CIT Announces that CIT GAP Funds Portfolio Company WireTough Gets National Engineers’ (ASME) Approval for New Renewable Energy Storage Technology

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Bristol company’s innovative energy storage technologies are breaking barriers to renewable energy production, distribution

This certification places WireTough Cylinders in an elite class of pressure vessel manufacturers, setting us apart from our competition.

The Center for Innovative Technology announced today that its CIT GAP Funds portfolio company, WireTough Cylinders LLC, a leading U.S. and worldwide manufacturer of patented wire-wrapped pressure vessels located in Bristol, Va., received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) U3 approval to produce low-cost storage tanks rated for maximum pressures up to 15,000 psi, a major boost for renewable energy production in Virginia and beyond.

Dr. Amit Prakash, President of WireTough Cylinders, said, “This certification places WireTough Cylinders in an elite class of pressure vessel manufacturers, setting us apart from our competition. With this newly approved technology, we can provide safer, stronger and lower cost storage solutions for gases like hydrogen, natural gas and other energy sources. This certification is a game-changer for ground storage applications and the entire energy sector.”

Prakash said that major barriers to renewable energy production and distribution in the U.S. are inadequate energy storage and infrastructure. The new WireTough storage technologies address those challenges with longer service life and lower cost for ground storage and transport of both CNG and hydrogen gases.

The ASME certification enables WireTough to immediately market and sell high pressure tanks for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) ground storage and will rapidly be expanded to include ASME approved tanks for hydrogen filling stations.

WireTough Vice President Al Etheridge said, the rigorous “ASME certification process ensures that our products are built to safely and reliably perform at pressures up to and exceeding 15,000 psi for decades."

WireTough produces light weight, economical, wire reinforced pressure vessels for gas storage. In 2011, the company successfully received US DOT FMVSS-304 and ANSI-NGV-2-2007 for its Type II CNG cylinders. The company is the only producer of steel body CNG cylinders in the USA. The ASME certification allows the company to scale and enter into other markets.

The company’s recent research initiatives were funded by grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Program. Additional funding came from the Center for Innovative Technology and other state and local economic development incentive programs, such as the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.

Ed Albrigo, CIT President and CEO, said, “The team at WireTough demonstrates that innovation is happening all across Virginia, and CIT is honored to be a partner helping it flourish, as we all do our part to create the New Virginia Economy.”

When asked to comment, Virginia Senator Bill Carricco, Chairman of the Commission, said, “Congratulations to WireTough Cylinders, LLC for their success. It is exciting to have a revolutionary, industry-leading storage tank technology that was developed right here in Bristol, Virginia. By producing innovative and cost-effective energy storage tanks, I suspect that WireTough Cylinders will be an industry leader for years to come.”

About WireTough Cylinders LLC, http://www.wiretough.com
WireTough began as Polywire Tough Composites, Ltd., established in 2003, from a team of four engineers, who as a group were responsible for over 40 US patents. In 2010, WireTough Cylinders was officially incorporated. Their extensive knowledge in pressure vessels, high strength steel, machine design, composites, engineering mechanics and physics, has made their products superior in both cost and function. WireTough is known for its light weight, economical, wire reinforced pressure vessels for gas storage. In 2011 the company successfully received US DOT FMVSS-304 and ANSI-NGV-2-2007 for its Type II CNG cylinders. The company is the only producer of steel body CNG cylinders in the USA.

About the Center for Innovative Technology, http://www.cit.org
Since 1985, CIT, a nonprofit corporation, has been Virginia’s primary driver of innovation and entrepreneurship. CIT accelerates the next generation of technology and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, market development and revenue generation services. To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology start-up companies and advanced technology consumers. Follow CIT on Twitter @CITorg and add the Center for Innovative Technology on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Kevin May
Center for Innovative Technology
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Tom David
WireTough Cylinders LLC
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