Inexpensive and safe grid battery
cerenergy® – ceramic solid-state battery is commercialized
The Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS and the Altech Group establish the joint venture Altech Batteries GmbH to commercialize the ceramic solid-state battery cerenergy® developed at Fraunhofer IKTS. In the coming years, a cerenergy® battery factory is to be built at the Schwarze Pumpe site in Saxony.
"Over the past ten years, we have developed the cerenergy® high-temperature ceramic battery, a high-performance technology platform for low-cost stationary energy storage. Our cerenergy® batteries have already been successfully tested in stationary battery modules. Together with the Altech Group, we are now entering the final phase of industrial product development for global commercialization," says Prof. Alexander Michaelis, Institute Director of Fraunhofer IKTS.
Fraunhofer IKTS holds a 25 % stake in the joint venture. The institute is receiving a research contract from Altech in the double-digit million range to bring the technology to product maturity. The IKTS team is also involved in the accompanying economic feasibility study.
Powerful and safe grid battery storage
cerenergy® batteries, also known as sodium nickel chloride batteries, are based on inexpensive and readily available raw materials. This means that no critical raw materials, such as lithium or cobalt are used. High-purity aluminimum oxide is used for the ceramic solid-state electrolyte, and common salt and nickel are predominantly used as the cathode medium. In addition, these ceramic batteries are fire- and explosion-proof. They are suitable for a wide temperature application range from minus 20 °C to plus 60 °C, guarantee high performance and durability regardless of the ambient temperature, and also do not require any complex external temperature management. Fraunhofer IKTS researchers have calculated that the manufacturing costs of cerenergy® batteries will be 40 % lower than those of comparable lithium-ion batteries.
Scientific investigations have further shown that almost no aging takes place in this type of battery. The typical processes that limit the service life of lithium batteries do not occur at all in the cerenergy® battery.
The resource-saving cerenergy® batteries are not only suitable for the storage of renewable energy, but also for industry and private households. They can also be used as energy storage devices to provide a buffer between power generation and power consumption. They are also interesting in megaparks for energy suppliers to compensate for fluctuations in grids. In addition, such powerful batteries are an indispensable part of the charging infrastructure for e-mobility.
"A first line of the planned 100 MWh/a battery factory will produce 10,000 battery modules per year, each with a capacity of 10 kWh," Uwe Ahrens, CEO of Altech Advanced Materials, tells us. "The environmentally friendly and safe cerenergy®-batteries, with their significantly longer lifetime compared to lithium batteries, have the potential to revolutionize the market for stationary batteries. Thanks to the technological development of IKTS and the industrial production now planned, we will jointly set a new environmentally friendly and efficient standard for stationary batteries. As storage devices for renewable energies, our solid-state batteries are an important building block for the ongoing decarbonization of energy generation and for mitigating climate change," adds Uwe Ahrens.