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The most complete knowledge list of sodium sulfur batteries

The most comprehensive knowledge list about sodium sulfur battery
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    This article will introduce the composition of sodium sulfur batteries, market prospects, advantages and disadvantages, market trends, etc. You will be interested in content about sodium sulfur batteries.

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    1.What is a sodium sulfur battery?

    A sodium-sulfur battery is a molten salt battery composed of liquid sodium (Na) and sulfur (S). This type of battery has high energy density, high charge/discharge efficiency (89-92%) and long battery life cycle, and is also made of cheap materials.

    Because these batteries operate at temperatures as high as 300 to 350°C and the sodium polysulfides are highly corrosive, they are primarily used for fixed-point energy storage. The larger the battery, the higher the efficiency.

    A typical battery has a solid electrolyte membrane between the anode and cathode

    2. Composition of sodium sulfur battery

    A typical battery has a solid electrolyte membrane between the anode and cathode, while the anode, cathode and separator of a liquid metal battery are all liquid. The battery is usually cylindrical in shape. The entire battery is sealed by a casing with a steel inner layer protected by chromium and molybdenum. The outside of this container is the positive electrode, and the liquid sodium is the negative electrode.

    The cell is capped by an aluminum oxide cover. The most important part of the battery is the β-solid alumina electrolyte membrane, which selectively allows Na+ to pass through. In commercial applications the cells are arranged into cubes for easy packaging in a vacuum insulated box.

    3. Operating principle of sodium sulfur battery

    Sodium sulfur batteries realize the conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy through the electrochemical reaction between metallic sodium and elemental sulfur. During discharge, metallic sodium produces Na+ and electrons. 

    Na+ moves through the separator to the sulfur cathode. Elemental sulfur is reduced and combines with sodium to form sodium polysulfide. When a certain voltage is applied to an external circuit, a reverse reaction in which sodium polysulfide decomposes into metallic sodium and sulfur occurs.

    Sodium salt acbattery is a type of high temperature sodium battery

    4. Characteristics of sodium sulfur batteries.

    As a new type of chemical power source, sodium sulfur batteries (NaS) has developed greatly since its inception. Sodium-sulfur batteries have small size, large battery capacity, long life and high efficiency. They are widely used in power energy storage for peak shaving, valley filling, emergency power supply, wind power generation and other energy storage aspects like behind the meter battery storage.

    Sodium sulfur batteries have several advantages over other battery types, such as high energy density and long cycle life. However, their energy efficiency is relatively low compared to other battery chemistries, which limits their applications in certain fields.

    Sodium sulfur batteries need to work at 300-350°C and require external heating and vacuum insulation technology. Therefore, their mobility performance is poor, which reduces their application scope. For a long time, the application fields of sodium-sulfur batteries have mainly focused on energy storage, and they have no advantages in electric vehicles, mobile terminals, mobile energy storage, etc.

    5.Market prospects of sodium sulfur batteries

    Globally, only Japan’s NGK Company is currently producing this battery. The lack of industrial chain and scale effect has resulted in the current high cost of sodium-sulfur batteries, which limits the application and development of sodium-sulfur batteries.

    But as renewable energy generation continues to grow, so does the need for energy storage technologies that can store excess energy and make it available when needed. Sodium sulfur batteries are a promising grid-scale energy storage technology, and the growing demand for energy storage systems can drive the development of the sodium sulfur batteries industry.

    Sodium-ion batteries have the same composition as lithium-ion batteries

    6.Challenges facing sodium sulfur batteries

    The electrode materials of the battery are all liquid and must be prevented from contact with air. The first challenge to be met is the sealing problem. It turns out that it is possible to use a solid electrolyte in the form of a cylindrical tube with one end closed.

    One liquid electrode is located inside the tube, with electrical contacts deployed through the seal at the open end; the other liquid electrode is deployed on the outer surface of the electrolyte tube and a coaxial external container within the annular space between.

    Sodium-sulfur batteries are composed of a sodium negative electrode and a sulfur positive electrode

    7.Latest developments in sodium sulfur batteries

    According to foreign media reports, BASF Stationary Energy Storage GmbH (hereinafter referred to as “BSES”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF, recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Leader Energy of Malaysia. The two parties plan to cooperate in the development of Southeast Asia’s long-duration energy storage market, including Malaysia.

    The negative electrode of a sodium sulfur batteries is composed of liquid sodium. The battery operating temperature needs to be maintained above 300°C to keep the electrode in a molten state. Even with 100% deep discharge cycles every day, sodium-sulfur batteries can operate for about 15 years without battery aging. It is considered suitable for application scenarios with 6-8 hours of energy storage time.

    Sodium-sulfur batteries convert chemical energy into electrical energy through the electrochemical reaction between metallic sodium and elemental sulfur

    Sodium-sulfur batteries have the advantages of high utilization efficiency, fast response, and high energy density. However, its disadvantages are also obvious, including poor safety and high temperature requirements. 

    Especially in terms of safety, the electrodes of sodium-sulfur batteries use liquid sodium, which is in danger of exploding when exposed to water, making fire extinguishing more difficult than other energy storage fires.

    In addition, currently only Nippon NGK Corporation (NGK) has the mass production capacity of sodium-sulfur batteries globally. The company has operated more than 200 energy storage power station projects and more than 4GWh of sodium sulfur batteries energy storage systems around the world. If you want to know more about energy storage related companies, please click energy storage battery manufacturers.

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