by Collyn Rivers
Australian Battery Breakthrough – read about it here first!
Battery storage has long been the major cost of energy systems. Most new systems are lithium-ion. They cost about $1 per watt/hour. This may be slashed by an Australian battery breakthrough. Called Gelion, the battery uses zinc-bromide. It is claimed cheaper and safer than lithium batteries.
The battery was developed by Professor Thomas Maschmeyer and his team at Sydney University. It is backed by Australian investors. Britain’s Armstrong Energy is also a backer.
Gelion relies partially on a breakthrough in nanostructured gels. It challenges existing technologies in safety, durability and price.
Fully discharging most batteries damages or wrecks them. Gelion’s zinc-bromide chemistry, however, renders 100% battery usable. The battery is claimed to be inexpensive, robust and safe. It is fully recyclable. It can also be any required capacity.
The Gelion Australian battery breakthrough uses Redox (reduction-oxidation). This is a chemical reaction whereby oxidation states of atoms change. One chemical loses electrons. Another (the oxidising agent) gains electrons.
The Gelion battery can use various combinations of electrolyte. They may be all-liquid to liquid/gelated. There is also an innovative all-gel electrolyte. It’s claimed mechanical strength is that of a solid. Its ionic conduction is closer to a liquid. This, claims Gelion, enables safe, durable batteries. Furthermore, it enables them to be. They have high electrical performance. And a variety of applications.
Australian Battery Breakthrough – affordable components
Gelion’s Australian battery breakthrough’s materials, zinc and bromine, are inexpensive. Both are globally well-distributed. This is beneficial because lithium and cobalt used in other batteries are costly and scarce.
The battery’s flexible gels prevent mechanical stress failure. This may otherwise happen during charging and discharging. And also physical mishandling. The gel is non-flammable. It is claimed as fire-retardant. Its toxic materials are chemically bound. This prevents accidental release.
The electrode surfaces can be rejuvenated via existing systems. This is useful for stationary energy storage. And, moreover, in remote sites.
Gelion’s commercial production
Gelion is an exciting development. The company has London-based counterparts. It is well advanced in planning commercialisation. Likewise supply-chain strategies. These range from prototypes to production capacity. Both are happening now (2020).
Gelion’s battery cells have flexible configurations. These include street lighting, domestic and commercial buildings. Furthermore, they are suitable for grid support. Moreover, they can be used in grid-connect systems. Gelion is truly an Australian battery breakthrough.