CPI partners with LiNa Energy to create next-generation battery technology

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CPI has announced that its collaborative project with LiNa Energy (LiNa) and Lancaster University to demonstrate the proof-of-concept of LiNa’s novel sodium-nickel-chloride battery technology has been a success.

LiNa’s battery is described as a radical alternative to the incumbent lithium-cobalt ion battery technology, offering cheaper, more efficient, better-performing, smaller and safer energy storage. With further development, this technology could help to transform the automotive and power grid industries by facilitating the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

Cheap, scalable batteries could greatly increase the capacity to store and exploit energy from renewable sources. At present, lithium-cobalt ion batteries, the current gold standard of battery technologies, are limited by low operating temperatures (<60°C) that require complex and costly system packages. Moreover, the rapidly increasing cost of cobalt due to limited global reserves – together with safety concerns and issues with weight and cost – have contributed to a growing demand for alternative battery technologies.

CPI has partnered with LiNa Energy, a Lancaster-based SME, and the University of Lancaster to modernise the sodium-nickel-chloride battery. The battery is composed of highly recyclable and low-cost materials that crucially do not include cobalt or lithium. Moreover, by operating at a higher temperature than lithium-ion batteries, LiNa’s technology promises to deliver an enhanced performance. This will help to facilitate the wide-scale adoption of batteries in sectors such as electric vehicles and renewable grid storage.

Funded by Innovate UK, CPI has looked to leverage its expertise in battery technology and state-of-the-art facilities to investigate processing methodologies and to help develop the proof-of-concept for the large-scale, low-cost manufacture of LiNa’s technology. The project was completed successfully, demonstrating LiNa’s novel sodium-nickel-chloride battery in operation.

This success has enabled LiNa to secure a UK grant for a £1 million project and close a significant capital raise. In addition, CPI, LiNa Energy and Lancaster University have continued their collaboration, submitting a further grant application for development funding.

Dr Gene Lewis, LiNa Energy Chief Executive said: “I am delighted with the outcomes of our collaboration with CPI. This project has advanced our sodium-nickel-chloride battery technology, demonstrating its enormous potential to decarbonise automotive transport and provide efficient and effective energy storage solutions.”

  • CPI is an independent technology innovation centre and a founding member of the UK Government’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult.