West Grove-based Sycamore International declared freedom from the electric grid last month after the company installed a new battery storage system to support its rooftop solar system, writes Andrew Maykuth for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Sycamore is all about a circular economy. The company recycles electronic equipment and refurbishes thousands of laptops each month for sale at a repurposed mushroom barn in West Grove. Thanks to its newly installed battery system, the company can also use its solar energy at night.
“We’re calling it our Energy Independence Day,” said Steven Figgatt, Sycamore’s chief executive.
Figgatt chose a novel, innovative system for energy storage called an iron-flow battery. It is the first of its kind on the East Coast. The battery can discharge accumulated power over 12 hours, which is around three times longer than a lithium battery and can hold around 400 kilowatt hours of power.
“It was exciting, trying something new,” said Figgatt. “I mean, I love that there’s no toxic chemicals, there’s no risk of fire hazards that you have with lithium-ion batteries.”
The downside of the battery is its size: it is big, heavy, and not very portable.
Read more about Sycamore International in the Philadelphia Inquirer.