Researchers at WMG, University of Warwick have formed a new research partnership with battery technology innovators Faradion, and smart energy storage specialists Moixa Technology, to develop sodium-ion cells as a significantly lower cost alternative to lithium-ion batteries for solar energy storage. This collaboration is being part funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
A significant proportion of the cost of current solar energy storage systems comes from the commonly used lithium-ion battery. However by using highly abundant sodium salts rather than lithium, Sodium-ion cells are anticipated to be 30% cheaper to produce. This makes solar storage more accessible and opening up the possibility of domestic renewable energy storage to a greater number of households and businesses worldwide. Developments in this area could lead to a CO2 reduction of 500,000 tonnes each year.
Another key element to the partnership will be to prove that sodium-ion technology can meet the life cycle requirements of solar energy storage. A conventional lead-acid battery would currently need to be replaced up to five times throughout the lifetime of a photovoltaic (PV) solar system.
WMG’s role in the partnership will see it employ its large scale prototype manufacturing and electrode coating capabilities. Faradion will bring to the partnership its knowledge of sodium-ion battery technology, cell performance, battery markets and licensing. Moixa Technology, will provide its ability to design, build and test photovoltaic energy storage systems and its knowledge of this market.
Rohit Bhagat, Associate Professor at WMG said “We have invested heavily in our Energy Innovation Centre, and are pleased to be part of this project as Sodium-ion batteries offer considerable strategic and technological advantages for solar and grid energy storage applications.”
Francis Massin, CEO of Faradion, said: “This partnership with Moixa Technology and WMG, University of Warwick,offers a great opportunity, not just for Faradion, but for global CO2 reduction. Solar energy storage is an important growth market of the next five years and this partnership means that the UK has the opportunity to be at the forefront of technology development.”
Chris Wright, CEO of Moixa Technology, said: “Moixa are excited to be working with Faradion on this project, we believe that energy storage solutions such as Moixa’s Maslow have the potential to transform how the world uses energy, and pulling down the cost of the batteries is key to scaling this vision.”