Conductive polymers may eventually become a major player in network storage, but whether that happens will likely depend on how quickly the company can scale its technology and, crucially, how much the batteries cost, says Susan Babinec, who leads the energy storage program. at the Argonne National Lab.
Some Research points to $20 per kilowatt hour of storage as a long-term goal that would help us achieve 100% renewable energy adoption. It is a milestone that other alternative mains storage batteries are targeting. Form Energy, which produces iron-air batteries, says it can achieve that goal in the coming decades.
PolyJoule may not be able to get costs that low, Paster acknowledges. It is currently targeting $65 per kilowatt hour of storage for its first systems, as industrial customers and power companies may be willing to pay that price because the products last longer, are easier and cheaper to maintain.
So far, Paster says, the company has focused on building a technology that’s easy to manufacture. It uses a water-based manufacturing chemistry and uses commercially available machinery to assemble its battery cells, so it doesn’t need the specialized conditions sometimes required when making batteries.
It’s still unclear which battery chemistry will win in grid storage. But the PolyJoule plastics have created a new option.