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NEC to use Ambri Liquid Metal Batteries in energy storage systems

NEC Energy Solutions (NEC) and Ambri signed a joint development agreement (JDA) under which NEC will design and develop an energy storage system based on Ambri’s Liquid Metal Battery technology (earlier post).

NEC will employ its proprietary AEROS energy storage operating system and controls to optimize system performance of the Ambri-based energy storage systems for NEC customers that could include utilities, independent power producers (IPPs) and project developers.

The joint development program is underway and includes delivery of Ambri cells to NEC in the fourth quarter of 2019. The JDA calls for NEC’s production of commercial systems at the conclusion of the development program and NEC has committed to a minimum purchase of 200MWh of Ambri cells for these systems. Systems will be targeted at applications with durations of 4-hours or more, and where daily full depth of discharge cycling is expected. These systems will be particularly well suited for shifting large amounts of renewable energy and grid-system peak shaving.

Based on our knowledge and testing of Ambri’s technology, we feel this chemistry could be a great answer to the energy industry’s need for a low cost, long life storage solution. Ambri’s technology enables safe and reliable energy storage with potentially the lowest levelized cost of storage in the industry.

—Steve Fludder, CEO of NEC Energy Solutions

Ambri’s long-duration cells, which are based on its patented calcium || antimony chemistry, can deliver daily 100% depth of discharge cycling performance for more than 20 years with negligible degradation at a significantly lower system cost than other battery storage technologies. Systems built with Ambri’s cells can operate safely under all environmental conditions without the need for air conditioning or fire suppression equipment—increasing the system’s efficiency while reducing project cost and maintenance.

The liquid metal battery project began at MIT in the lab of Professor Donald Sadoway. Ambri’s investors include Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates and Total.



This will be another major step for lower cost storage units for near future 24/7 REs.


From the linked prior article here:

'The all-liquid construction confers the advantages of higher current density, longer cycle life and simpler manufacturing of large-scale storage systems (because no membranes or separators are involved) relative to those of conventional batteries. At charge–discharge current densities of 275 milliamperes per square centimeter, the cells cycled at 450 degrees Celsius with 98 per cent Coulombic efficiency and 73 per cent round-trip energy efficiency.

To provide evidence of their high power capability, the cells were discharged and charged at current densities as high as 1,000 milliamperes per square centimeter. Measured capacity loss after operation for 1,800 hours (more than 450 charge–discharge cycles at 100 per cent depth of discharge) projects retention of over 85 per cent of initial capacity after ten years of daily cycling.

—Wang et al.'

However, antimony is only around as abundant as silver, which ain't good.

I could not dig out how much is antimony and how much lead in their technology,


Actually Antimony has an abundance of 3 to 7 times that of Silver, so not so bad. Cost has doubled in a couple of years to around $8500 per ton in 2017. China has 90% of world production.

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