Gridtential, Crown Battery partner on silicon+lead battery

Gridtential Energy CEO John Barton, Crown Battery President & CEO Hal Hawk, and Gridtential Energy Board Chairman Ray Kubis discuss Silicon-Joule bipolar technology during the recent battery production run at the Crown Battery facility in Fremont, Ohio.

Silicon Joule technology replaces the lead-grid and cell connecting lead-strap material inside a traditional lead battery with a treated silicon wafer. Gridtential is licensing the technology, enabling manufacturing partners to easily adapt their factories to provide high performing, higher voltage 24-V and 48-V batteries to their customers, without giga-scale capital investments.

Gridtential Energy, the inventor and developer of Silicon Joule bipolar battery technology, and Crown Battery, a global manufacturer of lead batteries, came together last week at the Crown Battery manufacturing facility in Ohio 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 five minutes per unit.

Batteries produced during this event will be filled, formed and shipped to investment partners and customers with evaluation agreements spanning four continents and includes two U.S. automotive OEMs.

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 and temperature range, while retaining full lead battery recyclability. This is all accomplished while leveraging existing technologies from mature industry supply chains — allowing rapid adoption by utilizing current lead-battery infrastructure.

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The batteries produced last week are a precursor to powerful 24-V and 48-V batteries that are scheduled for similar production runs in the near future. The company is also accelerating its plans for higher power and larger format products based on the demonstrated progress with our partners.

“Industrialization is a key step in bringing innovation to an industry and we are very pleased to see Silicon Joule batteries being produced seamlessly on the production floor at Crown Battery,” stated John Barton, CEO of Gridtential Energy. “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.”

Compared to standard lead batteries, Silicon Joule bipolar battery technology removes up to 40% of lead and associated weight through elimination of lead grid and strap material, increases cycle life by three to five times, improves DCA (Dynamic Charge Acceptance) three to 10-times, extends the operating temperature by +10°C and reduces the cost of ownership over the life of the battery by up to 80%, depending on application.

Wirtz Manufacturing prepared the active material for the test last week.

“With any new technology, the second breakthrough is the day it’s produced on a larger scale,” said Hal Hawk, President and CEO of Crown Battery Manufacturing. “We’re thrilled to partner with Gridtential to bring five-times greater power density, lighter weight and more than double the lifespan to a proven product. It’s a major leap forward for our clients and the industry.”

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“We appreciate being plugged in to leading-edge product development programs and to have a role in developing solutions for state-of-the-art lead-battery technologies,” said John Wirtz II, President of Wirtz Manufacturing. “Furthermore, we were pleased that we were able to support this event with active material that was manufactured on one of our advanced technology pasting systems in our development center, providing evidence that by getting creative, we have the opportunity to use current lead-battery infrastructure to support even the most advanced lead-based technologies.”

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