Sydney-based technology company Ecoult will target the surging global market for battery storage as it commercialises the UltraBattery, invented in Australia, with the help of a $4.1 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Ecoult was spun out of the CSIRO in 2007 with the aim of furthering the development of the UltraBattery, a hybrid of a traditional lead acid battery and carbon ultracapacitor. Ecoult believes the hybrid technology provides an advantage over competing battery technologies as it exhibits both high cycling life and high conversion efficiency.
ARENA will provide a $4.1 million grant to support the commercialisation of the UltraBattery. The grant will be recoupable by ARENA upon successful commercialisation.
Ecoult recently entered into a global manufacturing agreement allowing the Australian developed battery technology to be marketed internationally. Ecoult holds a global licence to market the UltraBattery technology in all countries asides, from Japan and Thailand, where a technology partner holds the licence.
Ecoult has been able to demonstrate the UltraBattery technology across a range of scales and applications, marketing an “UltraPod” version, providing 7 kWh of storage capacity for residential applications, through to the 840 kWh UltraRax battery stack for grid-scale storage.
ARENA’s Chief Executive Officer Ivor Frischknecht said that by funding the development of battery storage, ARENA was supporting the energy sector in its transition to using more renewable energy sources, as well as creating new export opportunities for Australian technologies.
“ARENA’s further $4.1 million support will help Ecoult deliver on both its local and global objectives, which is a major step towards fully commercialising the UltraBattery and securing export dollars for Australian intellectual property.” Mr Frischknecht said.
“This latest funding supports a $10.6 million effort by Ecoult to improve its technology and pursue large-scale commercialisation. It will enhance the battery’s performance and improve its ability to support both grid and offgrid applications.”
“This is just one example of the way ARENA’s work is helping accelerate the shift to renewable energy in Australia and at the same time reaching around the globe.”
Ecoult has previously received grant funding from ARENA, which lead to the adaption of the UltraBattery for off-grid applications. Ecoult CEO John Wood believed that the company was well positioned to take advantage of the growing global interest in battery storage.
“Over the past 10 years, since our inception at CSIRO, and with the assistance of the critical funding from ARENA, our team has developed energy storage systems to enhance renewable adoption in Australia at the same time contributing to the global evolution in the way people and companies think about application of energy storage alongside renewable energy,” Mr Wood said.
Mr Wood saw the development of energy storage technologies as a crucial part of the energy industry’s transition to cleaner sources, and away from fossil fuels.
“It’s probably the biggest question to solve in order to move into a renewable cycle, rather than remaining in a consumption cycle of burning finite resources and accumulating by-products like CO2. Solving the storage issue will accelerate this end,” Mr Wood said.