Samsung SDI is developing lithium-ion phosphate, or LFP, batteries at the firm’s research and development center in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, two sources familiar with the matter told The Korea Herald on Friday.
Manufactured predominantly by Chinese companies, LFP batteries offer two key strengths -- lower prices and stability. Compared to lithium-ion batteries, which contain expensive metals such as nickel, cobalt and manganese, LFP batteries use phosphoric acid and iron as the main materials. While they are relatively safer from fire risks, they are lower in energy density and heavier in weight.
“Samsung SDI has been unofficially developing LFP batteries, and it’s undecided whether those LFP batteries will be mass-produced,” one of the sources said.
The source added that Samsung SDI appears to be trying to meet diversifying market needs, especially in the energy storage systems segment, where demand for LFP batteries is spiking.
Energy storage systems are huge batteries the size of a container that store leftover electricity generated by renewables such as solar power. According to SNE Research, Samsung SDI last year controlled 31 percent of the global ESS market and stood as the No. 1 player.
However, Samsung SDI’s dominant status faces mounting uncertainties, as ESS trends are gradually shifting toward LFP batteries.
Energy storage systems are typically installed at cheap, large areas such as deserts. As space is of less concern there, customers are opting for several...
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