SS Battery Diagram

In Search Of Solid State Battery Stocks

by Debra Fiakas, CFA Greater energy density or the amount of energy stored is the mission of every battery developer.  The higher the energy density, the longer a battery can serve its owner.  Scientists have been adjusting circulating chemistry, cloaking electrodes in exotic metals, and otherwise tinkering with conventional battery designs.  Debate even spills over into the raw material supply chain as it has recently over the use of expensive and sometimes difficult to source cobalt as an additive to lithium ion battery designs.   Others are trying to tame silicon for use in battery anodes. Perhaps the most daring developers have abandoned conventional battery design...
NaS Catalina

Lesser Known Battery Chemistries

by Debra Fiakas, CFA The last post Vanadium Flow Battery Companies, featured several companies bringing vanadium redox flow batteries to the market for large-scale energy storage projects.  These highly efficient and long-lived batteries take advantage of the unique properties of vanadium.  There are other interesting chemical mixes on the battery market that could yield returns for investors. Sodium-sulfur There are at least eight different installations of sodium-sulfur or NaS batteries around the world.  One of the largest is the Yerba Buena Energy Storage System owned by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PCG:  NYSE) in California.  Rated at 4 megawatts or 24 megawatt hours, the system can provide backup electricity...
redox flow

Vanadium Flow Battery Companies

The recent post “Lithium Technology Dominates Large Energy Storage Projects” featured companies offering utility-scale lithium battery systems. Industry research firm Navigant estimates that lithium-ion technology accounts for almost 30% of non-pumped storage capacity developed since 2011.  This might be due in part to the dramatic decreases in cost for lithium ion batteries.  A study completed by Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that the ‘levelized’ cost of energy for lithium ion batteries has fallen by 76% to $187 per megawatt hour in the first quarter 2019 from $800/MWh in 2012. Is the story over for utility-scale storage?  Should investors look for lithium ion battery manufacturers and forget...
Hornsdale tesla powerpack

Lithium Technology Dominates Large Energy Storage Projects

by Debra Fiakas, CFA Market share for lithium technology has been extended by another 22 megawatts with the selection of lithium-based batteries by Duke Energy (DUK:  NYSE) for three separate of power facilities operated by Duke Energy Florida.  Duke did not specify the source of the lithium-based batteries, but the company seems to have an affinity for Tesla’s (TSLA:  Nasdaq) battery products.  Last year Duke Energy with its partner University of South Florida chose Tesla’s lithium-based batteries for a 100-kilowatt solar project in St. Petersburg, Florida. Application of lithium-based technology in a relatively small, microgrid application like that in St. Petersburg is no surprise.  Lithium-based batteries offer high energy...
Epanko

Canadian and Tanzanian Graphite Connections

A list of graphite companies covered in this series can be found here. Like performance test results, customer relationships are critical stepping stones for graphite developers.  In June 2018, Northern Graphite (NGC: TSX-V) announced a memorandum of understanding with a European trading company to sell 100% of the output from Northern’s Bisset Creek resources in Ontario, Canada.  China-based manufacturers are the intended end-users.  Northern management is using the arrangement as leverage with prospective investors to finance mine infrastructure and processing equipment.  Capital costs are expected to exceed CA$145 million. Northern claims a proprietary purification technology the company intends to use to upgrade its graphite output.    Its Bissett Creek deposit...

Yankee Graphite

Several graphite developers have made plans to integrate forward into the hottest segment of the market  -  battery-grade graphite.  According to Industrial Minerals, spherical graphite suitable for lithium ion battery anodes is priced in a range of $2,700 to $2,800 per metric ton in China where many battery manufacturers are located.  This compares quite well to the range of about $655 to $790 per metric ton for flake graphite concentrate. The integration strategy has sent the sector into a frenzy of activity to prove their graphite meets expectations of battery manufacturers.  The only graphite deposit in the U.S. mainland is under development by Westwater Resources...
Lithium Ion Battery Diagram

Graphite Developers Eye Large Growing Market

The post “Integrated Graphene Producers” featured several graphene producers with novel business models that marry captive graphite sources to the technology and knowhow to produce graphene.  These are not the only graphite producers.  Although not as elegant as graphene with its svelte single-atom profile, the market for graphite has its appeal as well. Graphite has been a staple in steel industry crucibles, foundry molds and automobile brake linings.  These days graphite has moved into another even more important place in cars  -  lithium ion batteries that make electric vehicles viable as replacements for gas guzzling cars and trucks. Spherical graphite is especially desirable because the graphite anodes hold...
Nemaska's Whabouchi site

Nemaska: A Lithium Bargain

Nemaska Lithium (NMKEF:  OTC/PK, NMX:  TO) is a newcomer to the lithium industry.  The company recently came to the market with battery-grade lithium from spodumene rock carved out of its Whabouchi mine in northern Quebec, Canada and converted in a proprietary electrochemical process to battery-grade lithium material at an in-house facility in Shawinigan to the south.  The company filled its first orders in Summer 2018. The company expected to produce over 200,000 metric tons of lithium-bearing spodumene concentrate from its Whabouchi mine with an average 6.25% lithium oxide content.  The mine is expected to remain productive for over three decades at that extraction rate.  The processing plant in...
Plan for Nemaska's electrochemical lithium mining project

