An innovative Australian invented battery technology will soon be manufactured in Australia, with University of Sydney spin-off Gelion set to partner with Sydney based battery manufacturer Battery Energy.
Gelion was spun out of of the University of Sydney in 2015 as an attempt to commercialise an innovative non-flow zinc-bromide battery technology, originally developed by USYD professor of chemistry Thomas Maschmeyer.
“There is a revolution coming in energy production and distribution worldwide,” Maschmeyer said.
“Across the globe, governments and companies are setting ambitious net-zero-carbon emission targets. To achieve these goals, renewable energy will need to be stored everywhere – and that means batteries.”
One key benefit of the Gelion battery technology is its safety advantages over many common battery types, with the battery’s electrolytic gel being inherently fire retardant. The battery technology also allows the system to be completely discharged of power, without any long term impacts to battery performance.
“Gelion batteries are safe, robust and recyclable,” Maschmeyer added. “For stationary energy storage, zinc-bromide batteries do away with the need for expensive cooling and maintenance systems. And they can’t catch fire.”
“We recently tested the battery by heating it on a barbeque plate at about 700 degrees for half an hour. Not only did the battery not catch fire, it continued to operate, keeping a light on through the whole test.”
The durability of the battery technology has allowed the Gelion batteries to be tested in a range of real-world applications, including being used in portable street lighting, solar powered benches on the University of Sydney campus and in a mobile water desalination system.
Battery Energy will manufacturer the Gelion Endure battery cells developed by Gelion and will be evaluated in production trial throughout 2022 before being offered for commercial availability.
The company says the innovative battery technology developed by Gelion can serve as a cost-competitive and long-life alternative to the lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries that currently dominate much of the larger-scale battery market.
Managing Director of Battery Energy, Gaby Peimer, said that the company would look to grow upon its existing customer relationships and position as a local producer of battery storage equipment through the manufacturing deal struck with Gelion.
“Battery Energy has built strong, long-term, sustainable customer relationships and continues to raise our reputation for being a reliable and innovative supplier,” Peimer said.
“Partnering with Gelion to establish a manufacturing and distribution partnership for its non-flow batteries will complement and enhance our business.”
Gelion says its battery technology can be used in a wide range of stationary energy applications, including off grid services, supporting commercial and industrial electricity loads, and supporting large-scale solar and wind projects.
Gelion CEO Andrew Grimes said that the company was excited to have struck a deal with Battery Energy to manufacture the Gelion battery technology in Australia.
“Gelion’s vision is to play a leading role in the transition to clean energy across the globe. The partnership is both an environmental and business breakthrough – and a win for local manufacturing, given Australian know-how often goes overseas for production,” Grimes said.
“In the coming months, we will be focused on demonstrating our next-generation battery systems in-field in Australia, commencing later this year.”