Zinc-ion batteries for residential applications


From pv magazine Global

Enerpoly has developed configurable, modular zinc-ion batteries for stationary storage applications. They are suitable for short- to medium-duration storage applications of two to 10 hours.

Its 3 kWh battery packs weigh 60 kilograms and measure 800 mm x 177 mm x 432 mm. They operate in the temperature range of -10 C to 50 C. The nominal voltage stands at 48 V, with a nominal capacity of 60 Ah. The battery packs have a maximum charge/discharge power of 2.8 kW, with 1.4 kW of continuous power.

Enerpoly’s technology uses zinc metal as the anode and manganese dioxide as the cathode, with a water-based electrolyte. Its proprietary battery cells are built with a prismatic form factor.

It claims that the technology is safer, without the possibility of thermal runaway. The Swedish startup says it has passed all safety standards and notes that it has tested its batteries against the UL 9540A standard.

Now, Enerpoly is partnering with Austrian PV startup EET (Efficient Energy Technology) on the “ZincMate” project. The say that their goal is “to drive the development and commercialisation of an energy storage device that can be installed in all European households.”

The project partners have secured €870,000 ($1.35 million) in grant funding under the Eurostars-3 program, which originated from Vinnova and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). The total project budget is €1.74 million ($2.7 million).

The companies will produce ZincMate prototypes of a plug-in storage system with rechargeable zinc batteries. The technical basis for ZincMate is EET’s on-grid technology, in combination with Enerpoly’s cost-effective batteries. EET makes photovoltaic systems with energy storage that can be set up on a balcony and plugged into a wall outlet, so homeowners and tenants can produce their own renewable electricity.

EET, founded in 2017, is said to be the only company producing storage devices that can be installed by amateurs, without the help of technicians. EET’s innovation core for the SolMate device is an integrated and patented measurement technology that can assess the energy demand of a household via a power outlet connection. This eliminates the need for further installation or connection to a household’s electric grid.

“Currently, EET’s SolMate device is equipped with a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery and it’s obvious that battery technology needs to improve,” says Christoph Grimmer, CEO of EET. “Moving to zinc-ion technology for residential applications is the next step in the right direction.”

The batteries developed under the ZincMate partnership will be tested in both laboratory and home environments, including apartments, small living spaces, and shared housing. The project will start this year and run for two years.

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