Natron Sodium-Ion Batteries being Evaluated by EDF for Grid Storage

July 11, 2018 by Paul Shepard

Natron Energy, a developer and provider of disruptive new battery products using Prussian Blue Electrode Sodium Ion chemistry, has entered into an evaluation agreement with Electricite De France (EDF) on the potential use of its technology for stationary storage applications that are increasingly vital to support the growing use of grid-scale renewables.

The testing and evaluation of Natron's patented technology, based on Prussian Blue analogue electrodes and a sodium-ion electrolyte, will be conducted at EDF's state-of-the-art battery test laboratories in France.

"As a leading utility company and a European leader in renewable energies, we're intrigued by the potential of Natron Energy's new battery cell technology for grid storage applications," said Dr. Laurent Torcheux, head of the batteries group at EDF R&D. "We are continually evaluating and testing technologies that can further our goal in creating a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable planet."

Prussian Blue dye, commonly used in blueprints, is very effective in storing and releasing energy in the form of sodium ions. Its widespread availability, low cost and low sensitivity to temperature extremes, make this environmentally friendly technology a potential game-changer for sustainable energy storage solutions.

"EDF R&D and EDF Innovation Lab researchers and engineers in California are seeking innovative and high-performance storage solutions in response to EDF's growing global storage needs. Natron has developed a very promising technology which we are really excited to further evaluate and test at our facilities in France," explained Arnaud Souille, Smart Grid Program Manager at EDF Innovation Lab.

Natron's next-generation patented battery technology utilizes Prussian Blue pigment in both electrodes. Its unique structure and composition enable extremely high rates of sustained charge and discharge for tens of thousands of cycles while placing zero strain on the material.

In addition, Natron's batteries provide improved safety compared to incumbent technology as they can survive hard short circuit and sustained overcharge with no damage while recharging in as little as 30 minutes. Further, the batteries are non-flammable during tests for nail penetration and external heat tolerance.

This has allowed Natron to build the first battery technology in which chemistry does not limit application lifetime - a significant achievement for supporting renewables such as solar and wind microgrids, demand charge management and industrial applications.

"We are very excited to enter into this evaluation agreement for our new battery technology with EDF, one of the world's leading utility companies with a passionate commitment to renewable energy," noted Salil Soman, Vice President, Business Development for Natron Energy.

"This agreement is an important milestone to further validate the unique aspects of long life, low cost, and enhanced safety of our new Prussian Blue Sodium Ion battery technology, which will be a viable alternative to the costlier lithium-ion (Li-ion) and the incumbent lead-acid batteries in use today," Soman added.