Using technology similar to a solar cell, Gridtential Energy's breakthrough technology allows batteries to potentially deliver up to 5X the power density with up to a 40% weight reduction – and can be manufactured in current lead battery plants


Image: Gridtential closer to commercialization. Photo: Courtesy of Gridtential Energy, Inc.

1955 Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, today announced that one of its portfolio companies, Gridtential Energy, the inventor and developer of Silicon Joule bipolar battery technology, has achieved key milestones towards commercialization through partnerships with two of the largest global battery manufacturers, Hoppecke Battery GmbH and Crown Battery.

1955 Capital Founder and Managing Partner Andrew Chung serves on Gridtential’s Board of Directors, and Dr. Ryan Gilliam, Venture Partner at 1955 Capital, serves on its Advisory Board.

Using technology similar to a solar cell, Gridtential Energy’s breakthrough technology allows batteries to potentially deliver up to 5X the power density with up to a 40% weight reduction – and can be manufactured in current lead battery plants.

Silicon Joule bipolar technology has created an innovative class of lead batteries with silicon at its core. It is a design driven, low cost, high performance, patented energy storage solution that provides improved power density, cycle life, dynamic charge acceptance and temperature range, with up to 40% lower weight, while retaining full lead-battery recyclability. This is all accomplished while leveraging existing technologies from mature industry supply chains – allowing rapid adoption of existing lead-battery infrastructure.

Manufacturing partners can easily adapt their factories to provide high performing, higher voltage 24V & 48V batteries to their customers for the hybrid-automotive, energy storage & traction markets – all without giga-scale capital investments.

Compared to standard lead batteries, Silicon Joule bipolar battery technology targets removal up to 40% of lead and associated weight through elimination of lead grid and strap material; an increase in cycle life by 3X to 5X; an improvement in DCA (Dynamic Charge Acceptance) by 3X to 10X; an extension of the operating temperature by +10°C; and a reduction in the cost of ownership over the life of the battery by up to 80%, depending on application.

“Gridtential’s technology seeks to combine the best of lead and lithium-ion performance in batteries with a product offering that we believe is cost-effective and scalable,” said Andrew Chung, 1955 Capital founder and Gridtential board member. “It is critical for battery technology companies to work with manufacturing partners earlier to understand end-customer requirements and how best to achieve scale commercialization. Gridtential’s ability to leverage existing manufacturing infrastructure has enabled them to attract multiple global partners.”

Gridtential Energy entered into a technology evaluation agreement last week with Hoppecke Battery GmbH, the largest producer of industry battery systems in European ownership. Under the agreement, over the next few months, Hoppecke Battery and Gridtential Energy will collaborate on assembly and testing of Silicon Joule bipolar reference batteries using metrics for cycle life, energy density, battery efficiency, charging rates and manufacturability.

This news comes shortly after another partnership success in October, when Gridtential and Crown Battery, a leading global manufacturer of 99% recyclable batteries came together at the Crown Battery manufacturing facility in Fremont, OH to complete the largest production run of Silicon Joule bipolar batteries to date, significantly exceeding yield and throughput targets established for the current design.

Manufacturability validation was a key objective for the event and with the benefit of pre-manufactured materials, including treated silicon wafers, the rate of manual production reached less than 5 minutes per unit. Batteries produced during this event were filled, formed and shipped to investment partners and customers with evaluation agreements spanning four continents and includes two US automotive OEMs.

“We feel fortunate to work with like-minded battery manufacturers and equipment suppliers to produce products that open up new markets and extend the dominance of lead batteries in the energy storage arena by harnessing more of lead’s performance potential,” said Gridtential Energy CEO, John Barton. “First movers in the market for high-performance, low-cost energy storage, enabled by our Silicon Joule silicon-lead technology, will be rewarded with a significant commercial advantage. We are excited by the prospects for partners like Hoppecke Battery and Crown Battery to be very successful in that endeavor.”

Industries from automotive to grid energy storage are searching for lower-cost, sustainable power solutions to meet diverse energy needs. With successful commercialization of Gridtential’s Silicon Joule bipolar battery technology that combines the benefits of lead batteries with high-performance characteristics enabled by silicon, partners like Crown Battery and Hoppecke Battery will be prepared to meet the global challenge.

“With any new technology, the second breakthrough is the day it’s produced on a larger scale,” says Hal Hawk, President and CEO of Crown Battery Manufacturing.

“In keeping with our future vision, to meet the challenge of change, we must pursue forward-looking research and development projects,” said Dr. Marc Zoellner, CEO, Hoppecke Battery.

Source: Company Press Release