Israel-based Phinergy’s and Indian Oil Corp Limited’s JV – IOP is focused on deploying Aluminum-air technology in India. IOP has also partnered with Hindalco Industries on R&D and pilot production of aluminium plates for aluminium-air batteries and recycling of aluminium after use in the batteries.
Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, recently announced that the JV between Indian Oil and Phinergy has manufactured 100 small aluminium plates that will power a 50-seater bus for about 500 km in India. The cover picture shows Shri Hardeep Singh Puri with Phinergy Chairman and Founder Mr Aviv Tzidon.
EVreporter got in touch with Phinergy CEO David Mayer for an email interview to find out more about the technology and its current readiness.
What is the current status of Phinergy’s Aluminium-air batteries in terms of technological and commercial readiness?
Phinergy’s stationary backup energy systems for telecom towers are at the commercial stage and are already being deployed in Israel and Europe.
Pilots have also started in India. Phinergy’s aluminium-air system for electric vehicles is in advanced pilot stages, with several prototype vehicles already driving in Israel and in India. We have built an IP of more than 30 patents with a growing patent portfolio.
What are the pros of Al-air technology over prevalent Li-ion battery technology?
Aluminium is the most abundant metal on earth and has a very high energy density compared to other metals (amount of energy per weight). Aluminium-air technology allows to release the energy contained in aluminium through a zero-emission, clean and safe process. The pros with respect to Li-ion battery comparison are as follows:
– 3 times higher energy density at the pack level
– Energy can be reloaded mechanically in a few minutes (versus a few hours of charging for Li-ion)
– No need for heavy charging infrastructure
– Safe, non-flammable
What are some of the limitations of the technology when compared with Li-ion?
I would say the main challenge is around developing the world’s 1st full Al-air ecosystem, which is a current joint effort of Phinergy together with Indian Oil.
In terms of cost per kWh, how does it compare with Li-ion?
Al-Air Battery cost is cheaper.
Can you share what kind of technology validation you have received from OEMs or testing/certification agencies, or regulatory bodies for your Al-air batteries?
Phinergy has recently demonstrated its technology in a Mahindra Treo vehicle at Mahindra SUV Proving Track in Chennai, driving more than 500 km continuously before reloading energy.
We have read about your collaborations in India. Can you tell us about your collaborations within Israel and other countries?
Phinergy is currently focusing on energy backup for the telecom segment in these geographies. Phinergy has successfully commercialized and deployed its stationary backup energy system in Israel, where it is now installed in ~10% of Cellcom telecom tower sites (Israel’s leading mobile operator). In addition, Phinergy works with leading telecom players in Italy and in Spain and is moving forward towards the commercialization of its systems in additional European markets.
In parallel of the telecom sector, Phinergy is also developing the data centre market. It aims at replacing diesel generators with clean large-scale aluminium-air backup systems. In this regard, a successful pilot has been performed for a global cloud computing company.
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