The energy storage market is evolving as it continues further integration schemes with renewable energy sources. Tydrolyte technology could potentially present a more environmentally friendly option to the traditional lead-based battery.
In the beginning, solar power systems were mainly used for off-grid purposes. On this type of system, the ruling battery technology was the lead-acid; first using flooded batteries and then using vented regulated lead-acid models (AGM and GEL) to serve applications where no power grid was available.
Then the market evolved into the new grid-tied with battery backup systems.
The applications began in commercial systems, but eventually reached the residential market as well, to provide backup against blackouts.
However, the limitations related to the toxicity of gases from flooded batteries, the conditions of the space needed to place them and the quantity of batteries needed to supply the demands of a typical household, made it unattractive for many homeowners.
That’s how the lithium-ion battery technologies appeared in the market; with better efficiencies and with no environmental damage associated to them.
Despite the fact that lead-acid batteries are still the dominant rechargeable batteries in the world, lithium-ion technology is starting to take control of the market, especially for grid-tied with battery backup systems.
Step by step, lead-acid batteries are being left behind only for the off-grid market, especially in industrialised countries like Australia.
Tydrolyte Technology – The New Trend
However, a new emerging technology is starting to gain interest in the solar industry as it reduces one of the main drawbacks of lead-acid type batteries: toxicity.
This new technology is a low-toxicity electrolyte solution from the company Tydrolyte and is based on a less toxic drop-in replacement for sulfuric acid in lead batteries that enables important performance and economic improvements.
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of this type of battery.
1. Superior Performance
Tydrolyte technology extends the operating life of the battery by adding a lower charge resistance and improving the round trip efficiency.
Tydrolyte’s studies have shown that its electrolyte provides between 12-19% lower DC charge resistances over the 90-80% State of Charge for stop-start and hybrid vehicles.
Moreover, batteries are tested under an accelerated life testing using 60°C and continuous charging at 14.4V. Once the battery is fully charged, the hold current delivers destructive energy for positive plate corrosion, water loss and heat dissipation as well.
By replacing sulfuric acid, Tydrolyte has proven that the hold current is reduced by 24%, which increases the battery life and it is expected that this value will increase as the years pass by.
Besides, with this technology, the batteries have a wider ambient temperature operating range which is one of the main factors that affect the life of lead-acid batteries.
Replacing the sulfuric acid with Tydrolyte, can offer a more efficient manufacturing process that increases the production capacity and lowers the production costs as well.
Moreover, environmental costs related to regulations, transportation, remediation and insurance are also reduced radically.
3. Environmentally Safe
Tydrolyte is a less toxic component than sulfuric acid.
The change is so important that with this new material, the lead battery can be classified as a non-toxic battery according to the U.S DOT and EPA standards.
This also reduces costs for manufacturers.
The applications of this technology can be used not only for grid storage and UPS purposes, but also for the automotive market, start/stop batteries and hybrid vehicles as well.
It has already been tested for flooded, AGM and bipolar battery applications.
Awards & Innovation
The innovation of this company has seen it selected as one of the top ten emerging battery technologies of 2019 by the National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Batteries (NAATBatt) to be presented in March 14th in Phoenix, Arizona.
Based on this announcement and the new promising features of Tydrolyte, the company is already testing agreements with large US and international battery manufacturers to integrate this technology in their batteries.
We have examined some of the properties and benefits that can be obtained from integrating the Tydrolyte material into lead batteries.
The greatest benefit is related to the reduction of environmental damage and especially to the reduction in costs associated with battery manufacturing.
Considering that lead-acid batteries are the most affordable option for the energy storage market, any new development that reduces the costs even further, could be a game changing factor to consider at market scale.
Could this position lead batteries not only as the ruling battery technology up to date, but also on the long-term?
This would leave Tesla, LG Chem and Sonnen batteries out of the scenario, which is not very likely to happen, especially with all the market share that lithium-ion technologies have earned so far.
However, with time, Tydrolyte technology could represent an important battery option for the low-budget customer who wants to have an energy storage solution and install solar power as well.