LiNa and ion Ventures conclude successful test of pioneering solid-state sodium battery platform
LiNa Energy is commercialising a safe, c.$50kWh, cobalt-free battery platform that is perfectly suited to grid storage and the electrification of transportation.
ion Ventures is leading the deployment of the battery in a real-world environment with a view to deploying it into the grid storage market in the future.
23 February, South East England – ion Ventures, the modern utility and energy storage infrastructure specialist, and LiNa Energy, the solid-state battery technology developer, concluded their first successful trial of LiNa’s proprietary solid-state sodium battery platform at an undisclosed location in South East England last week. The trial was the final milestone of a prestigious UK BEIS Award.
LiNa’s senior team has accumulated decades of materials engineering and design for manufacturing experience in the fuel cell industry. Using this unique skill set, they developed the LiNa Platform, an innovative re-engineering of the commercially proven sodium-nickel-chloride (NaNiCl) chemistry.
The battery is constructed from easily sourced, low-cost materials and, importantly, does not contain any cobalt or lithium. It operates at a wide range of temperatures and does not require expensive cooling systems. Furthermore, the battery chemistry is inherently safe thus making it highly attractive to a range of different sectors, including the grid storage sector targeted by ion Ventures.
In under two years, LiNa Energy has taken an idea and developed it into an operational prototype that can produce energy density at levels comparable with existing commercial lithium batteries. To date, the major emphasis of development has been the cell. In parallel to this development, LiNa has also developed patented designs to combine and house the cells.
The aim of the trial with ion Ventures was to demonstrate the ability to charge and discharge a module that contained several cells using LiNa’s patented system design, which included optimised thermal and electrical management and control systems. The trial was a complete success – with the system demonstrating the capability to charge and discharge in accordance with expectations.
Battery storage is a key component in the global transition to renewable energy sources. Batteries manage the grid volatility created by the decline in fossil fuel generated power by providing a synthetic source of inertia. At present, lithium-ion technology is the dominant chemistry for battery storage systems, but the LiNa Platform has potential to disrupt incumbent lithium-ion batteries in grid storage markets, and passenger and commercial electric vehicles (EVs).
As part of the BEIS Award, E4Tech, a London-based clean-tech specialist consultancy, performed an independent, strategic scoping study of stationary grid storage application based upon LiNa’s technology. They identified that LiNa’s platform was superior to existing lithium ion-based storage, especially in distribution, generation level storage and behind the meter owing to superior CAPEX, OPEX, LCC, battery self-discharge and safety metrics.
ion Ventures is leading the deployment of the LiNa Platform in a real-world environment. The energy storage infrastructure specialist managed last week’s successful test with a view to deploying the battery into the grid storage market in the coming years.
Gene Lewis, CEO of LiNa Energy, commented: “Batteries are enabling the megatrends of decarbonisation of energy and electrification of transport. We have developed lithium and cobalt-free, solid-state sodium battery technology which is a safe, high-performance, and low-cost solution for EVs and grid-scale energy storage. Our battery technology is designed to deliver increased energy density, increased power density and rapid charge and discharge capability.
“We are delighted to collaborate with ion Ventures on this first real-world environment test which is a crucial step towards the mass deployment of solid-state sodium batteries for scale energy storage purposes and we very much look forward to further developing our relationship with ion Ventures through larger, more commercially focused demonstration trials soon. We strongly believe our growing relationship will positively show what UK battery innovators can do when they partner together and, in time, will position the UK as a global battery player.”
Dan Taylor, Co-Founder of ion Ventures added: “We are proud to be working alongside LiNa Energy to support this successful test of pioneering solid-state sodium battery technology. Battery storage is a mature, safe, scalable and commercially viable solution that can be deployed immediately to help meet the 2050 net-zero carbon emissions target.
“We are always on the lookout for new battery technology that can help us meet this goal and we are excited by these initial test results. In the future, we hope to take a leading role in deploying new battery technology, such as the LiNa Platform, into the grid storage market to aid the renewable energy transition.”