May 6, 2021: Gridtential Energy, a developer of bipolar lead batteries, announced at the end of April that it was ready to launch a series of AGM reference batteries produced on East Penn Manufacturing’s prototype line. “These are not just samplers but also batteries that are ready to be sold to the market,” John Barton, Gridtential CEO, told Batteries International.
The first commercial product is a single-block 24V lead battery optimized for deep-cycle applications. A 12V power version will follow late spring, with 48V versions of each appearing in the second half of the year.
Gridtential says its Silicon Joule AGM battery delivers up to five times the power density, four times the cycle life and twice the discharge rate at a 75% lower levelized cost of electricity than conventional lead batteries.
“We’re offering high-performance batteries as an attractive alternative to lithium-ion,” says Barton. “Importantly, customers don’t need to wait for multibillion dollar factories to be built — manufacturers can move directly from prototype to mass production, with 90% of the required equipment already in use in their factories.”
Gridtential battery technology substitutes treated silicon wafers for conventional lead grids and combines them using as what it describes as a patented stack-and-seal architecture. This, the firm says, provides uniform current distribution and efficient thermal management, minimizing failure modes such as sulfation, corrosion and grid growth.
Gridtential says it will offer a range of products for a variety of energy storage applications, from personal mobility to home energy storage to hybrid automotive:
- 24V deep-cycle (available now): electric sweepers, scooters, wheelchairs, riding lawn mowers, e-bikes
- 12V power (available Q2 2021): power-sports SLI, automotive start-stop and EV auxiliary
- 48V deep-cycle (available 2H 2021): golf carts, e-tuk-tuks, renewable energy storage, telecoms, data center backup, micro-grids
- 48V power: (available 2H 2021): mild-hybrids, EV auxiliary, ADAS, start-stop, infotainment and regenerative braking.
Separately, Gridtential announced on April 27 that it had closed a further $12 million funding round. Gridtential has raised $28 million to date.
Participants in the latest round were Silicon Valley Bank, August Capital cofounder David Marquardt, ReneSola CEO Yumin Liu and existing investors that include East Penn Manufacturing, Crown Battery and the Roda Group.
Gridtential’s business model works on a licensing basis.
East Penn, Crown and Leoch are fully licensed to mass produce Silicon Joule batteries, and nine additional manufacturing partners — mostly international — are piloting the technology.
“Several have already produced batteries off testing lines in their factories,” says Barton.