Make Way for Sodium: World’s Largest Sodium-ion Battery Production Facility Is on the Map
The world’s largest 1-gigawatt-hour sodium-ion battery production line goes live in China.
In recent news, the power company China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG), along with industry and government partners, launched the world's first gigawatt-hour (GWh)-class sodium-ion battery (SiB) production line in Fuyang city, China.
The sodium ion. Image used courtesy of Adobe Stock
Sodium vs. Lithium
SiBs are a type of rechargeable battery that uses an aqueous sodium-ion electrolyte. These batteries have some advantages and disadvantages.
SiBs can be used in any application that requires a high-power density
They are capable of storing more energy per unit weight than other battery types
They are considered to be more cost-effective than other battery types, such as lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries
They can be recharged a greater number of times than Li-ion batteries and last up to 10 years
They are non-flammable and considered a more safe alternative to Li-ion batteries
SIBs have a lower voltage than Li-ion batteries
They only work at low temperatures
A graphic showing the advantages of SiBs (or NiBs) against Li-ion batteries. Image used courtesy of HiNa Battery
As a natural resource, sodium is the sixth most common element within the Earth’s crust. According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, sodium makes up around 2.6 percent of the Earth’s crust.
According to HiNa Technology Co., Ltd. (HiNa Battery), the amount of lithium in the Earth’s crust is much less at 0.0065 percent.
SiBs could address the current need for a better, more efficient battery that can store more energy and have a longer life cycle.
The SiB Production Facility
HiNa Battery is a company with headquarters based in Liyang (Jiangsu, China) that develops and manufactures SiBs used within next-generation energy storage systems. Areas of application for such batteries include electric motorcycles, bicycles, vehicles, industrial energy storage, and home energy storage.
In December 2021, HiNa Battery began its partnership with two of CTG’s subsidiary companies and the Fuyang city government to jointly construct the 1-GWh SiB production facility. An initial capacity of 1 GWh is a part of the facility’s first development phase, which was completed in July 2022.
Next year, the production line is planned to undergo expansion to achieve a capacity of 3 to 5 GWh.
HiNa Battery’s Si Cells
HiNa Battery’s Na-ion cells feature an energy density of 145 Wh/kg energy density and are capable of 4,500 full charge-discharge cycles. The company is undertaking research and development (R&D) to develop the second generation of its Si cell technology. This new technology will be able to deliver an energy density of 200 Wh/kg energy density. This could result in batteries that last twice as long.
The globally recognized Li-ion batteries developer, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd. (CATL), also plans to expand the production of SiBs soon, though with an energy density of 160 Wh/kg. The company has hinted that their next-generation cells will have an even higher energy density than the 200 Wh/kg baseline.