Competition: Energy Catalyst round 8: clean energy access – industrial research
Funding body: Innovate UK
Project name: NexGen Battery (NGB) (Budget £1.09m)
Project partners: Integrals Power, AMTE Power, Aceleron, Cranfield University, Ecosys
Mozambique and other SSA countries are in strong need for innovation that can address the energy trilemma, as the main unresolved problem is still the energy poverty for business, households, schools and hospitals. Successful deployment of off-grid solutions that don’t rely on the national grid (unreliable and limited) is one of the main identified solutions to overcome this problem. Having said that, off-grid solutions are highly dependent on batteries which currently come with severe limitations: they are non-affordable, environmentally unfriendly and unreliable under harsh climatic conditions & hot temperature.
Integrals Power will lead this project to integrate its advanced non-toxic LFP cathode material into battery cells developed by AMTE Power, capable of offering advanced features, including higher capacity retention & higher discharge rate, and implement them into the first reusable, upgradable and recyclable battery module/pack (developed by Aceleron, patented technology) to address energy needs of Mozambique. In this project a 8KWh battery pack and three 1.8KWh modular battery modules/packs will be developed.
This solution will increase energy efficiency and electricity accessibility while, reducing the cost of electricity, grid dependency and CO2 emissions. The system is suitable for off-grid solutions that can be deployed through a PAYGO (pay-as-you-go) model capable of addressing the financial barrier to solar energy access by allowing consumers to make a series of modest payments to purchase time units for using solar electricity instead of paying upfront for the entire solar lighting system. This model is best suited for people living with poor economic resources.
This approach will allow end-users to fast-charge the batteries from grid(when available) and also off-grid(particularly during blackouts). It will also encourage industrial end-users to adopt this affordable battery pack which offers portability (for less than 5KWh packs) and higher discharge rate (suitable for high power tools), resulting in reducing grid load and improving energy access & availability.
Technical members (led by IPL) of the consortium will focus on further development and integration of their technologies with the help of Cranfield University (CU) which will carry out a series of technical tests on cells. Ecosys (based in Mozambique) and Aceleron will also focus on field testing, development of a business model and deployment strategy with the view to secure investment for future technical and commercial phases.