Sydney-based company Gelion Technologies has launched Australia’s first zinc-bromide battery production facility, utilising partner Battery Energy Power Solutions’ existing lead-acid battery manufacturing infrastructure in Fairfield to produce its Endure batteries.
Gelion said the plant will be capable of producing 2 MWh of non-flow zinc-bromide batteries annually thanks in large part to the unique design of the Endure battery which allows for the use of about 70% of existing lead-acid battery manufacturing processes.
Gelion chief executive officer Hannah McCaughey said the marriage between established and new technology shows Australia could scale sovereign domestic manufacturing capacity extremely efficiently by leveraging existing processes and supply chains.
“We are delighted to be launching production of our breakthrough battery, proving it can be produced at scale with existing lead-acid battery manufacturing processes,” she said. “This milestone is a significant step forward in Gelion’s growth strategy and also strengthens our position in the rapidly expanding energy storage market.”
Figures provided by Gelion show the value of the global battery energy storage market will reach $265 billion by 2026. Lithium-ion technology currently dominates the market but supply chain issues, skyrocketing prices for critical minerals, and a predicted global lithium shortage have encouraged the search for alternatives.
Gelion said its proprietary non-flow zinc-bromide battery technology offers a low-cost, robust, safe and recyclable alternative to lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries. The company said the production of its Endure batteries can also be scaled up on a predominantly Australian supply chain, making them ideally suited for the expanding energy storage market.
“That’s the brilliance of the technology,” McCaughey said. “Because we’ve taken a very established and very safe form of chemistry, that has been proven in being very good for long-term storage, which is six to 12 hours and we put it in a form factor of a lead-acid battery, which means that you can use the cell assembly, sealing, vacuum filling etc – so we’re using all these standard pieces of industrial equipment to manufacture our battery.”
Acciona Energía will be among Gelion’s first customers after it inked a supply deal with the Spanish renewable energy company in 2021.
“Our game-changing technology will now be deployed to Acciona to support its development of renewable battery systems,” McCaughey said.
Gelion said it is also in “advanced discussions” with other customers in the energy, resources, mining, and oil and gas sectors for trials and offtakes.
Australian Energy Minister Chris Bowen was among those who attended Friday’s launch in Sydney, describing it as “a great day for Gelion”.
“This is what Australian innovation is all about, cutting-edge technology and new manufacturing opportunities, which means more well-paying local jobs and upskilling in the workforce,” he said.
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