Sodium-Beta Batteries for Grid-Scale Storage

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OPEN 2009
Joplin, Missouri
Project Term:
02/01/2010 - 03/31/2016

Technology Description:

EaglePicher Technologies is developing a sodium-beta alumina (Na-Beta) battery for grid-scale energy storage. High-temperature Na-Beta batteries are a promising grid-scale energy storage technology, but existing approaches are expensive and unreliable. EaglePicher has modified the shape of the traditional, tubular-shaped Na-Beta battery. It is using an inexpensive stacked design to improve performance at lower temperatures, leading to a less expensive overall storage technology. The new design greatly simplifies the manufacturing process for beta alumina membranes (a key enabling technology), providing a subsequent pathway to the production of scalable, modular batteries at half the cost of the existing tubular designs.

Potential Impact:

If successful, EaglePicher would reduce the cost of grid-scale energy storage by as much as 50% and increase the grid's ability to store large quantities of renewable energy.


Grid-scale energy storage would provide a buffer against energy supply disruptions.


Electricity generation accounts for over 40% of U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Enabling large-scale contributions of wind and solar power for our electricity generation would result in a substantial decrease in CO2 emissions. This technology would also reduce CO2 by storing electricity that was generated above short-term demand.


This project could help establish a viable U.S. Na-Beta manufacturing industry. By 2013, the market for energy storage batteries is projected to exceed $1 billion, with the market for Na-Beta approaching $700 million.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Grigorii Soloveichik
Project Contact:
Mr. Dave Lucero
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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