In an ever-changing world, innovation is key. At GE, we’re committed to pioneering technological advances that make the world a better place. Durathon Battery technology is based on an advanced industrial battery design engineered to meet the growing need for safer, reliable and high performance energy storage solutions for a variety of stationary and motive applications.
Durathon Battery technology is transforming the way we look at alternate power and energy solutions. Originating from a pursuit of a better power source for hybrid locomotives, GE Global Research evaluated various battery technologies, identifying sodium nickel chloride batteries as the most versatile and effective solution.
In 2007, GE acquired Beta R&D, a UK-based company that originally pioneered the development of sodium metal halide batteries in the 1980s and had already demonstrated the technology’s reliability and durability through years of previous research.
The wait is now over. See the Performance Profile of Durathon Batteries.
Durathon Battery technology is based on the simple chemistry of sodium and nickel. During charging, chloride ions are released from sodium chloride and combined with nickel to form nickel chloride. These sodium ions then migrate from the cathode reservoir through a beta alumina separator into the anode reservoir. During discharge, the reverse chemical reaction occurs and sodium ions migrate from the anode reservoir through the beta alumina separator into the cathode reservoir. There is no self-discharge because sodium ions can move easily across the beta alumina, while electrons cannot.
Each cell is hermetically sealed within its own metal case, and is strung together with other cells in a thermally insulated battery module, which ensures that the battery’s external surfaces remain within 10°C to 15°C of the surrounding ambient temperature. All Durathon Batteries are managed by the Durathon Battery Management System, which controls and protects the battery and relays information for monitoring the battery’s condition.
Providing efficiencies through superior cycle performance, high energy density and increased reliability, the GE Durathon Battery is the basis of a consistent and reliable energy storage system for a variety of stationary and motive applications. Providing value and ingenuity to fields such as Telecommunications, Power Generation, Grid Operation and Energy Management, Durathon Battery’s sodium nickel technology will change the way the world sees battery energy storage.
GE invested $100 million into a world-class Durathon Battery manufacturing facility in Schenectady, New York. Officially opened in July 2012, production commenced in September 2011 using advanced powder processing, ceramics and welding technologies.
With ongoing battery research and continuous improvement in its Durathon Battery technology and backed by quality-driven processes such as GE’s Six Sigma program, GE continues its long-term commitment to innovation, development and large-scale production.
To see more of our advanced manufacturing facility, click here.