Gridtential, Inc., an innovator in low-cost, high-performance energy storage technologies, has completed a $6 million fundraise with strategic investors from some of the world’s largest battery suppliers and distributors. New investors include East Penn Manufacturing, the world’s largest single-site, lead-acid battery facility; Crown Battery Manufacturing, a leader in deep-cycle applications; Leoch International, the largest lead acid battery exporter in China, and Power-Sonic Inc., a global specialty battery distributor.
Gridtential’s Silicon Joule technology is a novel breakthrough that replaces the lead grid inside a traditional lead battery with a plated silicon wafer similar to a solar cell. This approach translates to performance levels that match or exceed lithium-ion battery performance in many high power, medium energy and deep cycling applications, with significant cost, safety and recycling advantages. Gridtential is licensing the technology and building out its drop-in specialty Silicon wafer supply, enabling manufacturing partners to easily adapt their existing highly productive factories to provide high performing 12 V to 48 V batteries to their customers, without gigascale capital investments. The added funds will support further cost reductions and scaling of manufacturing processes to deliver 12 to 48 V batteries, which can be one-third lighter than existing advanced lead batteries with performance up to 5x in power density.
With combined 2016 revenues exceeding $4 billion, this innovative group of battery industry manufacturers has been working jointly with Gridtential for four years to validate the potential of Silicon-Joule batteries. In that time, Gridtential has eclipsed its performance targets, providing demonstrations of the Silicon Joule technology with 6 partners in over 250 batteries. The results of those pilots showed an overall 2-5x cycle life improvement and demonstrated a scalable assembly method.
“East Penn continues to explore advanced battery technologies, and the company strongly believes that lead-based solutions will play a significant role in powering future needs,” said Kevin Smith, East Penn’s VP of Technology. “The remarkable strides that Gridtential has made in demonstrating advancements from a traditional lead-battery design, help prove that East Penn’s lead battery beliefs are well founded. The company is excited to explore Silicon Joule technology, along with our other technology partners, in order to further support our customers and the industry’s growth in vehicle electrification and grid storage optimization.”
“Lead-acid batteries are the most cost-effective, safest form of energy storage, and they’re more recyclable than an aluminum can,” said Hal Hawk, President and CEO of Crown Battery Manufacturing. “Now, they’re even better, because Gridtential’s new technology combines the safety, recyclability, and ROI of lead-acid batteries with up to 5X greater power density, lighter weight, and more than double the lifespan.”
“We are very excited about the potential for the Gridtential technology, and the advantages it can provide our customers. It will take lead acid battery performance and life up to the next level,” said Shawn Peng, Leoch International’s VP of Technology.
Gridtential is focused on applications ranging from 48 V automotive hybrid and grid storage to back-up power for cloud computing, material handling equipment and many others. The 48 V battery market for hybrid vehicles alone represents a $30 billion opportunity worldwide. While 12 V electrical systems are straining to supply the power demanded by amenities and mechanical operations in contemporary car and truck models, 48V systems provide more than enough energy to support a variety of hybrid automotive features, such as stop-start energy regeneration and engine shut-off at higher speeds. Gridtential’s proprietary Silicon Joule battery technology will not only significantly reduce the cost barrier to create these systems, it will ensure that these high-performance hybrid vehicles achieve the best fuel economy possible.
“An investment like this from such a highly respected group of global battery producers is significant in two respects. First, it underscores our investors’ confidence that our licensable silicon-based bi-polar technology can change the game for advanced lead battery makers, giving them a competitive edge in the highest growth markets,” said Ray Kubis, Gridtential Chairman. “Second, it is an efficient contrast to the large capital sums going into lithium. Rather than spending our time and efforts on continuous fund raising, we’ve chosen a capital-light path with an existing global network of suppliers that will swiftly exceed gigascale production of advanced lead-based batteries to meet rapidly growing application demand.”