Lithium has been so much in the news of late that lead acid seemed like the tortoise in the race. It was as if we were suddenly going to dash off and all buy electric cars. Company Gridtential thinks the opposite. It believes hybrids will be with us for a while and that means lots more starter batteries. They have their silicon joule lead batteries lined up to meet this need, and their scenario looks convincing.
What’s Inside Silicon Joule Lead Batteries?
Conventional lead acid batteries have pairs of lead plates inside a plastic case. While their energy ratios are low, they are able to provide high surge currents cheaply.
Gridtential proposes using lightweight plated-silicon wafers instead similar to solar cells. It believes its silicon joule lead batteries will match or even beat lithium in terms of performance, cost, and safety.
Silicon Joule Lead Technology Recycles Better
Just 1% of lithium batteries currently recycle into other products according to an industry observer. This may be because there are so many different varieties it is difficult for the industry to catch up.
Compared to this, almost all lead-acid batteries transform because efficient systems are already in position. According to an industry specialist, ‘Lead-acid batteries are the most cost-effective, safest form of energy storage and they’re more recyclable than aluminum can.’
Towards 48 Volt Silicon Joule Lead Batteries
Gridtential foresees a shift to larger batteries due to increasingly sophisticated automotive electricity demands. These include regenerative power collection, and ‘the many creature comforts and navigational aids.’ Their better power density and greener profile would make them potential candidates for grid energy storage too. Moreover the cost per battery bank could be lower.
So the ‘hare and tortoise race’ seems far from over when it comes to large power storage. In Aesop’s fable, the hare loses the race because it becomes overconfident and catches a snooze. As the saying goes, ‘the race is not always to the swift’. We do live in interesting times with silicon joule lead batteries presenting fresh directions.
Preview Image: The Tortoise and the Hare