Zinc-bromide battery to power Sydney Uni lights

Monday, 11 March, 2019

Zinc-bromide battery to power Sydney Uni lights

University of Sydney spin-off Gelion Technologies has launched an energy storage platform that could offer a cheaper and safer alternative to lithium ion batteries.

The company’s battery cells will be used to power mobile light towers at the university, which will help “improve safety after dark, helping to build the foundation for a more sustainable campus”, explained Professor Thomas Maschmeyer, Gelion’s Founding Chairman and winner of the 2018 Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science.

The Gelion Endure energy storage platform is based on safe, low-cost zinc-bromide battery technology which Maschmeyer and his team started developing in 2014.

It does not need active cooling, can be fully discharged and its electrode surfaces can be rejuvenated remotely using battery management systems. According to the company, the liquid-to-gel battery platform means it can be adapted for different applications, including support for remote power infrastructure, utility storage and distributed storage in homes and offices.

“As the global economy switches from fossil fuels to renewable energy, storage systems will become increasingly important,” Maschmeyer said. “And Gelion’s battery storage platform can help provide capacity for a post-carbon economy.”

The system will provide a scalable method to store renewable energy, which Gelion’s Chief Executive Rob Fitzpatrick said is needed for renewable energy to reach its full potential.

While the University of Sydney is the company’s first commercial endeavour, it plans to capture a share of the $70 billion global energy storage market.

“The global battery market is currently valued at $60bn to $70bn and yet, if we were to take all current batteries produced in one year, they would only have the capability to store around 11 minutes of annual electrical power use. Gelion has set out to fill the overwhelming market need with an inexpensive, robust, safe, fully recyclable and scalable battery — the Gelion Endure system,” Fitzpatrick said.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/lijphoto

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