Global Partnership Utilises Innovative Materials For Sustainable Energy Storage


A global partnership between UK-based Morgan Advanced
Materials and FZSoNick Switzerland is utilising innovative new materials to
help store and harness excess energy generated from renewable sources.

The two businesses have partnered on a long-term project to
manufacture modular energy storage solutions for use globally in residential
housing, large energy grid support systems, and light commercial vehicles.
These solutions are being used to supply, manage and store energy without the
need for maintenance, granting communities and businesses greater independence
from national grid networks.

Key to the high performance of these systems are the
materials used, engineered through this important industry partnership.
FZSoNick manufactures the systems using Sodium Nickel Chloride batteries, a
technology which is relatively new to the market. Not only is this material in
good supply, but its high energy density characteristics, together with its
fully recyclable properties, result in storage systems that are highly

At the heart of these systems are modular batteries
containing interconnecting Beta alumina tubes, with high grade 95% alumina
collars developed by Morgan Advanced Materials. These are thin-walled square
sections of ceramic tubing, which perform as solid Beta-alumina solid
electrolyte (BASE). This is a fast ion conductor material when utilised as a
membrane in a type of molten salt (Sodium Nickel Chloride) electrochemical
cell. The latter system has an improved life cycle, can run at a large
operational temperature range (-40 to 60°C/-40 to 140°F) and can fully discharge
without damage when compared to lithium ion cells. This material integration
provides high electrical and thermal insulation, chemical stability, and high
levels of metallisation for the efficient electrical connection of cells for
power storage.

As the partnership between Morgan and FZSoNick continues to
grow, with sustainability and energy storage high on the global agenda, Morgan
has increased production of its alumina collars in excess of 1 million per
year. These components are being machined to very high geometries for seamless
assembly onto the Beta tubes.

Chris Paine, Business Development Manager at the Technical
Ceramics business of Morgan Advanced Materials commented: “Our international
partnership with FZSoNick in Switzerland is proving hugely successful,
prompting us to increase our manufacturing output. By collaborating with
FZSoNick, which is a recognised leader, and working closely with them on
materials innovation, we have been able to develop modular cell battery systems
which are more sustainable and environmentally-friendly than any other on the
market, prompting demand from residential, light commercial vehicles, and power
station markets. We can only see this partnership growing even further as the
world continues to embrace alternative forms of energy."

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