Fraunhofer IKTS unveils alternative for PV home storage based on sodium-nickel-chloride

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From pv magazine Germany.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) will present its newly developed “cerenergy” ceramic high-temperature battery for stationary battery storage at the Energy Storage Europe 2019 show, in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Cerenergy is a 5 kWh battery with 20 cells, the fair’s organizer Messe Düsseldorf said. The costs at cellular level would be less than €100/kWh – about half those of lithium-ion battery cells. Cerenergy therefore sets a world record for sodium-nickel-chloride battery cells, according to Messe Düsseldorf, with the module said to be ready for production in the months ahead.

The operating temperature of ceramic battery solutions is 300 degrees Celsius and it can be efficiently and economically operated using vacuum insulation, Fraunhofer IKTS said, meaning air conditioning is not necessary even in extreme ambient temperatures.

Overall efficiency is reported to be more than 90% and energy density is 130 W/kg.

“The sodium nickel chloride battery is essentially based on common salt – there is hardly a cheaper and more readily available raw material,” explained Roland Weidl, head of department at Fraunhofer IKTS. “And we also completely dispense with rare earths or other strategic raw materials.”

The principle of the technology has been known since the 1990s and it has now become possible to adapt the technology for applications to PV home storage. Another essential component of the battery is a ceramic sodium ion-conductor based on aluminum oxide, nickel and iron.

Energy Storage Europe 2019 will take place from March 12-14.