The Barbadian saying goes ‘old things does bring new’ and Co-Founder of Aceleron, Carlton Cummins, has built a clean technology business out of this.
Aceleron, is a tech company which specialises in transforming used lithium batteries into low-cost, energy storage solutions. The company, now in its second year, is based in the United Kingdom and has just set up Barbados operations last month.
Cummins spoke to Loop recently on the vision of Aceleron. He explained he and co-founder, Dr. Amrit Chandan, recognised there was a growing waste problem occurring across the world as everyone was in the habit of disposing of batteries after they could no longer be used. Cummins noted the problem was especially worrying for the Caribbean as the region does not have the capacity to handle lithium-ion battery waste on a large scale.
“Batteries don’t immediately die, they just degrade and they might not be good for what they are originally or first designed for but they could be used for other things,” he pointed out.
This is where Aceleron steps in.
Cummins said the company has developed the technology to take these seemingly dead batteries and give them new life in applications like renewable energy. The company works with all types of batteries from laptops to power tools to even electric vehicle batteries. Cummins said Aceleron has also found a way to build better batteries which do not need to be thrown away: “Aceleron batteries can be repaired as they are far cheaper than buying a new one”.
He noted Aceleron is currently developing an affordable battery for homes and businesses which keeps the home running in the event of a power outage.
“Giving people some resilience, especially with the hurricanes, I think this is really important. You can choose to keep a lantern in your house or you can have a battery back-up. Many things in our home run on the plug, until a situation where the power goes off. We offer a battery product that powers the home when standard electricity is not available or too expensive.”
Commenting on Barbados’ advancement of renewable energy technology, Cummins said the country is poised to make use of various sources of renewable energy including wind, solar and solar thermal energy in a way which can reduce strain on the island’s main utility company. He added the use of batteries will allow the average homeowner to take proper advantage of this growing trend.
“We now have the ability to power our lives with clean, locally produced energy. Batteries help to save some of this for a rainy day. Things get really exciting when you combine standard electricity, renewable energy and batteries – it builds a network which brings more clean energy into Barbadian homes and reduces the island’s dependence on costly imported fuel.”
Cummins, who was recognised on the Forbes 30 under 30 list for 2017, said Aceleron’s model can be replicated across the world which they have already demonstrated with their entry into the East African market and, sometime in the future, the Caribbean region.
Aceleron has also set its sights on the Central American market as it moves to create sustainable solutions for global waste management and energy storage problems.
Credit: Christina Smith, The Loop