SuperyachtNews.com - Technology - Salt batteries gaining market share

By Dario Schiavo

Salt batteries gaining market share

Dario Schiavo explores the role the salt battery may play in a more sustainable future…

Here we follow up on last year’s article ‘Worth Their Salt’, which discussed the role of salt batteries in a more sustainable future. We revisit the topic with Massimo Cavaliere, the Sales and Marketing Director at FZSONICK, a Swiss company owned by the Dolcetta family that specialises in sodium metal chloride systems, commonly referred to as salt batteries.

After nearly nine months, what significant developments have occurred in the nautical salt battery market? 
“We have several notable vessels in our portfolio, including two 65-metre Benetti yachts, a 72-metre project in collaboration with the Wider shipyard featuring a 1MW sodium-nickel battery bank slated for delivery in 2025, a Darwin 86 from the Cantiere delle Marche set to launch soon, and an experimental boat named BIIM, currently operational in La Spezia,” says Cavaliere. 

This hybrid vessel, spanning 12 metres in length, has two 100 kW diesel engines and the capability to sail in full-electric mode, owing to a VHD module equipped with two 30kW electric motors, powered by salt batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.

This technology enables the storage of sustainable energy even when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing, on account of one simple ingredient: table salt. Salt batteries are natural, recyclable and pose no hazard to humans. Furthermore, compared to lithium batteries, sodium metal chloride salt batteries offer enhanced safety features.

“Safety is becoming a key feature, not only in the boating industry for providing smoke-free and quieter experiences or accessing protected areas but also in the oil and gas sector,” Cavaliere emphasises. A number of renowned brands have shown interest or have already placed orders for salt batteries. Sustainability plays a pivotal role in this sector and safety is a top priority.

As well as DNV and RINA certifications in the nautical sector, Cavaliere says, “We are also in the final stages of obtaining certification from the ABS (American Bureau of Shipping), which is recognised for applications in oil platforms and floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) units –a critical component of the offshore oil and gas industry.”

Massimo Cavaliere, Sales and Marketing Director, FZSONICK

What are the main components of salt batteries?
“These batteries comprise complex ceramics, the purest table, sea or mining salt, and five per cent nickel. The chemical reaction between salt and metals enables the storage and release of energy during battery operation,” explains Cavaliere.

What do you tell your customers to convince them to choose salt batteries?
“For the same weight and size, salt batteries offer safety on board without the need for fire protection and cooling systems,” says Cavaliere. “Disposal costs are already included in the price, and they are up to 98 per cent recyclable. The price difference compared to alternatives is minimal.”

As we confront our sixth energy crisis in the last 50 years, it’s crucial to explore alternative energy and storage sources, moving away from distant gas-fired power stations, rare earths, acids, lithium and cobalt. Salt, sand and CO2 are leading the way in future technology and we will report on more developments in this space.

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Salt batteries gaining market share

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