Reed mentions that their ability to provide end-to-end energy storage solutions—ranging from battery cells, modules, racks, and larger battery systems—enables Toshiba to provide whatever level of integration the customer needs. “Toshiba’s Lithium Titanium Oxide (LTO) batteries offer more than 17,000 charge-discharge cycles, even at a 20 minute full charge and 100 percent depth of discharge, which means the batteries do not have to be replaced as often and spend less time being charged. With batteries that can potentially last a decade or more compared to those that last only a year or two, clients can save time and resources that are wasted in replacing batteries frequently, reducing costs in the long run.
Toshiba’s energy storage solution proved valuable to one of their industrial clients—from the materials handling arena—that had used lead-acid batteries. With increasing operational volume and footprint, the customer faced a logistical challenge in having to replace the lead-acid batteries every 18 months. After close collaboration with the customer, Toshiba provided them the right solution that extended battery life from 18 months to 10 years.
Toshiba’s Lithium Titanium Oxide (LTO) batteries offer more than 17,000 charge-discharge cycles, even at a 20 minute full charge and 100 percent depth of discharge, which means the batteries do not have to be replaced as often and spend less time being charged
Apart from the longevity of the battery life, the other key concern in battery storage is and should be—safety. Reed highlights that the lithium ion batteries fires appearing in the news over the years are a result of latent short circuits, caused either by lithium metal plating or by conductive contaminents introduced during manufacture. Because Toshiba replaces the conventional carbon-based anode layer with LTO, they effectively prevent lithium plating. Furthermore, even if a short circuit were to be induced by other means, the titanium oxide (TO), having strong insulating properties, swings into action to isolate the short, thus preventing propagation of physical damage to the system. Toshiba also eliminates the potential for the other cause of latent short circuits, conductive contaminates introduced at manufacture, through their closed-loop materials processes, which borrow heavily from Toshiba’s heritage in semiconductor fabrication.
Moving ahead, Toshiba has aggressive plans to continue providing safe and reliable high-performance energy storage solutions to the global market. As Reed highlights, “The market is expanding, as are the requirements for higher performance and reliability” To this end, Toshiba is working on groundbreaking innovations that offer higher value to the market globally. Recently, Toshiba has identified a breakthrough chemistry that includes Niobium, promising significantly higher energy density, while maintaining safety, charge rate and long-life performance. Such fundamental chemistry breakthroughs, as well as system solution advancements, will further enhance Toshiba’s ability to meet the increasing requirements of its customers.