Unlike lithium-ion battery cells, EnerVenue’s nickel-metal-hydrogen technology did not show fire propagation during induced thermal runaway in UL battery safety tests.
UL 9540A testing includes progressively larger scale fire tests, starting at the cell level and progressing to the module level, unit level, and finally the installation level. The tests are designed to assess the risk of heat escape and fire spread in battery energy storage systems.
Most lithium ion technologies generate flames during the UL 9540A test at the cell level. For example, a dotted lithium-ion cell catches fire, and for this reason, manufacturers add additional shielding around the cells to prevent thermal runaway at the module level and meet testing criteria.
EnerVenue’s energy storage vessels passed UL 9540A testing at the cell level without flames during induced thermal runaway.
“Our UL 9540A test results confirm that our proven battery chemistry is the leading choice for customers looking to eliminate the possibility of fire or thermal hazards in grid-scale installations,” said Majid Keshavarz, Chief Technology Officer, EnerVenue.
Because its metal-hydrogen batteries do not require additional packaging or modifications to prevent explosion or fire spread, EnerVenue claims its customers are able to reduce project risks, OPEX costs, personnel risks and environmental issues.
In another safety milestone, the company also certified its energy storage vessel according to the UL 1973 standard. The safety standard applies to fixed batteries and certifies the battery system’s ability to operate safely under normal and abnormal conditions in terms of electrical, mechanical and environmental safety.
“UL 1973 reinforces and strengthens our safety requirements and meets the requirement for the deployment of grid-scale and commercial energy storage systems,” said Andrzej Skoskiewicz, director of product engineering at EnerVenue.
EnerVenue, founded in 2020, claims that its nickel-hydrogen batteries have a lifespan of more than 30 years with more than 30,000 cycles without degradation, so they have no maintenance costs. The company also claims costs per kilowatt-hour are as low as pennies, with capital costs that beat lithium-ion batteries.
As demonstrated by its use on NASA satellites, nickel-hydrogen battery technology is particularly good in remote and harsh environments with operating temperatures ranging from -40 C to 60 C. EnerVenue’s battery efficiency ranges from 80 to 90% depending on rotation speed, and its energy density per square foot is equal to or better than lithium-ion batteries, according to the company. .
EnerVenue raised $125 million in a December 2021 Series A equity offering from Schlumberger, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and Stanford University, with Barclays acting as an advisor. The funding round followed an earlier $12 million seed round in the same year.
In March, the US start-up announced plans to invest in a 1 million square foot gigafactory in the state of Kentucky where it will design, manufacture and test its nickel-hydrogen energy storage vessels.
EnerVenue reports that it has more than 7 GWh of customer commitments, including Pine Gate Renewables, Nicon Industries’ Green Energy Renewable Solutions and Schlumberger New Energy, among others.