Natron Energy Announces Technology Evaluation Agreement with EDF for Grid Storage Applications
Prussian Blue Electrode Sodium Ion Battery Technology Targeting High Power Utility-Scale Applications with Lower Cost, Longer Life and Greater Safety
SANTA CLARA, Calif: Natron Energy, a developer and provider of disruptive new battery products using Prussian Blue Electrode Sodium Ion chemistry, has entered into an evaluation agreement with Electricite De France (EDF) on the potential use of its technology for stationary storage applications that are increasingly vital to support the growing use of grid-scale renewables. The testing and evaluation of Natron’s patented technology, based on Prussian Blue analogue electrodes and a sodium-ion electrolyte, will be conducted at EDF’s state-of-the-art battery test laboratories in France.
“As a leading utility company and a European leader in renewable energies, we’re intrigued by the potential of Natron Energy’s new battery cell technology for grid storage applications,” said Dr. Laurent Torcheux, head of the batteries group at EDF R&D. “We are continually evaluating and testing technologies that can further our goal in creating a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable planet.”
Prussian Blue dye, commonly used in blueprints, is very effective in storing and releasing energy in the form of sodium ions. Its widespread availability, low cost and low sensitivity to temperature extremes, make this environmentally friendly technology a potential game-changer for sustainable energy storage solutions.
“EDF R&D and EDF Innovation Lab researchers and engineers in California are seeking innovative and high-performance storage solutions in response to EDF’s growing global storage needs. Natron has developed a very promising technology which we are really excited to further evaluate and test at our facilities in France,” explained Arnaud Souille, Smart Grid Program Manager at EDF Innovation Lab.
Natron’s next-generation patented battery technology utilizes Prussian Blue pigment in both electrodes. Its unique structure and composition enable extremely high rates of sustained charge and discharge for tens of thousands of cycles, while placing zero strain on the material. In addition, Natron’s batteries provide improved safety compared to incumbent technology as they can survive hard short circuit and sustained overcharge with no damage, while recharging in as little as 30 minutes. Further, the batteries are non-flammable during tests for nail penetration and external heat tolerance. This has allowed Natron to build the first battery technology in which chemistry does not limit application lifetime – a significant achievement for supporting renewables such as solar and wind microgrids, demand charge management and industrial applications.
“We are very excited to enter into this evaluation agreement for our new battery technology with EDF, one of the world’s leading utility companies with a passionate commitment to renewable energy,” noted Salil Soman, Vice President, Business Development for Natron Energy. “This agreement is an important milestone to further validate the unique aspects of long life, low cost, and enhanced safety of our new Prussian Blue Sodium Ion battery technology, which will be a viable alternative to the costlier lithium-ion (Li-ion) and the incumbent lead-acid batteries in use today.”
According to research firm IHS, the global energy storage market is growing exponentially with an annual installation size of 6 gigawatts in 2017 expected to grow to over 40 gigawatts by 2022. A recent report by GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association (ESA) estimates that the U.S. energy storage market will be worth $3.1 billion by 2022, a sevenfold increase from 2017. More importantly, the sector in 2016 doubled the amount of megawatt-hours (MWh) of battery capacity deployed compared to 2015.
About Natron Energy, Inc.
Natron Energy (formerly Alveo Energy), is developing a new battery technology for a wide variety of energy storage applications including critical backup power systems, material handling, renewables, microgrids, and other industrial applications where fast recharge and long-life are required. The company’s innovative battery technology offers higher power density, faster recharge, and significantly longer cycle life than incumbent technologies. To achieve these benefits, Natron has developed a new cell chemistry based on Prussian Blue electrodes and a sodium-ion electrolyte. The batteries can be economically produced from commodity materials on existing Li-ion cell manufacturing lines.
Founded in 2012 as a spin-off of Stanford University research, Natron seeks to transform industrial and grid energy storage by providing customers with lower cost, longer lasting, more efficient, safer batteries. Natron is backed by leading venture capital investors, and has received support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
About Electricite de France SA (EDF SA)
EDF is a global, integrated energy company and one of the world’s largest electricity producers with 140 gigawatts of generation capacity – with 85% of that electricity carbon free. To succeed in the energy transition, EDF’s R&D division has more than 2,000 employees working on many different projects designed simultaneously to deliver low-carbon power generation, smarter energy transmission grids and more responsible energy consumption. In the U.S., EDF operates several entities including EDF Renewable Energy (8 gigawatts of renewable generation capacity), EDF Trading and EDF Energy Services. Globally, EDF is active in the entire value chain of the electric industry, including R&D, project development, generation, trading, transmission, distribution, sales, and services. EDF Innovation Lab is the U.S. branch of EDF R&D and seeks to identify, demonstrate, and transfer innovative solutions to the entire EDF Group.