Costs of batteries

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jonescg
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Real Name: Chris Jones
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Costs of batteries

Post by jonescg » Fri, 03 May 2019, 16:05

Today I was looking at battery chemistry options and thrashing around why certain ones are chosen over others.

I've always thought LFP made perfect sense for home / grid scale storage considering its long cycle life, high point of thermal runaway and minimal fire when it does run away. So I was wondering why more firms aren't using it in household or large scale battery storage systems.

Then I looked at the price; LFP is more expensive than Li-NMC.

Despite the cheap ingredients which make up a LFP cell (lithium, iron, phosphorus and carbon) the energy density is so much lower than NMC that you need to buy more of it to achieve the same end. Retail LFP ends up costing about US$250/kWh while NMC is US$230/kWh. And since energy density is everything these days, you get more bang for your buck, even when using expensive metals like cobalt and nickel.

It matches my experience with Lithium cobalt cells too - whether it's capable of 30 C continuous discharge or 3C continuous, the dollars per kilowatthour are exactly the same. It's the black stuff painted on the current collectors that costs money.
AEVA National Secretary, WA branch chair.

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