CATL Wins 10GWh Order for Liquid-Cooling Energy Storage Products

China’s leading battery maker CATL announced on September 22 that it has agreed with FlexGen, a US-based energy storage technology company, to supply it with 10GWh of EnerC containerized liquid-cooling battery systems over the course of three years. With IP55 and C5 anti-corrosion protection, this product is highly adaptable to various harsh climate conditions.

(Source: CATL)

In addition, the 12.5 MW/52MWh user-oriented energy storage project invested in and operated by China General Technology’s Jiangsu subsidiary entered the trial operation stage in early July this year. This project adopts CATL’s leading liquid-cooling battery system technology, and is the largest liquid-cooling energy storage system for users in China at present.

Liquid cooling schemes have obvious comprehensive advantages in ensuring the safety of energy storage systems and heat radiation efficiency. In the scheme, water and other coolants are used to radiate heat through indirect contact between uniformly distributed guide grooves on the liquid cooling plate and the battery cell. They can be close to the heat source and refrigerate efficiently. Compared with container air-cooling schemes with the same capacity, they do not need to design the air duct to save more than 50% of the floor area, and are more suitable for large-scale energy storage power stations above 100 MW in the future.

The thermal energy storage market has great development potential. According to GGII estimates, the value of China’s thermal energy storage industry will be about 2.4 billion yuan in 2021, and it is predicted that it will reach 16.44 billion yuan in 2025. The market penetration rate of liquid cooling technology is gradually increasing, and the market value of liquid cooling energy storage will increase from 300 million yuan in 2021 to 7.41 billion yuan in 2025 (which is expected to increase 25 times in four years), accounting for about 45.07%, and will become the mainstream of thermal energy storage technology.

According to available statistics, from January to August, 2022, the cumulative bidding for large-scale energy storage of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) in China was 13.82 GW, while bidding for related equipment was 27.70 GWh. The figures reached 186.32% and 273.45% respectively last year, up 465.44% and 496.17% year-on-year.

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However, the liquid cooling systems also have certain defects. Because the contact part between the battery cell and the cooling plate cannot be fully covered, the temperature control of the battery cell still cannot achieve temperature balance, so the industry requires further research on the balance of battery cell temperature. The equipment of mainstream liquid cooling manufacturers can adapt to the lowest ambient temperature of -30ºC, but it is difficult to adapt to particularly cold areas, such as China’s Inner Mongolia and the northeastern area of the country.