From the market point of view, the selection of battery form should be adapted based on the needs of terminal applications, and then the advantages of different forms of batteries in terms of structure, process, and equipment maturity should be brought into play.
Gaogong Energy Storage believes that from the observation of the supporting form of the application of lithium batteries, it may be possible to get a glimpse of the future development pattern of sodium batteries.
In the power market, prismatic lithium batteries can meet the customized needs of car companies based on their strong plasticity. At present, they occupy a dominant position with a market share of 92%. The penetration rate of soft pack and cylindrical lithium batteries in the power market is relatively low.
If sodium batteries compete with lithium batteries in the A-class and below car market in the future, battery companies can continue the production process and equipment of square lithium batteries to form an advantage in cost.
In the energy storage market, electric energy storage currently accounts for more than 70% of the overall market share. It is applied on the power generation side, power grid side, and industrial and commercial side. The battery shape is mainly square and large cylinder.
In terms of small storage such as household and portable energy storage, cylindrical batteries are currently the mainstream in the market, and 18650, 21700 and larger cylinders have been applied in small batches in some occasions with more stringent charging requirements.
In terms of communication energy storage, due to the high degree of standardization in the downstream market, the lithium battery packs used in this field are mainly standardized products, with square LFP 48V50Ah and 48V100Ah and other product models as the mainstream.
Therefore, as far as the current mainstream form of energy storage lithium batteries is concerned, it may be faster and more convenient for sodium batteries to enter the energy storage market in the future with square, large and small cylinders based on the wind direction of landing applications and the original equipment and mature technology of the factory.
In terms of soft-pack sodium batteries, they have differentiated advantages compared with square and cylindrical batteries: first, the aluminum-plastic film used in soft-pack batteries is less likely to explode than square and cylindrical hard-shell packages; Shell batteries are 40% lighter, 20% lighter than aluminum shell batteries, directly addressing the weight problem of sodium batteries.
According to the observation of Gaogong Energy Storage, at present, most sodium battery enterprises use soft-pack sodium battery as a preliminary sample test. In the future, they will further develop and produce corresponding forms of sodium battery products according to market trends and landing scenarios, and there are also special soft-pack lithium batteries. Enterprises directly cut into the sodium electric track.
In this context, Gaogong Energy Storage, Gaogong Industry Research Institute, and Gaogong Lithium Battery will hold the 2023 Gaogong Sodium Power Industry Summit in Suzhou on April 24. Inviting 100+ upstream and downstream enterprises and 500+ industry chain guests to participate in the meeting, sodium electricity industry chain enterprises will conduct in-depth discussions on the development opportunities and challenges of the sodium electricity industry, so stay tuned!
Based on their own advantages and future market trends, different battery companies have exclusively or intersected square, soft-pack, and cylindrical sodium batteries. Specifically:
Square sodium electricity
At this stage, the production compatibility of sodium batteries and lithium batteries is relatively high. Leading battery companies mainly use their own lithium battery production lines compatible with sodium battery production, and emerging sodium battery companies mainly produce batteries in the form of OEM.
Judging from the existing power lithium battery production line, square battery packaging currently accounts for the highest proportion, and the penetration rate of square laminates in the energy storage market is also further increasing. The superposition of the two may affect the future shape of sodium batteries.
Gaogong Energy Storage believes that in the early stage of sodium electricity industrialization, in order to consider the cost issue, there are not many voices to invest in the construction of new sodium electricity production lines, and it is more cost-effective to continue to use square lithium electricity production lines.
From the perspective of enterprises with a layout of square sodium electricity, there are CATL, Phylion, Zhongkehaina, Haiji New Energy, etc. at present.
According to the analysis of GGII, the advantage of cylindrical batteries lies in standardization. The standardization of battery cells is conducive to the standardization of production lines and can improve production efficiency. The cylindrical battery winding process is relatively mature, with a high degree of automation and good consistency, and the cost can be reduced by more than 10%. In addition, the cylindrical battery cell has low internal resistance and good heat dissipation performance under the design of all tabs.
