We got funding from NLnet!

flow batteries
Excited to announce our first-ever institutional financial support

April 23, 2024

We are very excited to announce that we’ve received funding from NLnet foundation NGI0 Entrust Fund, a nonprofit organization which supports the open internet and associated open-source software and hardware projects.


Our project blurb on their website:

The clean energy transition is underway, and batteries are becoming more common in everyday life. Stationary batteries can perform many roles, like reversibly storing intermittent renewable energy or providing backup power and services to the electrical grid, including internet infrastructure. Right now, lithium-ion batteries—also used in portable electronics and electric vehicles—are increasingly used for stationary applications. Lithium-ion batteries are, however, not ideal in terms of lifetime, cost, safety, and supply chain sustainability. There are viable alternatives to lithium-ion batteries for stationary storage, such as flow batteries, which are being commercialized but are not yet widespread. We plan to democratize flow battery technology by developing an open-source flow battery and starting an associated community around it. We will start with a benchtop-scale development kit, suitable for educational and research use, before progressing towards larger cells. With this NLnet funding, we plan to finish our first release of a 5 cm² kit as well as design and test the subsequent 25 cm² cell.

Batteries are widely used in uninterruptible power supplies (UPS’s) to provide emergency backup power to critical infrastructure, such as servers powering the internet. Traditionally these have been lead-acid or, increasingly, lithium-ion batteries. By developing in an open fashion hardware which can compete with lead-acid and lithium-ion in terms of cost, lifetime, and sustainability, we hope to drive down the cost and environmental impacts of resilient internet and energy infrastructure.

One major way NLnet achieves its goals is through low-overhead grants directly to individuals and small organizations such as ours. With our funding, we plan to realize our second release of the flow battery kit and start towards a larger unit cell, aligned with our ultimate goal of making a battery of practically useful size.

We’re very grateful for their support and belief in our project. We believe this funding will catalyze our efforts to democratize stationary energy storage technology.