Sodium ion batteries are relatively new to the market with a commercial offering having been developed and driven by a US company. They are rechargeable and use sodium ions (salt water) to carry their charge. The market is awash with headlines about lithium ion and it’s benefits, but fundamentally, lithium still remains expensive and extremely difficult to recycle at at the end of its life. Conversely, sodium is abundant and could potentially be as cheap per kWh (kilowatt/hour) of storage as the lead acid batteries currently used by Wattstor. Because they contain no heavy metals or toxic chemicals they are extremely safe. Other characteristics include a high life cycle (3000-5000 cycles) and a high depth of discharge of up to 100% – by comparison lithium has a depth of discharge of around 80% with lead acid at 50%.
Our interest was sparked by a potential customer in Northern Ireland who has ordered some of these batteries having undertaken his own research. Needless to say Wattstor are on the case and will be testing this battery chemistry themselves shortly. Our mission has always been to supply affordable and sustainable battery solutions. Whilst we are currently testing lithium batteries this has been driven to a certain extent by the focus and interest of the broader market in this chemistry, however, a solution that provides a cleaner and more efficient battery certainly sits more comfortably with us. We will keep you posted.