 62.22% (better than advertised by GE).  You can read the GE announcement at the following link:

https://powergen.gepower.com/about/insights/bouchain-grand-opening.html

 

“Flow cell” Battery Technology Being Tested as an Automotive Power Source

Here’s a great looking new German all-electric car that was introduced at the March 2014 Geneva Auto Show.  It’s a “research” car, not for sale, but an interesting preview of a possible future application of this battery technology in production cars.  The flow cell battery capacity in the e-Sportlimousine is reported to be 120 kWh.  Compare this to current all-electric cars using lithium-ion battery technology: the Tesla Model S has an 85 kWh battery and a Nissan Leaf has a 24 kWh battery.

 Flow-cell battery-powered carImage credit: aetherforce.com

Check out the article on the e-Sportlimousine at the following link, which includes two short videos:

http://aetherforce.com/electric-car-powered-by-salt-water-920-hp-373-milestank/

See many more details on this car and power system at the following nanoFLOWCELL AG YouTube site:

https://www.youtube.com/user/nanoflowcell

A 2014 press release from NanoFLOWCELL AG describes their battery technology and it’s operational use in the e-Sportlimousine, including a description of the power train and how the car is refueled.  See the following link:

http://mediacenter.nanoflowcell.com/mediacenter/press-release/news-detail/2014-03-04-introducing-the-nanoflowcellR/

Regarding the nano-network technology, Wikipedia reports:  “In August 2014, the Quant e-Sportlimousine was approved for testing on public roads using the nanoFLOWCELL® system with a claimed energy or power density of 600 Wh per kilogram (per litre of salt water electrolyte).”

If you are interested in the Tesla lithium-ion battery, check out the Nov 2014, “The Tesla Battery Report”, at the following link:

http://www.advancedautobat.com/industry-reports/2014-Tesla-report/Extract-from-the-Tesla-battery-report.pdf