To be as cheap, reliable, and flexible as natural gas, a battery system would have to cost less than $10 per kilowatt-hour. Today’s best grid batteries, large lithium-ion systems, cost hundreds of dollars per kilowatt-hour (precise estimates vary). It could take decades even for that price to drop below $100. It’s a huge leap. But Form’s founders think they could hit that target by developing big batteries that rely on extremely cheap, energy-dense materials. “We think we can get there,” says MIT professor Yet-Ming Chiang, cofounder and chief scientist at Form. “We think we can match technology to those requirements.” A low-cost, long-lasting form of energy storage that could be built anywhere would be about the closest thing to a silver bullet for cleaning up the power sector. It would make the most of the sharply declining costs of solar and wind, without many of the environmental, safety, or aesthetic problems raised by other ways of balancing out fluctuating renewables.
MIT Technology Review 10th Oct 2019 read more »
Electric vehicle makers and battery manufacturers are making progress in developing new lithium-ion designs, amid persistent concerns over the supply of key materials. Concerns over cobalt, in particular, are forcing battery makers to move toward cobalt-light lithium-ion formulations, said Hans Eric Melin, founder of Circular Energy Storage, a consultancy focused on battery end-of-life management. Foremost among these formulations is a lithium nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathode chemistry with eight parts of nickel for each part of cobalt. This mix, known as 811, is the latest in a line of NMC cathode chemistries where the ratio of cobalt is being reduced in favor of other materials, particularly nickel, which is cheaper and easier to source.
Green Tech Media 17th Oct 2019 read more »