GNB Industrial Power, a division of Exide Technologies, has partnered with South Australian engineering company Mayfield to launch the Mega-Power large-scale storage system, capable of 1MW.

The utility-scale unit uses Sonnenschein lithium ion technology, imported from Germany, and can be housed in a 40-foot shipping container.

Mega-Power storage units are designed to replace diesel, for use in solar utilities, to be used as grid assets and for grid stabilisation.

GNB Industrial Power director sales and technical NP Australasia Bharadwaj Srinivas says the level of local support will give the unit a competitive edge. “We are the only company that can manufacture it here and back it up here,” Srinivas says. “There is a lot of local support.”

The Sonnenschein lithium modules are designed to manage system safety and optimise system performance, the company says. It claims 2,800 cycles at 100% depth of discharge and more than 4,000 cycles at 80% DOD.

The lithium batteries are suitable for high-current, high-temperature conditions. “You never know when you’re going to draw high currents and when you’re going to draw low currents,” Srinivas says. “You can’t just design everything on low currents only.”

The partnership between GNB and Mayfield was finalised on November 23 and Srinivas says the plan is to “get into some of the big utilities, offer them the solution and see how they take it.”

Global markets are also a target, he says. As a division of Exide, which operates in 80 countries, “we can do business virtually around the globe.”

Srinivas is upbeat about the Australian domestic market foremost but says local products are well regarded overseas. “The Australian renewables market is very, very mature.”

It takes about three to four months to get a unit ready, as batteries must be imported from Germany.

GNB claims a lifetime of 10 years for the Mega-Power unit but “it can be easily more than that”, Srinivas says. “We don’t have the runs on the board yet so we can’t claim longer than that.”

The units can also fit into 20-foot containers but bigger containers “make a lot of sense”, he says.