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sodium ion battery offers enhanced safety for grid storage

Sodium-Ion Battery Offers Enhanced Safety for Grid Storage

The integration of renewable energy sources into the power grid has become a global imperative to combat climate change. However, the use of energy storage solutions is crucial to manage the intermittent nature of renewables and ensure a stable power supply. Among the various energy storage technologies available, sodium-ion batteries (SIBs) have emerged as a promising alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) for grid-scale applications. One of the key advantages of SIBs is their superior safety profile, which mitigates the risks associated with battery fires and explosions. In this article, we delve into the reasons behind why sodium-ion battery has better safety, making them a compelling choice for large-scale grid storage.


1. The Importance of Battery Safety in Grid Storage

Battery safety is a paramount concern in grid-scale energy storage systems. The consequences of battery fires and explosions on such a scale can be catastrophic, resulting in costly property damage, environmental harm, and even loss of life. Therefore, finding energy storage solutions that not only deliver reliable performance but also prioritize safety is of utmost importance.


2. Sodium-Ion Battery: A Safer Alternative

Sodium-ion batteries have gained attention as a viable alternative to lithium-ion batteries for grid storage applications due to several factors, with safety being a prominent one. Let’s explore why SIBs are considered safer than LIBs.

2.1 Anode Current Collector and Transport Safety

SIBs employ aluminum foil as the anode current collector, which is more stable compared to the copper foil used in LIBs. This choice of material enhances the safety of SIBs during transportation and reduces the risk of accidents and damage.

Notably, SIBs can be discharged down to 0 V before transportation, a feature that further contributes to their safety during transit and helps cut down expenses related to transportation precautions.

2.2 Sodium-ion Battery Has Higher Internal Resistance

The internal resistance of SIBs is higher than that of LIBs. In the event of a short circuit or other adverse conditions, the heat generated instantaneously is lower in SIBs.

This lower heat generation translates to a smaller temperature rise within the battery, making it less prone to thermal runaway, a dangerous condition that can lead to fire and explosion in LIBs.

Consequently, SIBs have a higher thermal runaway temperature threshold compared to LIBs, reducing the likelihood of safety hazards.

2.3 Enhanced Thermal Stability of Cathode Materials

The thermal stability of cathode materials in SIBs is generally greater than that of LIBs. For instance, when comparing the Accelerating Rate Calorimetry (ARC) test of NMC (used in LIBs) to SIBs using NaNi0.3Fe0.4Mn0.3O2//HC, it is evident that SIBs exhibit superior thermal stability.

The self-heating temperature in the ARC test is lower for LIBs (165℃) and significantly higher for SIBs (260℃), demonstrating the ability of SIBs to withstand higher temperatures without safety concerns.

2.4 Low Probability of Dendrites and Spontaneous Combustion

Dendrite formation and spontaneous combustion are risks associated with battery technologies, especially in long-lasting applications. SIBs have a relatively low probability of dendrite growth, reducing the risk of short circuits and related safety hazards.

2.5 Stable Electrolyte

The electrolyte used in sodium-ion batteries, typically based on propylene carbonate (PC) solvent, exhibits high thermal and chemical stability.

This stable electrolyte contributes to the overall safety of SIBs and ensures a wide electrochemical window for safe operation.

2.6 Extended Operational Temperature Range

SIBs boast an extended operational temperature range, typically from -40°C to 80°C, making them suitable for a wide range of environmental conditions.

Even at extremely low temperatures (e.g., -20°C), SIBs can retain nearly 90% of their capacity, demonstrating their resilience under adverse conditions.y

3. Addressing Safety Challenges in Sodium-Ion Battery

While sodium-ion batteries offer improved safety characteristics compared to lithium-ion batteries, it is essential to implement measures that further enhance their longevity and safety, especially in large-scale grid applications. Here are some strategies to address safety challenges in SIBs:

3.1 Dendrite Prevention

Dendrite growth and short circuits remain a concern even in SIBs. Advanced separator, electrolyte, and solid electrolyte interface (SEI) engineering are essential to prevent dendrite formation and related issues.

High-viscosity electrolytes, thicker separators, and stable SEIs can be employed to mitigate the risk of dendrite growth and enhance safety.

3.2 Non-flammable Electrolytes

Implementing non-flammable aqueous or solid electrolytes can further improve safety by reducing the risk of fire or explosion, even in extreme conditions.

3.3 Stable Sodium Salts and Concentrated Electrolytes

Incorporating stable sodium salts and concentrated electrolytes in SIBs can contribute to the overall safety and stability of the battery chemistry.

3.4 Flame-Retardant Solvents

The use of non-flammable or flame-retardant solvents in SIB electrolytes can help mitigate fire risks.

Nadion Energy A Pioneer In Sodium-Ion Battery Industry


Sodium-ion battery hold great promise for large-scale grid storage applications due to their superior safety characteristics when compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries. Factors such as the choice of materials, higher internal resistance, enhanced thermal stability, and low dendrite formation probability make SIBs a compelling choice for mitigating safety risks in energy storage systems.

To ensure the continued development and adoption of sodium-ion batteries for grid-scale applications, ongoing research and engineering efforts must focus on further enhancing their safety and performance. Implementing advanced separator, electrolyte, and SEI technologies, along with non-flammable electrolytes and stable sodium salts, will contribute to the long-term success of sodium-ion battery as a safe and reliable energy storage solution for the sustainable grid of the future.

For more information, please visit Nadion Energy.

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