Successfully transforming and advancing our energy supply system to make it sustainable is one of the most important tasks in the 21st century. The growing global energy demand and ever-increasing peak loads make reliable solutions necessary. Cost-efficient energy storage can help renewable and non-renewable energy production methods to converge and provide affordable long-term supply security. The cerenergy® high-temperature battery, developed by Fraunhofer IKTS, was optimized for series production capability and low costs by modern ceramic methods.
Batteries based on sodium nickel chloride were seen as early as the 1980s, in applications for electric vehicles. In the search of cost-efficient, long-lasting and reliable stationary energy supply solutions, researchers from Fraunhofer IKTS are now revisiting and re-evaluating this technology. The characteristic feature of this type of battery is that it uses exclusively local raw materials, such as nickel, alumina and common salt. This makes the batteries ecologically sustainable. Furthermore, the researchers were able to reduce the costs significantly. The key for this remarkable development is found in the core of the high-temperature batteries – the ceramic electrolytes from beta aluminate, whose design and manufacture determine the technology’s cost and functionality. The Fraunhofer IKTS’ ceramic production and synthesis route includes preparing the ceramic powder and processing the beta aluminate, thus achieving a fully ceramic technology ready for large-scale production – for a truly modern form of energy storage.