Ecoult’s CSIRO-developed lead acid ‘UltraBattery’ to compete with lithium-ion

Sydney-based battery storage developer Ecoult believes its Australia-made, CSIRO-developed lead acid battery can fight off competition from lithium-ion rivals.

Ecoult, whose so-called UltraBattery is described was a supercharged lead-acid battery hybrid, on Wednesday launched its 25kW “medium-scale solution” targeted for the commercial market.

Next year, by the second quarter, it intends to launch its residential storage project, which will be around 5kWh.

The UltraBattery has already been successfully used on King Island, where Hydro Tasmania has used storage combined with wind and solar to dramatically reduce diesel consumption. It is also providing frequency control and back-up power in large, grid scale installations in the US.

The new 25kW product has been installed in five locations in Australia, including as diesel reduction, back-up and solar smoothing on a resort, and in commercial businesses, including a large solar installer warehouse.

CEO John Wood says he believes that his batteries can compete with lithium-ion rivals on every metric, including cost. The battery array – with peak power of 25kW and more than 11kWh of storage – is to be sold at less than $20,000.

“Lead-acid batteries have been used widely since the 1800s, but UItraBattery completely changes the lead-acid paradigm,” he said.

“Lead-acid chemistry really is the giant in plain sight in the search for energy storage resources to support the integration of higher proportions of renewables in a whole of system approach.

Wood says UltraBattery allows lead-acid to work well in applications that require continuous high-rate cycling.

Wood says the new product, known as UltraFlex, will suit industrial, agricultural, off-grid and business customers, helping them to integrate renewable energy and increase the reliability of grid systems, as well as the efficiency of diesel generators in off-grid situations.

© 2015 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson

Giles Parkinson regularly contributes unique content to Solar Choice News. Giles is the founder and editor of clean energy industry news service RenewEconomy. He is a journalist of 30 years experience, a former Business Editor and Deputy Editor of the Financial Review, a columnist for The Bulletin magazine and The Australian, and the founding editor of Climate Spectator.
Giles Parkinson