Silicon battery developer Altech Batteries has reported ‘excellent progress’ in the manufacture of prototype CERENERGY battery developed in joint venture with Germany’s Fraunhofer IKTS institute.
Fraunhofer has developed a pilot plant in Hermsdorf, Germany which has been building two 60 kWh silicon battery pack prototypes designed for the grid storage market since 2023.
The battery pack is composed of 240 Cerenenergy cells (pictured), each rated at 2.5 V. The cells are arranged in four rows each comprising 12 cells, and stacked five modules high forming complete battery packs 2.6 metres in height and one metre in width.
All materials including dust and weatherproof housings for the batteries have been procured.
According to Altech: “The crucial stages in cell production involve blending ceramic components, high-pressure pressing, tube formation and ultimately sintering at 1,600 degrees calcium over a span of several days.”
Fraunhofer has successfully built ceramic tubes – half are now complete – and the battery electrolyte comprising sodium chloride – table salt – and nickel powder granules.
The cell assembly process, which involves vacuum filling, heating and welding is ongoing.
Fifty percent of cells needed to make two grid batteries have been produced and gone through quality testing and charge and discharge performance testing.
“Reject or defect rates have been low and with(in) expected limits.
“…The assembly of cells into the battery housings will be undertaken once all cells are finalised and is expected by the middle of 2024.”
Altech Batteries operates mines at Meckering in Western Australia and is constructing a high purity alumina (HPA) plant in Malaysia.
Picture: Altech Batteries/battery cells after manufacture