China Is Building The World’s Largest Sodium-ion Battery Unit To Power 12,000 Homes A Day

China has officially set up a sodium-based electricity storing cell which is currently the largest across the globe with a whopping capacity of 100 MWh in Qianjiang, Hubei Province. A landmark initiative, this project was put together by the government controlled Datang Group and successfully integrated into the system towards the end of June.

In the efforts of the world community in aiming to minimize dependency on fossil fuels, battery-based energy storage systems are key components for tapping into renewable sources of energy like solar and wind power. With this in mind, renewable energy plants need large-scale storage systems as they have to deal with the intermittent nature of power generation and also store surplus energy that can be used later. The choice of lithium-ion batteries is made due to their high storage density which plays a significant role in powering electronic devices, electric vehicles, and even renewable energy systems. Although they pose many benefits, the use of large battery packs creates challenges particularly in extreme environments where they easily overheat and lead to fire accidents.

Sodium-ion batteries offer a promising alternative. Made from abundantly available sodium, these batteries are easier and cheaper to produce compared to lithium-ion batteries, which rely on extensive and costly lithium mining. The surging demand for lithium has driven its prices to record highs, complicating the transition to greener energy sources. Sodium-ion batteries not only provide a cost-effective solution but also have a superior safety profile and perform well in extreme temperatures. “They can still guarantee 85 percent charge and discharge efficiency at minus 20 degrees Celsius, which is unmatched by other batteries,” said Cui Yongle, Datang Hubei Sodium Ion Energy Storage project manager. “They can also guarantee 1,500 charge and discharge cycles at a high temperature of 60 degrees Celsius.”

The 100 MWh project in Qianjiang demonstrates the scalability of sodium-ion technology. The system, built using 185 Ah sodium-ion batteries from HiNa Battery, comprises 42 battery storage containers and 21 sets of boost converters. With its connection to the grid, the Qianjiang facility surpasses HiNa’s previous record of a 10 MWh unit in Nanning. This system can store up to 100,000 kWh of electricity on a single charge, enough to supply daily power to 12,000 households and reduce carbon emissions by 13,000 tonnes annually.

Future expansions are planned, with the Qianjiang facility set to double its capacity to 200 MWh and the Nanning facility expected to reach 100 MWh. The increasing adoption and growing storage capacities of sodium-ion batteries indicate their transition from laboratory research to market viability, marking a significant milestone in sustainable energy storage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *