Renewable energy : the Nantes architectural firm AIA signs a partnership agreement with a Californian start-up

Under the terms of this exclusive partnership deal, AIA will be responsible for research and development in the field of energy storage in buildings.

Under the terms of this exclusive partnership deal, AIA will be responsible for research and development in the field of energy storage in buildings. 

 

To make all buildings energy self-sufficient. Such is the aim of the exclusive partnership deal that Nantes architectural firm AIA has just agreed with Californian start-up LightSail Energy.

Unique in its sector, the Nantes-based architectural firm has been working on issues related to the production, storage and redistribution of renewable energy in buildings for the last 3 years. It was while conducting a project in Silicon Valley that it met start-up company LightSail Energy.

The energy of the future: sustainable and economical

The revolutionary invention of this start-up, based in Berkeley, relates to a method of storing energy in compressed air. Whilst the technology itself is not new, the genius of LightSail Energy lies in injecting a fine mist of cold water into the compressor during compression. Thanks to this technology, LightSail Energy aims to achieve an efficiency of around 70%, compared with 40% today. How? Photovoltaic panels placed on the building absorb energy during the day. This energy is stored in the form of compressed air and hot water in storage units attached to the building, and then released for use during the night. And the system is extremely cost-effective, which it what makes it so revolutionary. "We are now capable of producing sustainable energy for a cost of 25 cts /kWh. Which is cheaper that lithium ion at 40 cts/kWh", asserts Steve Crane, one of the founders, with Danielle Fong, of LightSail Energy.  Danielle Fong, co-founder of Lightsail Energy, appears in the Forbes 30 under 30 years old list of the world's most influential people in the energy sector.  

"Air4Power": applications in all buildings 

AIA's ambition is to exploit this renewable energy technology and bring it to where energy is actually used, incorporating it within buildings themselves. A unique concept, for which a patent has been filed under the name of "Air4Power". Hospitals, blocks of flats, agricultural premises, houses: the applications being considered by AIA in the building sector are limitless. 

entreprise energie nantes