One of the challenges of renewable energy like solar and wind is its intermittency and lack of viable storage options. But that challenge may be easing a bit with the unveiling of Intelligent Battery’s new large-format lithium ion battery.
The IBexus is a 24-volt, 4.1 kilowatt-hour energy storage system that is highly efficient and well-suited to store solar energy. Made in the U.S., the battery is composed of large individual cells, 70 times larger than those used in typical consumer batteries.
According to John Battaglini, vice president of business development at Intelligent Battery, the lithium ion battery has a much greater energy density, with a 90 percent improvement over lead acid batteries to move energy in and out. The IBexus is also lighter in weight and has a smaller volume when compared to lead acid batteries.
“The lithium battery has fewer components, fewer connections and a higher capacity,” said Battaglini. “With 3,000 full cycles—as compared to 300-400 in lead acid batteries—the cycle life is very good.”
Because solar power is an intermittent resource, renewable integration and storage is essential to the success of the solar industry as a whole. The lithium ion battery will provide benefits in the form of back-up power and time shifting, or using energy from the day at night, for example. Without solar storage, when a cloud passes by or the sky is overcast, the energy grid would be stressed. Solar smoothing, the ability to smooth out any stresses in the grid with stored power, is crucial.
“There’s a lot of interest in the solar community around lithium batteries to smooth intermittency and make renewable energy more reliable,” said Battaglini.
Battaglini noted the Ibexus is easily scalable from kilowatt-hours to megawatt-hours, making it ideal for not only residential, commercial, and transportation applications but for utility-scale energy storage, industrial use, military use, and smart grid projects.
“Lithium ion batteries can be used in residential applications and scaled up as a nice building block for large scale applications and utility projects,” said Battaglini.