Startup Form Energy plans to significantly reduce the cost of lithium-ion batteries

The advantages of lithium-ion batteries for consumer electronics are obvious: they are roomy, light and durable. However, for energy storage on an industrial scale they are too expensive. Form Energy solves this problem.

Now lithium-ion batteries dominate the market. In 2018, according to the consulting company Wood Mackenzie, 95% of the stationary storage technologies energy worked on lithium-ion batteries. At least for the next five years this technology will remain leading, reports BI.

The main problem of lithium-ion batteries – price

In a world that is trying to transform its energy from lithium-ion batteries have a serious drawback – they are significantly cheaper when they are used for the construction of long-term storage of energy. And at the same time, the more renewable power plants connected to the network, the greater the need for large batteries can hold a charge of tens or hundreds of hours.

Startup Form Energy was founded MATEO Jaramillo, who spent seven years in the Tesla. Then he had the idea that, unlike smartphones or electric cars, energy storage is not limited in space and don’t have to be too roomy for a unit of weight or volume. The main thing – the price. After leaving the company in 2016, he began to develop various embodiments of batteries suitable for solar and wind power stations.

The first groundwork

Jaramillo not yet ready to disclose details of its technology, but said that at least one option is a water-sulfur flow battery that a start-up is developing jointly with the U.S. Department of energy. It can hold a charge for tens of hours.

According to experts, in order to allow the battery proved to be economically beneficial for the grid, it should hold a charge approximately 100 hours and cost about $ 5 per kilowatt-hour. Modern lithium-ion batteries cost hundreds of dollars per kilowatt-hour.

It promises a startup

Form Energy promises to create a battery that will “50 or 100 times cheaper than lithium-ion,” he stated, Jaramillo. And his promise believe investors who have invested in the startup overall $ 110 million. Among them – venture company of bill gates Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the European energy giant Eni and Saudi oil company Saudi Aramco.

American scientists have managed to double the performance of flow batteries, using non-toxic and readily available chemical compounds. Unlike analog, the new lineup operates at neutral pH and does not require the use of acids.

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