It is worth noting that EVE Lithium Energy released a large cylindrical sodium-ion battery product in December 2022. The positive electrode uses layered oxide, the negative electrode uses hard carbon, the energy density is 135Wh/kg, and the number of cycles reaches 2500 times.
From the perspective of EVE Lithium Energy’s energy storage track layout, its product solutions cover the application requirements of the power generation side, the grid side, and the user side, and can be used for various extreme environments such as high cold and high altitude, rainy, desert, and coastal areas. Gaogong Energy Storage believes that based on the low-temperature characteristics of sodium batteries, combined with the research and development of EVE lithium energy large cylindrical sodium batteries, it can well enter the energy storage market in alpine regions.
Companies that choose large-cylindrical sodium batteries also include Duofluoride, whose sodium batteries were evaluated starting from soft-pack batteries, and subsequently developed large-cylindrical sodium batteries. It is reported that the electrical energy density of the first-generation large-cylindrical sodium has reached more than 140Wh/kg, and the electrical performance of the second-generation large-cylindrical sodium will be further improved.
In terms of production capacity, Duofluoride currently has nearly 1GWh of sodium power production capacity in Jiaozuo base, and the Nanning 5GWh base will be compatible with sodium power production in the future; in terms of landing scenarios, polyfluoride and polysodium power are mainly used in two-wheeled vehicles, tricycles, small energy storage, and backup electricity and other scenes.
Not only that, sodium innovative energy, one of the new powers of sodium electricity, mainly focuses on the two aspects of cylinder and soft package in the form of sodium electricity, and its landing application mainly focuses on household storage, micro electric vehicles, mobile base stations and other fields; Zhongkehai The nano-cylindrical sodium battery has also been launched on Haohua Fairy. The energy density of this battery is 140Wh/kg.
At present, battery companies deploy soft-pack sodium batteries, one is for product testing, and the other is to solve the weight problem of sodium batteries and improve energy density. Such materials are lighter in weight, have larger battery cell accommodation space, and have higher energy density.
Funeng Technology, as the leading domestic soft-pack battery company, recently announced that it has obtained the battery designation letter for EV3 models from Jiangling Group, and will purchase sodium-ion battery pack assemblies from Funeng Technology, and requires the company to start mass production of batteries in the first half of the year.
Previously, Funeng Technology released the latest pouch battery technology SPS, which integrates four innovative technologies of large pouch cell, large pouch battery system, large pouch battery manufacturing and direct recycling, broadening the choice of battery materials range, compatible with high nickel ternary, low nickel lithium-rich manganese, lithium iron manganese phosphate, sodium ions, etc.
Combined with the news of Funeng Technology’s acquisition of Jiangling EV3, Gaogong Energy Storage believes that Funeng sodium electric power has unique advantages to enter the sodium electric power market with the blessing of SPS technology. At present, the ternary battery capacity of Funeng Technology’s Ganzhou plant has been transformed into a sodium battery capacity, which meets the conditions for mass production of sodium batteries.
In addition, new powers such as Jia Na Energy and Xingkong Na Power are also deploying soft-pack sodium power. Among them, Jia Na Soft-pack sodium power chooses the polyanion route; Xing Kong Na Power chooses the Prussian blue route, which has been completed Application in pouch battery system, and established a sodium battery pilot test line.
It is worth mentioning that energy storage companies are also stepping up the deployment of sodium electricity research and development. Among them, Paineng Technology was certified by TÜV Rheinland sodium-ion battery in March. Prior to this, Power Technology entered the household storage market through soft-pack lithium batteries. According to the analysis of Gaogong Energy Storage, Power Technology will continue to use the original mature production line of lithium battery soft-pack cells, and it will have a greater advantage in deploying soft-pack sodium batteries in the future.