For years, home energy storage has been riddled with dangerous mechanisms and unnecessary materials. With both lead-acid components and lithium-ion technology, unplugging the grid had uncertain side effects. Overheating, overuse and inherent toxicity were the main concerns. However, innovation has led to an evolution of this technology, and it is taking off right here in Dallas.
The ground has just been thrown on a revolutionary home battery technology that now exists in East Dallas. Following this pilot program, a pioneering partnership plans to bring smarter and safer electricity to more than 200,000 homes.
Salient Energy, an innovator in stationary energy storage, has made history through a new partnership with Horton World Solutions. Salient develops proprietary zinc-ion batteries using a water-based design that eliminates the risk of fire. By partnering with HWS, a sustainable home builder whose proprietary composite framing allows for incredible energy efficiency, Salient hopes to make a huge impact on eco-friendly housing.
This is a big problem for Dallas homeowners, as our climate has caused immense energy issues for the past two years. With Salient, residents benefit from safer energy solutions while contributing to a healthier environment.
“Energy storage is a key part of building zero-carbon homes,” says HWS Founder and CEO Terry Horton. “But current lithium-ion systems have many problems. They create a fire hazard that we have to circumvent, adding even more time and complexity to our permitting process. They are also often in short supply, making it risky to expect them to be an integral part of our designs. When I saw that Salient Zinc Ion could solve both of these problems, I knew I had to get involved.
The next era of energy efficiency
Recently, Ryan Brown, CEO of Salient, explained the potential of this new technology to CandysDirt.com.
“We are extremely excited about working with HWS,” says Ryan. “And being able to demonstrate on one of their sustainably developed Dallas homes made it a perfect partnership.”
He is excited about the green benefits this type of technology will bring to a new generation of homeowners.
“From a homeowner’s perspective, we want it to be no different than an electric wall,” says Ryan. “Our technology creates resilience against outages and allows residents to consume their own clean energy.”
Salient’s zinc-ion battery works both with solar panels and as part of the power grid. By safely storing energy for later use, this battery helps owners eliminate the possibility of blackouts.
What sets Salient apart
“With zinc-ion technology, our battery is water-based, which eliminates the risk of fire for greater peace of mind and easier permit applications,” says Ryan. “This gives us a huge advantage over other home battery manufacturers.”
Companies like Telsa, Energizer and Everready offer similar solutions but with major ecological concerns. Since these brands use rare lithium-ion technology to power their products, many worry about the implications of overmining the metals needed.
The science behind Salient makes its materials less harmful to harvest and easier to acquire.
“Our batteries are built with very abundant materials,” says Ryan. “It’s completely different from other lithium-ion systems where basically the whole supply chain is in China. Also, the global lithium market is in massive shortage. So offering an alternative is something our customers appreciate. .
This new home battery will surely have a huge impact on our region, especially with the uncertainties of ERCOT and our ever-changing climate. It’s an innovation we can all embrace.
An expert opinion
Alan Hoffmann is president of Hoffmann Homes, Four Tree Development, and is a technical advisor to the City of Dallas’ Environmental Division. He sat down with CandysDirt.com to discuss the pros and cons of these energy solutions.
“I think most people around Dallas are motivated to get these batteries because of the icepocalypse,” Hoffmann said. “However, the thing to remember is that when you have a weather event like this, you don’t get enough solar power to recharge the battery if the grid goes down.
“A good way to use them could be to get a free energy plan on nights and weekends and recharge the batteries during those times,” he said. “However, power companies will probably figure this out.”
But is it the best deal?
“The best deal right now, I think,” Hoffman says, “would be to get an all-electric Ford F-150. They have about the same power capacity as those domestic batteries, and they’re also about at the same price. Only, they are mobile. So if you are caught without electricity, you can always go and recharge them and bring the electricity back to your home. Rather than waiting for solar or grid power.