Renewable energy sources such as wind and sun do not provide a steady stream of power, nor do they synchronize with user demand. Large energy storage solutions including “load leveling” or “grid storage” batteries can provide such seamless service.
“One technology that has been largely overlooked for grid storage is NiMH. For more than a decade, NiMH batteries have delivered safe, reliable, cost-effective performance in more than five million hybrid electric vehicles,” said Zelinsky. “NiMH batteries consistently deliver life-of-vehicle performance and owners seldom give them a second thought, regardless of driving conditions.”
Ongoing research and development with NiMH battery materials has yielded significant enhancements in operating temperature range and cycle life that make it a viable candidate for utility-scale energy storage applications. With a range of -30 to +65 ⁰ C, NiMH offers the widest operating temperature of any battery technology. The ability to perform over extended periods of time at these extreme temperatures significantly reduces the complexity and cost of thermal management systems required for a utility-scale energy storage installation.
“Together, safety, reliability, long-life, and cost-effectiveness represent the critical requirements of a grid energy storage system,” Zelinsky added. “NiMH technology can address all of these requirements and deserves serious consideration. Numerous NiMH back-up power systems are already in service around the world, delivering excellent results.”
Over the last year, BASF has taken several strategic actions to turn its vision of becoming a leading global system provider of battery materials into reality. BASF has improved its technology base and global market access for battery materials through a number of acquisitions and licensing agreements. NiMH battery technology is part of the portfolio of BASF battery solutions which includes cathode materials and electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries and next generation lithium-sulfur technology. This broad range of solutions allows BASF to meet the needs of customers in different market segments.