Mission Critical Power June 2019

Page 36



Is battery technology on the verge of a blue period? A new battery technology has been derived from a widely available pigment which inspired Picasso’s ‘Blue Period’. But could it rival the dominant chemistries currently available on the market? Natron’s Jack Pouchet believes the technology has the potential to transform the data centre sector. Louise Frampton reports


russian blue is a dark blue pigment derived from ferrous cyanide – a material that has been safely used for over 250 years in paint (leading to Picasso’s famous ‘Blue Period’), blue jeans, and blueprint paper. It is also used in medicine to treat certain types of heavy metal poisoning and in children’s finger paint, where it is considered edible and non-toxic. However, Prussian blue has now found its way into a new application – battery technology. Natron Energy has developed a new, patented cell technology based on Prussian blue electrodes and a sodium-ion electrolyte. The Prussian Blue electrodes produce a battery with extremely low internal resistance and high round-trip energy efficiency. This makes Natron batteries the ideal platform for stationary energy storage and UPS applications where reliability and highpower are paramount. Natron Energy was first launched in 2012 as a Stanford spin out by founder and CEO Colin Wessells. Wessells’ PhD work at Stanford focused on identifying safe, high power chemistries that would create new battery products. Natron’s concept from the outset was to design a battery using

Prussian blue has found its way into battery technology materials that are considered safe and highly available as global commodities. The battery technology does not use any rare earth metals and can be produced in high-volume on standard lithium-ion production lines. “With these advantages, Natron can quickly achieve price parity with lithium-ion technologies and, in the near future will reach price levels of lead acid batteries,” comments Jack Pouchet, vice president of sales for Natron Energy. “Our

early production units have achieved cost targets that have already caught the attention of customers in the UPS, electrical, and telecom OEMs markets.”

We anticipate that many existing lead and even some lithium-ion battery plants will start to be converted over to sodium to take advantage of the improved opex, footprint and improvement to one’s business continuity and risk portfolio MCP June 2019


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.