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US-based Inlyte Energy secures $8 million for iron and salt batteries

Inlyte Energy aims to develop grid batteries with sodium metal halide technology, backed by $8 million in seed funding, the recent acquisition of Beta Research, and a collaboration with At One Ventures.

From pv magazine USA

Inlyte Energy, the recipient of $8 million in seed funding, was founded by Dr. Antonio Baclig, who incubated the company as a 2021 Activate Fellow in partnership with the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Since that time, Inlyte Energy has been on an upward trajectory, securing an ARPA-A award, acquiring Beta Research, being named to the 2023 Cleantech 50 to Watch, and now receiving a funding boost from At One Ventures.

The California-based company aims to use the seed funding to develop the first generation of its grid batteries made with the most abundant materials: iron and table salt.

The 2022 acquisition of UK-based Beta Research moves Inlyte e3nergy many steps closer to design and manufacturing, as the scientists at Beta Research originally developed a sodium metal halide battery more than 40 years ago and brought the technology to commercial readiness and manufacturing capacity. Beta Research has a pilot production line that will enable Inlyte Energy to begin manufacturing, once the optimized design is complete.

“The experience of the Beta Research team and their facilities give Inlyte a significant advantage compared to other battery startups in this space. They don’t need to find a pilot factory, get the tooling, or figure out how to manufacture,” said Laurie Menoud, founding partner at At One Ventures. “Inlyte’s ability to compete with lithium-ion on lifetime, round-trip efficiency, and of course upfront cost also gives them a significant opportunity in a market that’s exploding right now.”

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The battery chemistry is sodium metal halide, which Inlyte says can “create an energy storage system with high efficiency, long lifetime, competitive energy density, excellent safety, and at an ultra-low cost.” An advantage the chemistry has over conventional lithium batteries is the ability to operate in extreme heat or cold, said the company.

The target market for Inlyte Energy’s batteries is the diurnal energy storage market, with a storage duration of four to 10 hours. The company says this makes them appropriate for grid storage and other industrial applications.

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Source: pv magazine