Zinc-bromide batteries to store solar power at Acciona’s testing field in Spain


Spanish renewable energy company Acciona Energía will test the zinc bromide battery technology developed by Anglo-Australian manufacturer Gelion at its photovoltaic testing plant in Navarra.

The project is part of the I'mnovation program, which Acciona Energy launched to assess emerging energy storage solutions through collaborations with companies from around the world.

Ten energy storage companies participated in the program and four were selected to test their technologies at Acciona's facilities, including Gelion. The selected startups will have the opportunity to test their technologies for a period of between six months and one year at the 1.2 MW Montes del Cierzo experimental photovoltaic plant in Tudela, Navarra, starting in July 2022.

If the tests with Acciona Energía are successful, Gelion's Endure battery will form part of the European company's supplier portfolio as a renewable energy storage provider.

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Gelion has developed a battery technology for the stationary storage of renewable energy based on non-fluid zinc bromide chemistry that can be manufactured in existing lead-acid battery factories.

Gelion emerged from the University of Sydney in 2015 to commercialize the battery technology developed by Professor Thomas Maschmeyer, recipient of the Australian Prime Minister's Award for Innovation in 2020. The company went public on the London AIM market last year.

Maschmeyer describes zinc-bromide chemistry as ideal for solar batteries as it’s relatively slow to charge. He’s glad other companies are playing in the space, positioning lithium as the real competition, over which he says Gelion’s technology has significant advantages, particularly with regards to safety. Its electrolyte gel is a fire retardant, meaning its batteries can’t catch fire or explode.

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