Following technical meetings in late 2019, VSPC – the wholly owned subsidiary of Lithium Australia – has completed Stage 1 cathode-material testing with potential customers in China and Japan.
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Evaluation of VSPC’s Gen 4 LFP cathode material commenced in March 2019 at DLG’s R&D facility in Shanghai, China. The materials – assessed in a commercial 18650 battery-cell format – were tested under a range of electrochemical and temperature conditions and subjected to long-term cycle testing. It was concluded that VSPC’s LFP material met DLG’s stringent specifications for use in lithium-ion battery (LIB) cells for both power and energy applications
LIT signed a letter of intent (LoI) with leading Chinese battery producer DLG Battery Co, and has incorporated a 50:50 jointly owned business, Soluna Australia Pty Ltd for the exclusive supply and sale of Soluna Battery packs and modules in Australia, and will form a technology alliance that will fast-track the commercialisation of VSPC’s patented cathode powder technology for use in DLG batteries. Meeting DLG’s stringent cathode material specification is an important precursor to DLG agreeing to purchase VSPC LFP battery cathode product for use in its batteries.
VSPC is now establishing a supply chain for delivery in 2021, of LFP to various LIB cell makers in China, including DLG. Target applications include LIB cells for energy storage and large transport vehicles.
Lithium Australia Managing Director, Adrian Griffin, said that 2019 saw a significant shift in the Chinese battery markets, with greater demand for LFP for use in short-range electric vehicle and energy-storage applications.
“The test results from battery producers in China and Japan show clearly that the performance of VSPC cathode powders is comparable to other materials currently supplied for the production of LFP LIBs,” commented Mr Griffin.
“We look forward to furthering our partnerships within the battery industry and, ultimately, supplying products that meet not only VSPC’s stringent quality specifications but those of its international customers.”
VSPC has also received positive feedback from Japanese battery-cell producers, which are evaluating its LFP products at laboratory scale. To date, the electrochemical performance of VSPC’s LFP material has met the Japanese requirements and VSPC is working to refine its product properties for specific applications and prepare for larger scale testing in 2020.
The market for LFP is expected to grow strongly in the next 10 years, due to its particular suitability for energy storage and certain types of transportation; this includes as a replacement for lead-acid batteries in various automotive applications and as back-up for power supplies. Commercial sales of VSPC LFP into the Japanese market are anticipated in 2022.
VSPC and DLG, through the 50:50 venture – Soluna Australia – intend to provide a new and reliable supply source for renewable energy solutions to power users in Australia.
With the Australian renewable energy sector experiencing strong growth, the Australian Council of Learned Academics estimates that 16GWh of energy storage will be required by 2030 to ensure security of electricity supply for the medium forecast rate of uptake of renewable energy. That will necessitate investment of more than AU$5 billion in energy storage solutions in the next 10 years, with LIBs forming a significant proportion of that.
Under the Lithium Australia/DLG agreement, the parties will facilitate technological cooperation between VSPC and DLG for both cathode and battery R&D.
DLG will work with Lithium Australia to further develop VSPC’s cathode powders, initially with a focus on lithium-ferro-phosphate (LFP) LIBs, LFP being the ideal battery chemistry for Australian energy-storage applications.
“Formalisation of Lithium Australia’s joint venture with DLG, which resulted in the creation of Soluna Australia, paves the way for the introduction of superior energy-storage products into the Australian market, reducing the carbon footprint of national energy consumption for both residential and industrial consumers,” explained Mr Griffin.
“We foresee great potential for energy storage in fringe-of-grid and off-grid applications, as well as improvements in the utilisation of power from existing grids.”
2019年3月，VSPC的第四代锂-磷酸铁(Gen 4 LFP)的阴极材料在中国上海的DLG研发中心开始评估。这些材料以商用18650电池形式进行评估，在一系列电化学和温度条件下进行了长期的循环测试。结论是，VSPC的LFP材料符合DLG严格的锂离子电池(LIB)的电力和能源的应用规范。
德国利特(LIT)与中国领先电池生产商DLG电池有限公司签署了意向书，并成立了一个50：50的合资企业，澳大利亚索鲁那有限公司(Soluna Australia Pty Ltd)在澳大利亚独家供应和销售Soluna电池组和模块，并将成立一个技术联盟，快速推进VSPC用于DLG电池的阴极粉末专利技术的商业化。满足DLG严格的阴极材料规格是DLG同意购买用于电池的VSPC锂-磷酸铁阴极产品的重要前提。
VSPC目前正在建设一条预计在2021年竣工的供应链，用于给包括DLG在内的中国多家锂电子电池制造商交付LEP. 目标应用包括用于能源存储和大型运输车辆的锂电子电池。澳大利亚锂公司董事总经理阿德里安·格里芬(Adrian Griffin)表示，2019年中国电池市场发生了重大的变化，对用于短程电动汽车和储能应用的LFP的需求不断增加。