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Thuringia plans various pilots to demonstrate application of the new ceramic battery.

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A ground-breaking ceramic battery which is capable of delivering cost-effective and environmentally-friendly heat, power and mobility storage, has been developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) with input from various partners in Thuringia, eastern Germany.

The battery has several unique advantages: Firstly, it is based on materials which are all locally produced and inexpensive (common salt, nickel powder and aluminium oxide). Secondly, at its core is a solid state electrolyte made of a special ceramic. Which means that not only is the product safe, stable and low-maintenance with a service life of 10 years (or 4,500 charging cycles), it is environmentally responsible and 100 percent recyclable.

The Na/NiCl2 battery was developed within the framework of “smood”, Thuringia’s “smart, sustainable neighbourhood” initiative, of which this “EStorage project” is just one focus. It was a combined effort from the Fraunhofer IKTS together with Alumina Systems GmbH, TOBOL Automation Technology GmbH and Axxellon GmbH.

Various pilots are being planned in Thuringia to demonstrate application of the new technology, for examples in passenger transport and for local energy suppliers. “A prime project is of course the Thuringian growth core “smood” with its application as a power storage device in neighbourhoods for socially acceptable, energy-efficient renovation," comments Roland Weidl, head of the Systems Integration and Technology Transfer department at the Fraunhofer IKTS in a press release from the Thuringian Renewable Energy Network (ThEEN).

"Local production possibilities and complete recyclability make the battery an optimal power storage device for the sustainable neighbourhood project," says Jana Liebe, managing director of the ThEEN. in the release. The smood projects are just the beginning for the new ceramic battery: larger energy storage applications will be trialled in 2021.