New Microgrid-friendly Innovations named in TIME Magazine's Best 200 Inventions of 2023

Oct. 26, 2023
These include Dyaqua Invisible Solar Rooftile, Niron Magnetics Clean Earth Magnet, Brenmiller Energy bGen, Moxion Power MP-75, Antora Thermal Battery, Sesame Solar Mobile Nanogrids and Form Energy Iron-Air Battery.

TIME Magazine spotlighted 12 new green energy products as part of its latest annual “200 Best Inventions” issue.

All of the dozen energy transition innovations, at various stages of development, are designed to help decarbonize the agricultural, commercial, industrial, residential and personal sectors. They include inventions designed both for operations on Earth and interplanetary destinations.

More than half of those green energy inventions named by TIME could be connected to potential microgrid projects of the near future. These include Dyaqua Invisible Solar Rooftile, Niron Magnetics Clean Earth Magnet, Brenmiller Energy bGen, Moxion Power MP-75, Antora Thermal Battery, Sesame Solar Mobile Nanogrids and Form Energy Iron-Air Battery.

Other green energy inventions listed by TIME include the Navtek Naval Technologies Zeetug, Monarch Tractor MK-V, Ecoflow Glacier, Jackery Solar Mars Bot, and the Keystone Towers Systems Spiral Welded Wind Tower.

Microgrids are controlled and on-site power systems which typically can be composed of various generation elements, from generator-engine sets to solar and battery storage in various combinations of the three main resources. The U.S. alone now has more than 600 microgrids nationwide serving facilities such as military bases, industrial plants, hospitals and university campuses.

A breakdown of TIME's Green Energy selected inventions shows a cross-section engaging with one or all of those generation sectors. Brenmiller Energy bGen Zero, for instance, is a battery system which gets its power from wind or solar then converts that energy into heat warming up crushed rocks to high temperatures for steam, hot water or air--all key components in a combined heat and power (CHP) system.

Two other energy storage inventions spotlighted are the Antora Thermal Battery and Form Energy Iron-Air Battery. The latter utilizes the energy released when rust causes iron to swap an electron for an oxygen molecule, which Form Air captures and utilizes for long-duration battery storage potential of up to four days, compared to the typical four or eight hours of lithium-ion capacity.

“It’s like having a new tool in the tool chest," Form Energy co-founder and CEO Mateo Jaramillo said as quoted in the Time article.

Many generator-sets are fueled by diesel historically and some by natural gas in the more recent configurations for backup and on-site power. Moxion’s mobile MP-75 offers battery-powered generators and has been utilized as a mobile microgrid for some Amazon Studio production sets.

Sesame Solar’s Mobile Nanogrids also seeks to displace diesel in the generator fuel cycle. These solar-powered microgrids on wheels can be deployed and operational in a fairly short time and already boast more than 50 nanogrids across the U.S., including one by U.S. Air Force to energize a mobile medical clinic. Some are planned for use in war-ravaged Ukraine.

For the full TIME 200 Inventions List, click here.

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