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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    University of Wollongong


    Wollongong, New South Wales

    ARENA Program

    Research and Development

  • Start date

    11 April 2016

    End date

    30 May 2022

  • Project Partners
    Sydney Water, Nano-Nouvelle, McNair, Liao Ning Hong Cheng Electric Power Co, Hebei ANZ New Energy Technology Company
    This battery project was completed on 30 May 2022.


The Smart Sodium Storage System project will develop and integrate a new type of sodium-ion battery in a low-cost, modular and expandable energy storage system to be demonstrated at the Illawarra Flame House and Sydney Water’s Bondi Sewage Pumping Station.

Key findings

  • This project aimed to develop a low cost sodium battery and battery architecture for use in energy storage solutions.
  • The project focussed on material development and identified two candidates for cathodes: layered oxides and Prussian Blue.
  • Hard carbon for the anode dedication made the battery cell construction and demonstration possible.
  • The project also included the development of an Energy Management System and two sodium-ion battery packs produced with oxide based cathode chemistry
  • Although the scale-up production technology requires further development, the project helped researchers to build expertise and subsequently take up leadership roles in Australia and overseas.
  • Finally, the project has helped lay the foundation in the field of sodium-ion battery storage for Australia and enabled the University of Wollongong to contribute towards this cutting-edge technology.


Current energy storage solutions rely heavily on lithium-ion battery technology, and it is predicted the cost of lithium and cobalt will rise sharply in response to increased demand as electric vehicles and other energy storage applications become widespread.

A low-cost battery chemistry that can compete with the performance characteristics of lithium-ion batteries could provide the basis for a new class of alternative turn-key (or ready to use) energy storage solutions.

Project innovation

The Smart Sodium Storage System project will develop a new sodium-ion battery architecture, optimised for use in renewables storage applications, by building on the world-class energy materials research and deep industry ties of the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM).

Facilities at the ISEM used to prototype and characterise the sodium-ion batteries for ISEM’s industry-leading researchers will be upgraded and expanded to support the rapid development of the battery architecture.

A modular, expandable packaging system with integrated battery and thermal management systems will be developed, produced and validated through two applications: a 5 kWh battery at Illawarra Flame House, an award-winning net-zero energy home, and a 30 kWh integrated battery and energy management system at Sydney Water’s Bondi Sewage Pumping Station.

The Sydney Water site will alsohave an energy management system developed as part of this project, which will integrate and manage renewable energy generation, storage and consumption in an efficient manner by utilising intelligent algorithms and control strategies.

The Sydney Water site will demonstrate the turn-key nature of the system and highlight the suitability of sodium-ion batteries for use in utility applications.


A new sodium-ion battery architecture will be developed with comparable performance to marketplace alternatives. A low-cost, modular and expandable sodium-ion battery pack system will be built around the sodium-ion battery architecture, with integrated battery and thermal management systems.

And a comprehensive report will be produced on the economic impact that energy storage, particularly sodium-ion-based storage, will have on the uptake and penetration of renewables generation in Australian and global markets.

Contact information

Professor Shi Xue Dou, Director ISEM, University of Wollongong
Phone: 02 4221 8730

Jonathan Knott, Research Fellow, University of Wollongong
Phone: 02 4298 1424

Last updated 11 November 2022


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