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Australian advanced lead-acid battery maker Ecoult says this month’s expansion into India is the first step in creating a global manufacturing network.

Chief executive John Wood told GTM he expects his Sydney-based company to sign licensing deals with manufacturers in most major energy storage markets by 2019.

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Sydney-based battery developer Ecoult is eyeing the huge Indian market after winning Australian government funding to help it cut the cost of its new-generation lead-acid storage device and take the technology global.

While lithium-ion batteries are grabbing the limelight in the public debate around energy storage, lead-acid remains the dominant technology globally, by a factor of about seven, pointed out Ecoult chief executive John Wood.

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Ecoult’s lead-acid UltraBattery is being tested in the harsh heat of India for its potential to wean the world off diesel.

Enduring solutions prove themselves under tough conditions. If Ecoult’s UltraBattery can cut the dependence on diesel in rural India, where it is being tested by the Institute for Transformative Technologies, then it may be able to do the same in Africa and South-East Asia.

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Sydney-based technology company Ecoult will target the surging global market for battery storage as it commercialises the UltraBattery, invented in Australia, with the help of a $4.1 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Ecoult was spun out of the CSIRO in 2007 with the aim of furthering the development of the UltraBattery, a hybrid of a traditional lead acid battery and carbon ultracapacitor. Ecoult believes the hybrid technology provides an advantage over competing battery technologies as it exhibits both high cycling life and high conversion efficiency.

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Lead-acid technology is 150-year-old technology, but an Australian company has put a new spin on it to give batteries a longer life and higher efficiency.

UltraBattery is a hybrid, long-life lead-acid energy storage device that was developed by CSIRO in Australia, and manufactured by East Penn Manufacturing in the United States and the Furukawa Battery Company in Japan.

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A new lead acid battery developed by a consortium with the CSIRO is being trialled on off-grid conditions, including as storage for intermittent renewable energy.

Called the UltraBattery, it takes the 150-year-old lead-acid battery technology, like those used to start cars, and adds a super-capacitor.

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