Australian battery storage technology goes global

A home-grown battery storage technology is set to move into international markets after signing a global manufacturing deal.

Australian renewable energy storage company Ecoult has announced it has formed a partnership with Exide Industries – the largest battery manufacturer in India.

The partnership will see Ecoult’s energy storage system and solution technologies, which complement the breakthrough UltraBattery technology, manufactured and distributed in India and South Asia.

The UltraBattery technology was invented by CSIRO and battery monitoring and management systems are being developed by Ecoult with funding from its parent company East Penn Manufacturing Co Inc, as well as $4.1 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency through the Advancing Renewables Program.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said providing support for battery storage technologies like the UltraBattery was at the core of ensuring a smooth transition to a renewable energy future.

“ARENA is working hard to accelerate the energy storage revolution as part of its efforts to bring down costs and increase the reliability and security of renewable energy,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“Storage is critical for increasing the reliability of our on-grid and off-grid power systems. It can give customers more control over their energy by storing solar through the day to use during the evening peak.

“This latest funding supports a $10.6 million effort by Ecoult to improve its technology and pursue large-scale commercialisation. It will enhance the battery’s performance and improve its ability to support both grid and offgrid applications.”

Ecoult chief executive officer John Wood said energy storage was a fast growing, innovative sector.

“With ARENA’s new round of funding, it means Ecoult can continue to improve its technology in a way that can effectively shift our dependency on fossil fuel consumption to more effective use of renewable resources,” he said.

“Providing cost-effective, grid-scale energy storage solutions, our UltraBattery supports the uptake of renewable energy in Australia and abroad.

“The combination of its fast charge, power and energy capabilities, lower operating costs, safety, recyclability and high temperature tolerance makes it a robust technology to withstand the hot Australian climate.

“These capabilities are particularly significant for key applications in many parts of the developing world.”

Mr Wood said the UltraBattery is fast responding, fast charging and versatile.

“Its continuous partial state of charge operation allows it to contribute to emissions reduction, both from increasing the efficiency of diesel generation and from increasing the proportion of renewable energy generation in hybrid systems,” Mr Wood said.

“This is a step toward our ambition to integrate more renewables into grids and microgrids.

“It also helps solve one of the most pressing issues in our time – making renewable energy continuously available around the world.”

Ecoult’s telecoms solutions are also well suited (and currently being trialled in India) to off-grid applications in rural communities, which will in turn, bring services like health, education and economic benefit, and improve overall quality of life for local residents.

Recently the Institute for Transformative Technologies (ITT) selected Ecoult’s UltraFlex technology to be tested as one of the possible storage technologies under its rural electrification program.