Sydney-based lead-acid energy storage specialist Ecoult has secured AU$4.1 million (US$3.13 million) recoupable funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to develop and commericalise its UltraBattery products.
This supports a AU$10.6 million (US$8 million) venture from Ecoult to enhance its lead-acid battery’s performance and the extra funding will also be used for the expansion of the company’s engineering team in Sydney. It will also help Ecoult move into international markets after it recently signed a global manufacturing deal with India’s largest battery manufacturer, Exide Industries, which will manufacture and distribute the UltraBattery in India and South Asia.
Ecoult’s product is a hybrid lead-acid energy storage device including an ultra-capacitor and a battery in a common electrolyte. It is manufactured in the US by Ecoult’s parent company East Penn Manufacturing, and can perform grid ancillary services, including to help integrate renewable energy into grids.
Ecoult CEO John Wood said: “Our team has developed energy storage systems to enhance renewable adoption in Australia at the same time contributing to the global evolution in the way people and companies think about application of energy storage alongside renewable energy.”
ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht added: “Storage is critical for increasing the reliability of our on-grid and off-grid power systems. It can give customers more control over their energy by storing solar through the day to use during the evening peak.”
The UltraBattery technology was originally developed by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) with ARENA’s support 10 years ago.
ARENA then provided Ecoult with AU$583,780 in 2013 to continue development of the technology, also focusing on off-grid applications. This resulted in the creation of the UltraFlex kilowatt-scale battery storage device.