Photovoltaic installations are all the rage in 2016 but are they cost-effective and efficient? Right now, getting a storage system could be a little bit of the price range of most consumers. If households want to shave their peak-time energy bills, getting a storage system makes sense, however, if there is no subsidization for storage systems, you could expect to part with $3,000 for a Tesla PowerWall. The price goes higher in other countries due to shipping costs and general installation of any sort of storage system for individual households.
Three United Kingdom research organizations noticed this problem and have all banded together to develop a solution to the price tag on storage. The organizations - of which one includes the assistance of The University of Warwick - agreed to lend their top engineers to build sodium-ion cells that would serve as low-cost
alternative to lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion's development is ongoing and is becoming one of the standards for powering vehicles, energy storage systems and still used for powering electronics.The researchers are certain that their sodium alternative would be 30% less expensive to produce.
Faradion's CEO Francis Massin, said: "This partnership with Moxia Technology and WMG offers a great opportunity not just for Faradion, but for global CO2 reduction. Solar energy storage is an important growth market of the next five years and this partnership means that the UK has the opportunity to be at the forefront of the technology development."
Each company brings something different to the table. Faradion brings their sodium know-how. Moixa has a vast knowledge of energy storage and WMG brings some of the best engineers together to work on the newly developed cells.
Faradion was awarded a £38.2 million ($55 million) grant to further develop the sodium-ion batteries back in May. The company is expected to show how the battery could be implemented into electric vehicles by 2018. By 2025, the company estimates that multiple cars across the UK will have sodium-ion batteries installed inside of them.
The question is will sodium-ion be the battery of choice in the future if it remains cheaper than lithium-ion? Lithium batteries seem to have some sort of monopoly over the game now due to manufacturers using it for EVs, storage systems and other applications. However, by 2018 we could see a battle of the batteries.