Altech Batteries achieves breakthrough design change for CERENERGY project, increases output by 20%

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By Colin Hay - 
Altech Batteries ASX ATC CERENERGY plant development

Altech Batteries (ASX: ATC) has achieved a major breakthrough at its innovative CERENERGY project with a new design concept expected to significantly increase its planned output by 20%.

The company has revealed that annual production of 1-megawatt-hour (MWh) grid packs from the CERENERGY project in Saxony, Germany, has been increased from 100 to 120 MWh.

The enhancements were identified in the final stages of design for the facility with lead engineering company Leadec and joint venture partner Fraunhofer.

Impressively, the enhanced 20% increase in output will be achieved without incurring any additional capital costs.

The plant is part of the development of the unique CERENERGY sodium chloride solid state (SCSS) battery, considered by Altech as a game-changing alternative to lithium-ion batteries.

The Altech/Fraunhofer joint venture’s Saxony facility is intended to produce CERENERGY battery modules to provide grid storage solutions to the market.

Breakthrough design changes

Group managing director Iggy Tan said the significant design breakthrough involves the use of a stacking method for the 1 MWh GridPacks.

He said the enhanced design now permits triple-stacking and facilitates seamless interconnection between each GridPack. This allows the GridPacks to be conveniently stacked atop one another, using a simple electrical connection.

Connection leads will now be incorporated within the GridPack frames, enabling an effortless “plug and play” setup, with this configuration allowing for the parallel or series connection of GridPacks to augment the operational voltage.

“This ingenious design substantially minimises the space occupied by grid storage battery packs and eliminates the necessity for separate cooling airflow around the GridPacks, conserving valuable land area. These advantages position the CERENERGY GridPacks as a more advanced alternative to lithium-ion battery solutions,” Mr Tan said.

“From the beginning, we recognised a considerable margin built into the different equipment designs. Initially, our approach to facility design was quite conservative. However, as we’ve progressed in finalising the overall equipment operations, it has become evident that we possess the capability to increase our production rate.”

“We are currently in the final stages of the DFS, where we are meticulously reviewing all cost factors, including operating consumables and purchased items,” he said.

Permit and licensing process underway

Altech’s joint venture German subsidiary Altech Batteries GmbH (ABG) has commenced the permitting and licensing application process for the CERENERGY battery project in Schwarze Pumpe, Saxony.

In its joint venture with Fraunhofer IKTS, Altech is preparing to commercialise the battery plant on Altech’s land in Saxony, specifically focussed on the grid (stationary) energy storage market.

Altech, in collaboration with its engineering subcontractor LEADEC and its architecture and balance of plant subcontractor ARIKON, has successfully submitted an application to the authorities for a permit and license for the proposed construction and operation of the CERENERGY battery plant.

Battery pack design optimised

It has been a busy few months for Altech and its product development team.

In late October the company revealed it had completed an optimised design of its 60KWh battery pack following final design collaborations with component suppliers.

The company says it has obtained increased confidence that the stainless-steel finish for the battery pack will have a better ability to endure extreme temperature variations, be it in snowy or desert conditions, while maintaining its pristine appearance.