Energy Storage Technology: Three Trends to Watch

Jun 11, 2023

Rapid growth in deployments is making the energy storage system (ESS) sector the new competitive battlefield for battery manufacturers. Whether diversifying from the electric vehicle (EV) market or focusing specifically on ESS, it is a market in which to invest.

Through research,we have found that energy storage market dynamics are shaping the evolution of battery formats, components and production. So how does it drive developments in lithium-ion cell components and designs?

1. The divergence between batteries for ESS and EVs is accelerating

A combination of technology, market, manufacturing and policy factors is driving rapid changes in the lithium-ion battery market landscape. With ESS uptake accelerating, the specific performance requirements for ESS batteries are increasingly being addressed by divergence from the market for batteries used in EVs. 

The divergence between batteries for ESS and EVs is accelerating

In contrast to EV batteries, where the focus is on improving energy density to boost range and reducing charging time, the priorities for ESS batteries are cost, durability and storage duration.

2LiFePO₄(LFP) cathode chemistry is gaining momentum in energy storage applications

New technology such as advanced silicon-based and lithium metal anode technologies and all-solid-state batteries are aimed at boosting energy density. As such they will prioritise the EV and consumer electronics markets.

3. Cost reduction is driving innovation in cell size and format for ESS

Ultimately, developments in battery size and format are also moving fast in the ESS market. A meaningful way of reducing cost is by increasing the capacity and size of cells. Already 280 Ah (ampere hours) is becoming the new standard for LiFePO₄ batteries in grid-scale applications, with larger capacities of up to 560 Ah and a higher cycle life of up to 12,000 times in the pipeline. 

LFP in energy storage

In terms of battery format, prismatic cells currently dominate grid-scale ESS.However, by comparison, cylindrical batteries are relatively safe, inexpensive, easy to manufacture, and cost-effective due to their long service life. We forecast the latest generation of larger cylindrical 46xx LFP batteries will be used in various energy storage markets over the next decade.

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