May 17, 2020

SolarCity to Sell Solar EV Charging Stations

2 min
SolarCity—a leading distributed solar energy company—will sell and install solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations
SolarCity has made headlines for its unique business model, offering affordable distributed solar energy installation and support services for homes an...

SolarCity has made headlines for its unique business model, offering affordable distributed solar energy installation and support services for homes and business.  Now, the company is tapping a young new market: electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.  The company will offer both home and commercial solar-powered EV chargers, promising lower costs than buying from the grid.  The chargers will be compatible with any electric vehicle currently on the market.

SolarCity has partnered with EV charger manufacturer ClipperCreek, who provides the standardized SAE-J1772 charge cable.

SolarCity will offer installation of a 240-volt Level II charger.  The charger is capable of fully charging an EV battery in roughly four hours.  The cost of the system will start at $1,500 for homes and businesses.


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So how much money can one expect to save by using a solar EV charger versus buying electricity from the grid?  According to SolarCity, EV drivers in San Francisco pay an average of $107 per month to charge off the power grid.  By comparison, EV drivers leasing a solar charger from SolarCity can expect to pay $54 per month on average. 

SolarCity will offer the solar charging stations as either an add-on to existing solar panels, or complete with the system’s own solar array.  SolarCity’s entry into the EV charging market is a smart move considering the company’s business model.  With its distributed solar systems spanning several cities and adorning thousands of square feet of rooftops, SolarCity is ideally positioned to offer charging solutions to the coming electric vehicle renaissance.  Also, considering that the majority of grid electricity in the U.S. is still derived from coal power, solar powered EV charging is a much more environmentally friendly alternative, which one would assume is a major attraction for EV buyers. 

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Oct 19, 2020

Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process

Scott Birch
3 min
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States...

Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.

Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.

The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content. 

In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.

Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.

"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president. 

“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.

"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.

Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.

Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.

A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.

The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.

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