Bipolar battery tech pioneer Gridtential Energy in CBI project to boost 'green power' in US homes

by John Shepherd
Gridtential CEO John Barton said integrated PV-battery backup is 'fantastic application for Silicon Joule technology'.
Engineers from US Silicon Joule bipolar battery tech pioneer Gridtential Energy and Electric Applications Incorporated (EAI) have been awarded a research project – to develop high-voltage reference batteries specifically for so-called behind-the-meter (BTM) energy storage applications.

The project, supported by the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI), will work to further develop quick and safe ‘plug and play’ solar-powered energy storage systems to meet the boom in demand for renewable and secure energy supplies for homes in the US.

The research will combine Gridtential’s technology with the testing expertise of EAI.

Optimised charging scheme

Silicon Joule tech uses silicon wafers – similar to those in solar cells – in traditional lead batteries to reduce weight and achieve performance competitive with lithium-ion at a lower cost.

The research will involve constructing mini systems using Silicon Joule bipolar batteries for testing, with EAI developing an optimised charge scheme to replicate actual energy storage systems.

Gridtential CEO John Barton said: "Integrated PV-battery backup system is a fantastic application for Silicon Joule technology due to its superior cycle life, low cost, safety, and recyclability; all of which are of utmost importance to residential consumers and small business owners and set this technology apart from other batteries.”

'Booming market for advanced lead'

CBI technical manager Dr Matt Raiford said: "This exciting partnership will delve into the performance of bipolar lead battery packs using sizing commonly seen in residential energy storage systems.”

"Demand reduction and renewable energy storage applications are a booming market for advanced lead batteries and the most popular in the residential sector.”

The CBI said advanced batteries developed by Gridtential and EAI could "accelerate the move to greener power in homes across the US” – at a time when President Joe Biden’s administration is pushing ahead with policies focused on combating climate change and establishing a low-carbon economy.

Building on its technical roadmap, CBI said goals to maximise cycle life and energy throughput – two key technical parameters for renewable energy storage – make the project "critical for delivering insights to enhance lead battery performance”.

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