Bipolar lead battery developer Gridtential Energy has signed a formal evaluation agreement with Luminous Power Technologies — a subsidiary of Schneider Electric.
Under the agreement, India-headquartered Luminous will evaluate a combination of Gridential’s 6V and 24V Silicon Joule reference batteries, and build prototype batteries using the latter’s development kits.
By producing Silicon Joule batteries, Luminous aims to manufacture batteries by leveraging its existing production lines and expertise in solar materials.
Gridtential’s Silicon Joule battery technology substitutes treated silicon wafers, like those found in solar panels, for conventional lead grids to create a silicon-lead battery.
The US-based firm says the battery delivers up to 5X the power density, 2X the discharge rate at a 75% lower levelised cost of electricity than conventional lead batteries— although the firm is tight-lipped on the actual numbers to back up the claims.
The International Energy Agency estimated that India could double its renewables capacity to 900GW by 2040 in its ‘India Energy Outlook 2021’ report.
Luminous managing director Vipul Sabharwal, said: "Advanced lead acid batteries like bipolar are an exciting breakthrough in lead battery technology, and Silicon Joule's innovation in this space provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to bring more added value to the customer in energy storage in Indian homes.
“Energy storage is also going to be key for scaling up solar energy and this promises to be a suitable technology for our product development endeavours toward our customers in the future.”
Luminous brings decades of experience to the validation process as it evaluates impact on cycle life, energy density, battery efficiency, charging rates and manufacturability.
Luminous sells batteries in 35 countries outside of India, spanning South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
Gridtential has development agreements with 14 battery makers, including US manufacturer East Penn, which is currently making Silicon Joule reference batteries on a prototype line.
Series of lead battery deals
In June, Taiwan AGM battery technology firm Pilot Battery and Gridtential signed a formal evaluation agreement to target the energy storage systems market using the bipolar technology.
Much like the Luminous deal, Pilot is evaluating a combination of 6V and 24V Silicon Joule reference batteries, and will produce prototype batteries using Gridtential’s development kits in preparation for potential future production.
In July, 2020, Gridtential Energy entered into a formal agreement to collaborate with flooded lead-acid battery firm US Battery on its bipolar battery technology.
Under the terms of the agreement, the firms will industrialise bipolar plate pasting and curing processes.
The previous month Gridtential had announced two other deals.
The first was a technology evaluation agreement with LOLC Advanced Technologies to develop bipolar lead batteries using technology from both firms.
Under the agreement, the companies are collaborating on prototyping lead batteries using Gridtential’s bipolar silicon plates and LOLC’s graphene additive AltaLABGX, which is applied to active material.
The second deal was with Indian battery maker Amara Raja Batteries.
The two companies entered into a formal technology evaluation agreement, with Amara and Gridtential assembling and testing Silicon Joule bipolar reference batteries.