What is a Sodium-ion (Na) Battery ?
The Chemical properties or Sodium and the working principles of Sodium-ion Batteries are very similar to Lithium & Lithium-ion Battery Technology.
As they belong to the same group in the periodical table, and Sodium is the sixth most common element on Earth, compared to Lithium-ion, Sodium-ion (Na) particles are said to be fatter & larger.
This means when the Battery operates the insertion & extraction Sodium ions put higher requirements on the structural requirements & kinetic properties of the materials.
Research on Sodium-ion has been around since the early 1900, but in the last 20 years focused was on the wider application of Lithium-ion batteries.
Recently there has been a Rapid research on Sodiun-ion Anode & Cathode battery material in the industry, there specific Capacity reaches 160mAh/g, which is equivalent to Lithium-ion battery Cathode material.
The Chinese company CATL have done a lot of work on the sub-atomic level & redesigned the surface material, which has solved the Rapid Capacity Fading on material Cycling.
Regarding the Anode material, because Sodium ions Cant move Freely between Graphite layers like Lithium ions, CATL has developed a Hard Graphite material that enables the abundant storage & fast movement of Sodium ions & features a Porosity structure.
The specific Capacity can reach more than 350mAh/g, it also has excellent Cycling performance. The overall performance of the material has equivalent properties to Graphite.
In terms of the Electrolyte, CATL have developed a special electrolyte system that is suitable for the Anode & Cathode materials.
The Manufacturing process of Na Battery is compatible with Lithium-ion battery manufacturing processing equipment.
The first generation of CATL Sodium-ion Batterys has reached an energy density of 160Wh/kg, currently the highest level in the World.
With a Charge rate of 15 minutes to 80% SOC at room temperature, and even in environmental temperatures of -20°C, with the Discharge retention rate will still be above 90%.
Thanks to it's excellent Thermal stability, the battery far exceeds the national Automotive Battery Safety requirements, & bedsides having slightly lower Energy Density than the current LFP battery.
It's said the Next generation of CATL Sodium-ion Batterys will exceed 200Wh/kg.
In 2022 CATL are working of a Battery with a combination of Sodium-ion () & Lithium (LiFePO4) Cells to take advantage of both Technologies.
CATL Sodium-ion battery Technology is reported to cost approx. 10~20% less than LiPO4, if correct Sodium-ion (Na) Battery Technology will cost approx. $400kWh, where currently NiFePO4 Batteries Cost around $500kWh.