Power Inc took home the Best Technical Development within Energy Storage Award from the recent IDTechEx Show in Santa Clara. Their submission on 'Solid State Sodium Ion Batteries
for Grid Energy Storage' caught the attention of the independent group of judges, which included Engie
Storage, UL and Enevate
"We are excited to win the award for the Best Technical Development within Energy Storage at the IDTechEx Show this year,"
said Shantanu Mitra, CEO and Founder of Farad Power Inc. "As an innovative battery materials startup company in a highly competitive market, it is an honor to be recognized by such a prestigious and renowned organization as IDTechEx. Not only does this validate our carbon-composites platform technology, but it will also help position us for even more applications within the fast-evolving energy-storage materials market."
One of our judges provided a great summary of the current lithium ion battery scene and how important it now is to improve the performance and safety of new battery technologies. Lithium ion batteries have become the battery of choice for many stationary battery applications because of their greater energy density and the lowering cost of their production, which makes them a competitive choice. However, there are concerns with the use of these batteries for stationary applications. At the top of the list of concerns with lithium ion batteries, are the safety concerns that continue to challenge this industry. The numerous battery system fires in South Korea and the APS battery energy storage system incident in Arizona have not helped this situation. Besides safety concerns, another concern regarding the widespread use of lithium ion batteries in so many applications, including energy storage, is the potential difficulty in sourcing of materials, such as Cobalt and Nickel, that go into the production of these batteries. This difficulty only increases with the increased use of lithium ion batteries.
These issues are highlighted in the submittal abstract for Farad Power, Inc., as important reasons for finding a suitable alternative to lithium ion for stationary battery applications. They make the argument that sodium ion batteries are a good alternative choice. These batteries have had issues primarily with performance. However, the applicant noted the improvements to their design, including their special cathode construction and anode design for improved performance over past sodium ion battery formulations. Also, their claim that the solid-state electrolyte has reasonably good conductivity compared with past solid electrolyte designs is an important step in improved performance. Their electrolyte, which is a true solid-state design employing nanotechnology for improved conductivity, does not contain any organic flammable liquid electrolyte, which should ensure that the design is a safer approach.
I think that it is important to note, that there are others that see this technology as a potential alternative technology. John Goodenough, the recent Nobel prize recipient for his work in the development of lithium ion battery technologies, has researched solid state electrolytes with lithium or sodium metal anodes as improvements over traditional lithium ion battery design. We should support organizations such as Farad Power, Inc. in their effort to research methods to improve the performance and safety of new battery technologies that hold promise, such as solid-state sodium ion batteries, as viable alternatives to lithium ion batteries.
Top image shows Shantanu Mitra, CEO and Founder, Farad Power Inc