Australian-invented battery to aid renewable energy transition

Removable battery

Large-scale battery storage projects have taken off around Australia and the world as the renewable energy transition continues. Now, an Australian-invented battery technology will enable the rollout of safer batteries with a reduced cost. 

A number of large-scale battery projects have been in development around the country this year as Australia produces more green power than ever. The batteries haven’t been without incident, however. 

Just last month a fire broke out in a Tesla battery bank at a big battery in Victoria, taking three days for firefighters to extinguish. The flammability of such battery projects has been a concern surrounding their installation, but with their ability to aid in the clean energy transition there is an abundance of big battery projects still in the works.

An Australian-invented battery technology, created by University of Sydney spinoff Gelion, will improve the safety of such big battery projects as it enters its production trial next year. Partnering with Sydney-based battery manufacturer Battery Energy, Gelion will test the battery cells throughout 2022 before offering them for commercial use. 

The zinc-bromide batteries have an advantage over the current lithium-ion and lead-acid battery cells commonly used due to their electrolytic gel being inherently fire-retardant. While the minimisation of fire risk is a major benefit, the new batteries also don’t require expensive heating and cooling systems that the current batteries use, bringing down the running costs of future big battery projects. 

Big battery projects store clean energy for the grid

The reason big battery projects are heralded as an important aid for the clean energy transition is their ability to generate and store energy for the grid or private projects. 

Detractors of solar, both rooftop and large-scale, comment on the unpredictability of the sun as a source of power. With battery storage projects, excess energy can be stored for transmission to the grid at periods of low-generation, with almost instantaneous delivery capabilities. 

Aside from grid-based benefits, big battery projects can be leased to provide energy to power private businesses or operations. As the batteries reduce carbon emissions, they’ve become a popular way for companies to offset carbon emissions and reduce their environmental impacts.

The transition to renewable energy across the country is bringing energy prices down across the board, whether you’ve supported green power for your home or not. While small-scale opportunities exist, such as rooftop solar systems, large-scale projects such as big batteries allow for cheaper and cleaner energy on our grids.

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