U.K. Team to Develop Na-ion Battery Tech for PV Storage

March 14, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

The innovator of sodium-ion battery technology, Faradion, is partnering with smart energy storage specialists, Moixa Technology, and WMG, University of Warwick to develop sodium-ion (Na-ion) cells as a low cost alternative to lithium-ion batteries for solar energy storage. This collaborative work is being part funded by Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency.

A significant proportion of the cost of solar energy storage systems comes from the lithium-ion battery. With Na-ion cells anticipated to be 30% cheaper to produce, Faradion’s technology could make solar storage more accessible, opening up the possibility of domestic renewable energy storage to a greater number of households and businesses worldwide. Developments in this area could lead to a CO2 reduction of 500,000 tons each year.

By using highly-abundant sodium salts rather than lithium, it is expected that sodium-ion batteries will be significantly cheaper to produce. Another key element to the partnership will be to prove that sodium-ion technology can meet the life cycle requirements of solar energy storage. A conventional lead-acid battery would currently need to be replaced up to five times throughout the lifetime of a photovoltaic (PV) solar system.

Faradion will bring to the partnership its knowledge of Na-ion battery technology, cell performance, battery markets and licensing. Moixa Technology, which is a leading developer of smart storage and dc technology will provide its ability to design, build and test photovoltaic energy storage systems and its knowledge of this market. WMG at the University of Warwick will supply the large scale prototype manufacturing and electrode coating capabilities.

Francis Massin, CEO of Faradion, said: “This partnership with Moixa Technology and WMG, University of Warwick, offers a great opportunity, not just for Faradion, but for global CO2 reduction. Solar energy storage is an important growth market of the next five years and this partnership means that the UK has the opportunity to be at the forefront of technology development.”

Chris Wright, CEO of Moixa Technology, said: “Moixa are excited to be working with Faradion on this project, we believe that energy storage solutions such as Moixa’s Maslow have the potential to transform how the world uses energy, and pulling down the cost of the batteries is key to scaling this vision.”

Rohit Bhagat, Associate Professor at WMG said “We have invested heavily in our Energy Innovation Centre, and are pleased to be part of this project as we see sodium-ion batteries offering strategic and technological advantages for solar and grid energy storage applications.”