Nemaska Sprints to Early Lead In Lithium Mining Race

Thank Elon Musk with his Tesla (TSLA) gigafactory for sparking a global obsession with lithium-ion batteries and the materials need to turn them out.  Claimed by Musk to be the largest building in the world, the factory was planned to reach capacity in stages.  By the time the factory is fully completed in 2020, production capacity is expected to be 150 gigawatt hours of battery packs. Ever since construction of Musk’s gigafactory began in 2014, investors around the world have been fretting over the adequacy of lithium supplies in particular.  The gigafactory concept appeared to trigger a whole slew of ‘me too’ factories...
BMW i3 uses batteries with silicon in the anode

The Race For Silicon Anodes

Graphite is the most widely used material for battery anodes.  The anode is the positively charged electron collector in a battery.  It collects and accelerates the electronics emitted by the battery’s cathode.  Graphite gets the anode job because it is has excellent electric conductivity and resists heat and corrosion.  Plus it is light weight, soft and malleable. As satisfied as manufacturers might be with graphite anodes, none would balk at an alternative material that boosts battery performance or reduces cost.  Scientists believe battery capacity can be increased as much as ten times by using silicon for anodes.  It requires six atoms of carbon to bind one...

List of Battery Stocks

Battery stocks are publicly traded companies whose business involves the manufacture of batteries, battery components, or battery management systems used to store electricity through electrochemical means. Advanced Battery Technologies Inc (ABAT) Albermarle Corp (ALB) Axion Power International (AXPW) BioSolar, Inc. (BSRC) BYD Company, Ltd. (BYDDY) China BAK Battery (CBAK) Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (300750.SZ) Eguana Technologies Inc. (EGT.V) Electrovaya, Inc. (EFL.TO) EnerSys (ENS) EnSync, Inc. (ESNC) Flux Power Holdings, Inc (FLUX) Global X Lithium ETF (LIT) Highpower International (HPJ) Johnson Controls (JCI) Lithium Technology Corporation (LTHUQ) Livent Corporation (LTHM) mPhase Technologies (XDSL) NGK Insulators Ltd. (NGKIF, 5333.T) OM Group (OMG) Powin Energy Corp. (PWON) Redflow Limited (RFX.AX) Saft Group (SGPEF) Ultralife Batteries Inc (ULBI) Umicore S.A. (UMI.BR, UMICY, UMICF) Vendum Batteries, Inc. (VNDB) If you...

Electrovaya’s Battery Bargain

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week management of Electrovaya Inc. (EFL: TSX; EFLVF:  OTC/QB) were forced to issue a statement stating there were no fundamental developments to explain a dramatic decline in its share price.  The stock was trimmed back by 30% in two days under exceptional trading volume.  Electrovaya has developed proprietary lithium ion polymer batteries for grid storage and transportation applications.  Other than financial results for the quarter ending March 2017, the Company has had little to tell investors about the batteries, its customers or any other topic. Electrovaya distinguishes its lithium ion batteries among...

Take A Bromide For Flow Battery Frustration

by Debra Fiakas CFA The most recent article Vanadium Flow Battery Stocks: Barely A Dribble may have disappointed some investors who were expecting more opportunity for a stake in building energy storage.  Large scale energy storage is an idea to which many in the utility industry speak, but few power producers have made significant investments beyond lithium ion batteries.  Flow batteries have long been touted as a cost-effective and technically superior alternative for wind or solar power storage or for load-balancing efforts on the electric grid, as examples.  In the last post we looked at the flow battery...

Vanadium Flow Battery Stocks: Barely A Dribble

by Debra Fiakas CFA   The previous post “Investing With The Flow Battery” introduced a series of articles on flow batteries for grid-scale energy storage.  Investors focused on renewable investments should at least consider the implications of storage requirements in evaluating renewable energy technologies even if storage developers are not considered portfolio-worthy.  Owners of grid-connected solar and wind power systems must design a network that can meet the highest peak load of the year even if a large part of the generating capacity sits idle for extended periods.  Storage technologies convert electrical power into chemical or mechanical energy...

Investing With The Flow Battery

by Debra Fiakas CFA   The looming threat of global warming has nearly everyone  -  except perhaps those bickering with each other in the Whitehouse  -  scrambling for lower carbon energy sources.  Intermittancy remains a stumbling block for several of the lower-carbon renewable energy sources, particularly wind and solar energy systems.  To be a serious contributor to grid-connected power systems these energy sources need utility scale batteries that can store energy when the sun is down or winds have died away.  Unfortunately, with current technology the cost of such battery capacity increases the levelized cost of energy (LCOE)...

A Better Battery Or Bust

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last month BioSolar (BSRC:  OTC/PK) reported positive test results for its proprietary energy storage technology.  The company is developing an alternative anode material for lithium ion batteries using silicon-carbon materials.  BioSolar’s engineers are targeting dramatic improvement in anode performance and equally impressive reductions in cost.  If they are successful, it could mean longer lithium ion battery life, greater capacity and shorter charging time  -  the dreams of every manufacturer with an electronic product. Most lithium ion batteries rely on graphite for the battery anode.  However, silicon anodes could offer as much as ten...