- The University of Wollongong is currently running a live test comparing low-cost sodium-ion to lithium-ion battery storage.
- The test will be carried out at Sydney Water’s Bondi sewage pumping station
- The lithium-ion batteries will be used for one year to test the energy management system and then replaced with the sodium-ion batteries for a direct performance comparison under the same conditions.
The University of Wollongong is currently running a live test comparing low-cost sodium-ion to lithium-ion battery storage. The US10.6 million Smart Sodium Storage System (S4) Project will examine how sodium-ion batteries can be used to store renewable energy and increase system resilience through self-generation, storage and consumption of energy on site.
The test will be carried out at Sydney Water’s Bondi sewage pumping station, an enormously energy-intensive facility that moves huge daily volumes of wastewater, and will also prove the technology against highly intermittent and impulse-heavy loads.
Initially, the largely ARENA-funded system, designed by the UOW’s Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM), will include 6kW of solar, a temporary lithium-ion battery pack and an energy management system.
The lithium-ion batteries will be used for one year to test the energy management system and then replaced with the sodium-ion batteries – produced by the project’s China manufacturing partners – in late-2019.
The system will generate approximately 8,000 kilowatt-hours of energy each year – significantly more than is required to run the site. The UOW says the project comes at “critical phase” in the development of sodium-ion battery packs, with the first batches rolling off production lines at partner sites in China.
ISEM director, Professor Shi Xue Dou said sodium-ion batteries were a potential game-changer, being made up of materials much more abundant – and thus cheaper – than those used in traditional lithium-ion batteries.
“Critically, this project will deliver commercial-scale and ready-for-manufacture sodium-ion battery technology that allows lower-cost distributed renewable energy supply to become a reality,” Professor Dou said.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal
Source: Smart Sodium Storage Project