Providing lithium-ion performance at lead-acid prices. As one of the commodity components for numerous lithium-ion battery-types, cobalt has increased 129% in 2017, as a direct result of demand from the lithium-ion battery business. In addition lithium prices have continued to increase, with Bloomberg predicting that both these factors will have an impact on Lithium-ion battery pack prices in 2018.
Faradion’s sodium-ion batteries do not use lithium, cobalt or copper and therefore are not susceptible to changes in the prices of these materials, unlike lithium-ion batteries.
Faradion’s sodium-ion technology is anticipated to cost 30% less than Li-ion.
This is achieved by a combination of:
- Using highly-abundant sodium as the ion in the battery
- The absence of expensive cobalt in the active materials
- Readily available anode materials
- Inexpensive electrolytes
- The use of aluminium current collectors for both electrodes
The potential savings have been highlighted by Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government and Head of the Government Office for Science.
In his recent review of the case for a new UK battery research institution, he commented that sodium technology “could bring down prices substantially”. See here for his review in full.
In addition, sodium-ion cells are produced on existing Li-ion cell manufacturing lines, requiring no additional asset investment.
The (round trip) energy efficiency of sodium-ion batteries is 92% at a discharge time of 5 hours, in contrast with a lead-acid battery that has an energy efficiency of circa 70%. This means that for the same energy input, sodium-ion delivers 22% more energy (kWh) than a lead-acid battery. This should be taken into account when comparing the upfront cost of batteries, as the $/(kWh*cycle) increases with a lower energy efficiency. For a 1kWh battery operating for 1000 cycles, the energy loss at 70% efficiency is 300 kWh, compared with an energy loss of 80 kWh in a battery of 92% energy efficiency. If both batteries are priced at $100/kWh then the energy loss would cost $36.00 for the battery with an energy efficiency of 70% and only $0.96 for a battery with 92% energy efficiency.