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UC San Diego spin-off firm receives MWh-scale buy orders of their superior sodium-ion batteries

UC San Diego spin-off firm receives MWh-scale buy orders of their superior sodium-ion batteries

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UNIGRID Battery, a UC San Diego spin-off startup firm and member of Cleantech San Diego’s Southern California Power Innovation Community (SCEIN), broadcasts that it has acquired its first industrial MWh-scale buy orders for his or her superior sodium ion batteries. The corporate was based in 2021 from the Ph.D. analysis work of Dr. Darren H. S. Tan and Dr. Erik A. Wu, who have been each suggested by Prof. Zheng Chen and Prof. Shirley Meng, outstanding figures within the battery discipline.


UNIGRID noticed an instantaneous alternative for sodium ion in North America’s residential, behind-the-meter vitality storage system (ESS) market (i.e. energy packs – reminiscent of Tesla’s Powerwall – which are put in in properties). They’ve moved shortly to scale up and produce their first product, a first-generation cylindrical cell. 


“There’s a huge market hole that present battery applied sciences can’t meet. Sodium ion may be very compelling as it’s a less-expensive and safer battery with out the lithium provide chain uncertainties,” stated UNIGRID CEO Darren H. S. Tan.


Because of this mixture of properties, sodium ion batteries are rising as the subsequent massive wave in battery expertise. UNIGRID’s distinctive strategy, the usage of a tin anode as an alternative of exhausting carbon, is a breakthrough for sodium-ion batteries; it will increase the volumetric vitality density to be aggressive with and even exceed that of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, overcoming a earlier aggressive drawback.


“Tin alloy anode in sodium ion overcomes the frequent failure modes of silicon, reminiscent of particle cracking from quantity growth, energetic materials losses, and capability degradation. Tin opens up many prospects for sodium ion,” stated UNIGRID CTO Erik A. Wu.


Third social gathering testing and validation on the superior sodium ion batteries has been accomplished, and UNIGRID is on monitor to ship MWh portions of its superior sodium ion batteries to clients in 2024. The staff is at present ramping up manufacturing in San Diego, California, with the intention to meet the quickly rising curiosity and demand for his or her sodium-ion batteries.


“The U.S. has huge reserves of sodium and has large potential to strengthen our grid’s resilience. We absolutely anticipate batteries to be a necessary equipment for each house, like a fridge, however for electrons.,” stated Dr. Shirley Meng, Professor of the Pritzker College of Molecular Engineering on the College of Chicago and Adjunct Professor of Nanoengineering at UC San Diego. Professor Meng additionally serves because the Chief Scientist for Argonne’s Collaborative Middle for Power Storage Science (ACCESS).


Li-ion batteries have made nice progress in enabling electrical autos and transportable gadgets. Nonetheless, powering our nation’s grid, enabling extra renewables, and driving ahead a profitable clear vitality transition requires a various array of vitality technology and storage applied sciences, and the UNIGRID staff believes that sodium-ion can have a big half to play within the vitality panorama transferring ahead. 


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