High Temperature Energy Storage: NaS, NaMx and Molten Salt31 Aug 2011 • by Natalie Aster
New York – The $2.5 billion global high temperature energy storage (HTS) market of 2020 is going to be dominated by the sale and construction of molten salt storage systems for concentrated solar power (CSP) plants. The HTS market is composed of three categories: sodium-sulfur (NaS) batteries, sodium-metal halide (NaMx) batteries, and molten salt thermal energy storage (TES) systems. While NaS has been the strongest category ever since the first commercial systems were sold in 2003, it is molten salt TES systems that became the largest HTS category in 2010.
The report “High Temperature Energy Storage: NaS, NaMx and Molten Salt” by SBI Energy provides key insight into current and future markets for high temperature and thermal energy storage worldwide, focusing on key countries for each market segment. The analysis includes definitions, current product offerings and market detail. The report also analyzes the key industries that make use of high temperature energy storage for their end products. These include electric vehicles, stationary and industrial energy storage and Smart Grid energy storage requirements.
Date: July 2011
Price: US$ 4,950.00
Report Sample Abstract
With the start of production in 2001, the Stabio plant has become the only manufacturing point for ZEBRA batteries in the world. This will soon change as the Transportation division of General Electric (GE Transportation) is building a sodium metal halide manufacturing plant in Schenectady, NY which will go into operation at the end of 2011. GE Transportation is building their batteries from technology acquired along with Beta R&D in 2007 and is focusing their batteries for use with industrial vehicles and stationary applications. FZ SoNick is also shifting market focus to stationary battery systems.
Key Design Issues
NaMx battery research is focused on improving the electrode chemistry and improving the chemistry and geometry of the solid beta-alumina electrolyte. Over the past decade, FZ SoNick has continually updated and improved its electrode compositions. In its most recent “granulate X” formula, the company improved the composition by changing how the nickel powder is manufactured to increase its surface area in order to increase the amount of electricity the electrode can conduct. The company also added iron sulfide into the mix to reduce the development of NaCl grains that can break down the electrode’s structure and degrade the battery’s performance.
Research into the beta-alumina electrolyte looks at both the production process and electrolyte composition. The ceramic can be sintered (the heating process used to make an object from powder) in a number of different ways and a variety of temperatures, all affecting the grain size, conductivity and brittleness of the material. The initial ceramic powder can also be processed to produce different shaped grains and can be doped with either manganese or lithium ions to affect its properties. Finally, GE Transportation in particular is looking at how the shape of the beta-alumina tube affects charge flow through the cell. The company has experimented with both round and star-shaped tube designs.
A final design issue needing to be addressed is the manufacturing process. Current processes are quite labor intensive at all stages of the production cycle; producing the beta-alumina electrolyte tubes, creating the electrodes for each cell, and wiring up the numerous cells for each battery. The sheer amount of labor to make a NaMx battery means up to XX% of the production cost of each battery is for production labor. These processes need to be automated as much as possible in order to reduce these costs and make NaMx batteries more cost effective against competing chemistries such as lithium-ion and lead-acid.
The HTS Market
All of these countries will continue to remain strong markets through to 2015 and most likely through to 2020. In addition, there are a number of new countries which are going to become strong points for the HTS market as well. The U.S. and China will likely see ballooning sales in the HTS market as production comes online for NaMx and NaS batteries, respectively, by 2015. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), France and Mexico are going to be the locations for new NaS mega-projects over the next five to seven years and Germany will likely see strong sales for NaMx batteries used for stationary energy storage applications such as power for remote telecommunications equipment.
For molten salt TES systems, there is increasing interest in the U.S. and the Middle East and SBI Energy expects to see the U.S. at the forefront of countries installing CSP plants with energy storage in the medium to long term. Other potential markets include the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Australia although these may not become significant until just before 2020.
More information can be found in the report “High Temperature Energy Storage: NaS, NaMx and Molten Salt” by SBI.
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