Operations using sodium-sulfur (NaS) batteries have begun in Belgium three years after a NGK Insulators and BASF New Business (BNB) entered into a sales partnership agreement to develop the technology.
The NGK supplied batteries are connected to the power grid at an Antwerp Verbund site owned by German chemical group BASF, of which BNB is a wholly owned subsidiary.
The project aims to develop a business model by allowing BNB to gain direct experience in long-term operations of a NaS battery system.
Learnings from examining various use cases will enable the firms to advise end users in the planning and implementation of NaS projects and to collect data for further development.
The system comprises of a maximum 1,000kW-dc power and 5,800kWh-dc dischargeable energy and four sets of containerised NAS batteries.
BASF’s facility started operation in September 2021.
In 2019, NGK and BNB entered into sales partnership agreement for NAS battery and a joint development agreement for next-generation sodium-sulfur batteries.
Since then, the firms have been cooperating by combining NGK’s expertise in battery design and production with BNB’s chemistry know-how to market and further develop NAS batteries.
In April, NGK won an order to supply its NaS technology to the Tanegashima Space Center of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
The batteries will be used to ensure the reliable launch of vehicles from the space center, as well as improving the reliability of its electric power systems, including: emergency backup power source (backup power supply for electrical generators), frequency stabilisation and energy conservation.