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A new era of Asian lead-acid battery production following partnerhip deal

Tue, 06/22/2021 - 08:37 -- Paul Crompton
A new era of Asian lead-acid battery production following partnerhip deal

A new era of Taiwanese advanced lead-acid AGM battery production is planned by Pilot Battery and Gridtential Energy after signing a formal evaluation agreement.

Pilot Battery, a Taiwan AGM battery technology firm, and Gridtential Energy, the inventor of Silicon Joule bipolar battery technology, will target the energy storage systems market.

Under the agreement, Pilot will evaluate a combination of 6V and 24V Silicon Joule reference batteries and, using Gridtential’s development kits, produce prototype batteries in preparation for potential future production. 

Pilot will integrate its own active material in the battery to validate impact on cycle life, energy density, battery efficiency, charging rates and manufacturability.

John Barton, Gridential CEO, told BEST: “The growth of lithium batteries has proven that consumers are willing to pay more up front for higher performance technology that delivers long life resulting in lower total cost of ownership. 

“Our technology is targeting the best of both worlds, delivering lower upfront cost than lithium and better total cost of ownership than traditional lead, creating a catalyst for adoption.

“Battery performance can be improved through tuning the biplate and electrochemistry, all of which are achievable through common industry practices.”

The positive and negatative active materiels (PAM and NAM) and separator are common to the industry, the silicon wafer comes from the solar industry, and the casing and seals are made through common production molding techniques. 

Barton said: “The industrialisation process can be thought of in terms of components and architecture. Then separately there is the throughput and precision of assembly, formation and test. 

“Architecturally, Silicon Joule batteries are much simpler than a traditional monopolar construction, containing only five internal components per cell, a plastic case and terminals.” 

The AGM market is being examined closely as a suitable solution for Taiwan’s goal to increase renewable energy capacity to 27GWh.

Silicon Joule battery technology substitutes treated silicon wafers for conventional lead grids to create an advanced AGM lead battery. 

Gridtential has licensing agreements with 12 battery makers, including US manufacturer East Penn, which is making Silicon Joule reference batteries on a prototype line. 

Last year, Gridtential entered into a formal agreement to collaborate on its technology with flooded lead-acid battery firm US Battery.

Under the terms of the agreement, the firms will industrialise bipolar plate pasting and curing processes, and assemble and test Silicon Joule™ bipolar AGM batteries using US Battery’s active material.

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