July 30, 2020: Bipolar battery developer Gridtential said on July 28 it had signed an agreement with flooded lead-acid battery firm US Battery to collaborate on the firm’s silicon joule technology.
The firms say they will industrialize bipolar plate pasting and curing processes, as well as assemble and test bipolar AGM batteries with US Battery active material, which they expect will drive further improvements in cycle life, energy density, battery efficiency and charging rates.
It is unclear as yet how far advanced Gridtential is in terms of automating the production of these bipolar batteries.
In a demonstration last October at Crown Battery’s plant in Ohio, firms such as MAC Engineering, Sovema Group and TBS Engineering were invited to look at how they could move manual assembly of the silicon joule element of the batteries’ production to a mechanized process.
“As US Battery achieves performance milestones, the company will be well positioned to manufacture and distribute industry-leading bipolar AGM products to the market,” the companies said.
“US Battery hopes to combine the current advantages of premium deep cycle, lead-acid battery cycle life that provides low cost per watt hour over the life of the battery with the advantages of high power density and increased cycle life offered by the Gridtential technology,” said US Battery CEO Terry Agrelius.
“This combination could provide the improvements necessary for US Battery to better compete with the advanced battery technologies currently on the market and proposed for future market development while maintaining the safety and recyclability of lead-based battery technologies.”
US Battery makes deep cycle flooded batteries for many kinds of applications, including golf cars and low-speed EVs, as well as industrial electric vehicles. It also makes batteries for renewable energy storage.
“Leapfrog product innovation often starts with fresh thinking on how best to utilize core company strengths to make a disruptive move,” said Gridtential CEO John Barton.
Gridtential has agreements with a growing number of battery makers, and in June signed a deal with the Indian firm Amara Raja to evaluate, assemble and test its batteries.
That month Gridtential also announced it was working with LOLC Advanced Technologies on prototyping lead batteries using both Gridtential’s silicon joule plates and adding graphene, a battery additive, to active materials,
The graphene additive — AltaLABGX — will be supplied by Ceylon Graphene Technologies, a joint venture set up between LOLC and the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology.