Newly-formed European company Innolith has said it is on course to bring its inorganic “non-flammable electrolyte” to market within two years, to supercharge the performance of conventional lithium-ion batteries.
Innolith was launched two months ago after acquiring the core technical assets of Alevo in Germany and Switerland, which went into insolvency.
Now Innolith plans to partner with manufacturing companies in building grid-scale energy storage systems to aid grid stability as intermittent power from renewables is increasingly fed into power systems.
Based in Basel, Switzerland, Innolith has its principal R&D centre in Bruchsal, Germany, where 60 chemists, engineers and technicians have developed the company’s battery platform.
Innolith says its technology, “in contrast with organic electrolytes used in conventional lithium-ion batteries, has already demonstrated more than 55,000 2C charge/2C discharge of 0-100% depth of discharge cycles— “or 10 to 100 times the life of other lithium-ion cells”.
Innolith CEO Sergey Buchin (pictured) told BEST Battery Briefing: “We are now planning to scale up with capital to finance the creation of a battery manufacturing facility. We see a number of potential partners as investors— such as oil and gas companies who are becoming increasingly interested in this type of business.”
Buchin said Innolith would “definitely” sell branded battery modules, but added: “We want to focus on our core, which is R&D rather than actual manufacturing. We are looking to other companies to build and operate the machinery that we will use to produce batteries with our proprietary electrolyte.”
Buchin, who was chief operating officer of Alevo, said: “One of the lessons learned from Alevo is not to create too many start-ups simultaneously across different areas and to clearly distinguish between different businesses— such as R&D and manufacturing. That’s why we will work with partners.”
“It will take us about two years to deliver the product to market because we need time to do the design of the equipment and actually develop the machinery and build it and ramp up production. We are discussing a production plan that will initially have an output of 100MW of batteries, so it’s not too big or too small— just right as a pilot phase to demonstrate our technology.”
The eventual aim will be to license use of the battery tech for production by companies across Europe, Asia and the US, Buchin said.
Alevo assets acquired by Innolith included the 1MWh/2MW ‘Gridbank’ container battery system operating in the PJM market in Maryland, in the US.
The PJM energy market procures electricity to meet consumers’ demands both in real time and in the near term.
Buchin said Gridbank, which was fully switched on in August 2017, is a “revenue generating asset” that has successfully demonstrated the fundamental technical properties expected of Innolith’s technology in commercial operation.
“Over the next five years, we want to become the global No.1 supplier for frequency management. We believe this is feasible because our cost per cycle is the lowest and this is what matters for high load applications,” Buchin said.