Battery Power - September/October 2012 - (Page 4)

EDITOR’S CHOICE Grid Storage Battery Cost to Fall to $500/kWh, Short Of Expectations Lithium-ion and molten-salt battery costs will approach $500/kWh by 2022, reducing the high capital cost of emerging grid storage technologies. However, expectations of half that level will remain unrealistic for at least a decade, according to Lux Research. Technology developers make bold claims about performance enhancements and economies of scale that will lead to dramatic cost reductions. Lux Research’s baseline scenarios for grid-tied systems indicate that by 2022 Li-Ion batteries will reach $506/ kWh; sodium nickel chloride, or ZEBRA, batteries will approach $473/kWh; and vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) will hit $783/kWh. “Molten-salt batteries hold the most potential to be the cheapest large-scale systems, with manufacturing improvements playing the largest role, accounting for 95 percent of the cost reduction,” said Brian Warshay, Lux Research associate and the lead author of the report titled, “Grid Storage Battery Cost Breakdown: Exploring Paths to Accelerate Adoption.” “Li-Ion batteries are dependent on cost reductions from mass production, while molten-salt batteries and VRFBs rely on long discharge durations to reduce costs.” To gain an understanding of the key cost components for each technology, Lux Research analysts built production cost models of Li-Ion, ZEBRA and VRFB systems for small- to large-scale grid storage systems, and assessed drivers that will facilitate cost reduction and constraints to innovative material and manufacturing approaches. Among their findings: Cost of Li-Ion batteries will dip 45 percent by 2022. Li-Ion batteries may lose market share to cheaper molten-salt batteries for large projects but will remain the system of choice for spaceconstrained projects because of their high energy density. ZEBRAs need productivity gains. ZEBRA battery manufacturing accounts for between 50 percent and 60 percent of the total system costs, primarily because of the cost of processing its key raw materials. Improved manufacturing productivity and better capacity utilization will account for 95 percent of the expected reduction in costs by 2022 to $473/kWh. Vertical integration is key to VRFB costs. Vertical integration and exclusive supply agreements will be key to managing the cost of vanadium pentoxide, a metal with a widely variable historical market price and uncertain future. Future cost estimates for vanadium pentoxide range from $15/kg to $30/kg, from the current $13.20/kg. At the upper end of the range, VRFB cost will actually increase to $1,205/kWh. for electric vehicles. The UN Sub-Committee’s decisions will eliminate the need for battery manufacturers to secure approvals from transportation authorities before shipping lithium batteries in large packaging as defined in UN’s Model Regulations. The regulations imposing large packing instructions for lithium batteries will take effect in January 2015. After numerous meetings and discussions, no consensus was reached on the PRBA-RECHARGE proposals for shipping waste lithium batteries and damaged/defective lithium batteries. PRBA and RECHARGE will amend their proposals for consideration at the Sub-Committee’s next meeting scheduled for December 3 to 11, 2012. PRBA intends to file a proposal with the Sub-Committee that will more clearly define the UN testing requirements for these assemblies and provide an alternative to the UN tests. GE to Expand Battery Start-Up in New York’s Capital Region GE will expand its new, advanced manufacturing battery factory as part of the company’s new Energy Storage business. The Durathon battery products, which are half the size of conventional lead acid batteries but last 10 times longer, are the result of GE’s $100 million initial investment in battery technology developed at GE’s Global Research Center in Niskayuna, NY. The technology will provide reliable and cost-effective energy storage options for a broad range of GE customers globally, including telecom and utility operators. GE will invest an additional $70 million to expand the Schenectady plant, effectively doubling production and adding 100 new jobs, which will bring the total factory workforce to 450 when at full capacity. GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said, “Just a few years ago, researchers in our labs invented a new battery, one that was simple in its ingredients but advanced in its design and science, containing more than 30 patents. It soon became obvious that we weren’t just making a new battery; we were building a new business, so GE teams went to work designing an advanced manufacturing process to build the battery efficiently and a go-to-market strategy to ensure it can reach customers where they work.” The battery plant has received support from state and local government in New York, where GE has done business for 130 years. New York State committed $15 million when the new plant was announced in May 2009, and $5 million was committed by Schenectady County’s Metroplex Development Authority. The Durathon batteries are produced using abundantly available raw materials such as salt and nickel and are non-toxic and fully recyclable. The batteries can operate at temperatures ranging from -4°F to 140°F. The batteries have received GE’s ecomagination certification from a third party for their environmental and financial benefits. The new battery plant is about the size of four football fields. Its projected annual production capacity is approximately one Giga-watt hour (GWh), enough energy to power 1,000 typical American homes for one month. PRBA Battery Proposals Adopted by UN Transport Sub-Committee PRBA, The Rechargeable Battery Association, announced that the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods unanimously approved two proposals on the packaging requirements for large format lithium ion batteries filed by jointly by PRBA and its international counterpart, RECHARGE. Large format lithium ion batteries are used as the power source 4 Battery Power • September/October 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Battery Power - September/October 2012

PRBA Battery Proposals Adopted By UN Transport Sub-Committee
The Use of Lithium-Ion Batteries in Uninterruptible Power Supplies
Monitor Your Battery Cells for Superior Reliability
Juicing Up the Battery: Cutting Edge Research Delivers Battery Enhancements
PEM Fuel Cell Systems – Reliable Backup Power Source for Remote or Extended Run Power Outages
Why Your Next Renewable System Should be Built Around Energy Storage
ICs & Semiconductors
Charging, Testing & Monitoring
Power Supplies
Industry News
Calendar of Events

Battery Power - September/October 2012