Partnering opportunity

UK engineering company is looking for partners to further develop their Li-ion battery

Summary

A UK engineering start-up based in London is focused on developing renewable energy technologies for low-income countries. The company has invented a smart and modular Li-ion battery. This battery can use new or recycled Li-ion battery cells to store clean and affordable energy from renewables. It is low-cost and long-lasting. The company is looking to partner with an organisation under a technical cooperation agreement to test their battery in a relevant environment.

Partner sought

The London-based company is looking for academic and business partners to test and validate their technology in relevant environments. The company is also interested in applying for international grants with international partners in order to further develop and distribute the solution in developing countries.

Description

The UK engineering company's goal is to displace diesel generation and fossil fuel based power plants and leapfrog grid infrastructure in developing nations using renewable energy and circular economy principles. Due to poor grid infrastructure and intermittency of renewable energies, too many people in developing countries still favour diesel generation and fossil fuel-based power plants although (often expensive) energy storage solutions exist. The company has developed a low-cost and long-lasting battery storage solution that can use new or recycled li-ion battery cells to store clean and affordable energy from renewables. The company's design allows easy monitoring, maintenance and replacement of each cell. The company has developed a scalable elementary battery pack. Multiple packs can easily be combined to form large energy storage solutions. Their battery pack can power most of the usual electronic appliances such as laptops, smartphones, lighting, TVs or e-bikes. You can also combine up to 32 battery packs to be used for residential or commercial energy storage and micro-grids. Finally, you also have the possibility to stack hundreds of packs for industries and utilities. All the systems are monitored online and use AI and predictive maintenance allowing maximum battery system longevity with a broader range of new and recycled li-ion battery cells making them low-cost and easy to maintain. The company has completed working prototypes and met initial technical and commercial requirements for a 1.6 kWh storage device. It is currently being tested in real-life environments in London, UK. The company is currently working with a partner in Malawi who will test the system on the ground with a potential immediate impact on the livelihoods of thousands of rural populations. They would like to partner with an international partner either from academia or business to pool resources and skills to further the development of their product by testing it in a relevant environment. This collaboration would ideally be done through a technical cooperation agreement. The collaboration could for instance consist in a joint application to relevant international grants or in a partnership to further develop and distribute the solution in developing countries. The partner would need to have specific existing technological capacities to help develop the battery further.

Advantages and innovations

The battery packs' core technology incorporate several innovative designs that address safety, cost and on-the-ground maintainability of a highly scalable battery module system. Using unconventional and innovative electronics and sensors design, it is a complete battery system utilising new or used small cylindrical li-ion battery cells called 18650 safely and at a low cost. A typical 18650 li-ion battery is typically discarded at 70-80% remaining capacity while their system can utilise the same cell up until 20% remaining capacity – tripling its life. The system is engineered to be proactive rather than reactive to arising issues. In addition, the design of a single pack can easily be modified to output various voltages unlike typical battery system where voltage configuration is “hardwired” into the design. Therefore, the company's battery packs can produce virtually any voltage with minimal efforts, making construction, maintenance and reuse for different power requirement simple. In areas where renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass are readily available, the company's technologies can provide affordable and environmentally friendly storage for distributed generation. From a longer-term business model perspective, the company is likely to license selected pieces of their technologies to other established firms to attract partners and implementation of larger and more impactful projects. Since founding in 2015, it has won multiple awards and funded R&D projects.

Development stage

Prototype available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Design Rights,Patents granted


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