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Text from PDF Page: 001The new generation of saltwater batteries Dr. Thomas F. Krausse, Managing Director BlueSky Energy No doubt it is a dynamic environment for electrochemical energy storage. Seeing the market opportunities, price developments and market participants entering and exiting the battery market a lot of things are developing. Besides the established technologies lead batteries (with all its different versions) and lithium batteries, some believe the next big opportunity lies in various form of flow batteries. Why should anybody care about a technology like saltwater batteries? What are saltwater batteries all about? What is behind the saltwater battery? Saltwater batteries do have an electrolyte which is saltwater like and give the name to these forms of batteries. They have no moving or rotating parts and from an architectural perspective they are similar to the common lead batteries. The difference is in the materials used. Saltwater batteries consist of all natural materials, are non-toxic, non inflammable, non explosive and are considered the safest battery technology on the market. Although it is a fairly young technology it has proven its reliability in the market for years with the longest applications being in the field for more than eight years and over 16.000 batteries deployed worldwide to date. Although the technology seems simple on first sight, being a lead battery architecture only with natural and harmless ingredients, a substantial material scientific effort is needed to get Anode material, Cathode Material and Electrolyte right. And – as everything in the battery industry – it takes a long time to figure out the right material mix and test it over multiple cycles. The consequence is improvement steps based on practical experience take a long time. The strength of this technology is without doubt its robustness. It is one of the few battery technologies which are truly maintenance free. Why so? Because saltwater batteries do have got in its nature that they allow a full discharge, so you can completely empty the battery without harming the battery or making a negative impact on its cycle life. The battery can even be days or weeks without any state of charge. Therefore no battery management system (BMS) is needed, which is actively controlling the state of charge. The robustness of this technology manifests itself also on the wide operating temperature window. Starting from -5 degree Centigrade up to 50 degree Centigrade is the specified temperature window. It is interesting to note, that the battery is getting more efficient (in terms of round trip efficiency) in the higher temperature areas. Even if it is getting above 50 degree centigrade the battery can be used without any risk as the technology cannot burn or explode, but with temperature about 50 degree Centigrade potential detrimental effects on the lifetime can be experience as the electrolyte starts to gas and a lower level of electrolyte impacts negatively on the cycle performance of the battery. The gasing however is not harmful and can be even carried out in enclosed rooms, the natural air circulation in rooms is sufficient to ensure a safe environment for humans and animals. A key metric for any battery is cycle life. How many charge and discharge cycles hold saltwater batteries? The current generation of saltwater batteries hold 5.000 cycles assuming they are used according to product specification and assuming the average depth of discharge is at 80%. After those 5.000 cycles the product is far from end of life, but the remaining capacity is at 70% of its original nominal capacity. As the product is not getting dangerous (explosive, inflammable) the saltwater battery can still be used beyond 5.000 cycles. So it is dependent on the application if 70% storage capacity are still adequate in order to use the battery.
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Product and Development Focus for SalgenxRedox Flow Battery Technology: With the advent of the new USA tax credits for producing and selling batteries ($35/kW) we are focussing on a simple flow battery using shipping containers as the modular electrolyte storage units with tax credits up to $140,000 per system. Our main focus is on the salt battery. This battery can be used for both thermal and electrical storage applications. We call it the Cogeneration Battery or Cogen Battery. One project is converting salt (brine) based water conditioners to simultaneously produce power. In addition, there are many opportunities to extract Lithium from brine (salt lakes, groundwater, and producer water).Salt water or brine are huge sources for lithium. Most of the worlds lithium is acquired from a brine source. It's even in seawater in a low concentration. Brine is also a byproduct of huge powerplants, which can now use that as an electrolyte and a huge flow battery (which allows storage at the source).We welcome any business and equipment inquiries, as well as licensing our flow battery manufacturing.
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