US-based Holtec International and Eos Energy Storage have announced the formation of HI-POWER, a multi-gigawatt manufacturing joint venture to mass-produce aqueous zinc batteries for industrial-scale energy storage.
One potential use for the batteries includes the storage of surplus power from Holtec's SMR-160 small modular reactors (SMRs), to deliver power to the grid during peak periods of demand. Small-scale production of the batteries has already been demonstrated, and large-scale production is expected to begin in late November.
HI-POWER will leverage a combination of Eos’s proprietary, automated battery manufacturing design and Holtec’s more than 30 years of market-leading automation and manufacturing experience to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Pittsburgh, a joint statement said.
The Eos next-generation batteries are zinc hybrid cathodes, which not only provide a safe, sustainable, and scalable alternative to lithium-ion, but also operate across a wide temperature range without heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and without the risk of fire or explosion. Eos batteries feature over four hours of energy, are capable of 100 per cent charge and full discharge and can operate at temperates from -15 °C to 45°C without heating or cooling. They are comprised of high-volume core commodity components, using no rare earth materials, and are fully recyclable. The modular flexibility and safety attributes allow for in-building installations, as well as plug-and-play outdoor container solutions, Eos said.
“Although we continue to invest in our nuclear business and believe in the future of our small modular reactor programme for low carbon baseload energy, we recognise that renewables must also play a critical role in reducing carbon emissions going forward," said Springman, Holtec’s vice president of International Projects.
" A key limitation of renewables has been variability in production, which can be levelised with the DC battery system, helping drive a fundamental shift in the renewables market,” he added.
Eos, founded in 2009, has conducted over 15 million hours and two million test cycles in developing its ZnythDC battery system and has produced some 3000 batteries for industrial, utilities and micro-grid applications across four continents. Holtec’s principal business concentration is in the nuclear power industry, including the world’s first below-ground Consolidated Interim Storage Facility being licensed in New Mexico and a 160MWe small modular reactor, SMR-160.