Gelion batteries to help power the renewables revolution

27 February 2019
University spin-out company launches new energy platform
As we switch from fossil fuels to renewables, storage systems will become vital, says Professor Thomas Maschmeyer. Gelion's battery storage platform can help provide capacity for a post-carbon economy.
Professor Thomas Maschmeyer in the Sydney Nanoscience Hub.

Professor Thomas Maschmeyer in the Sydney Nanoscience Hub.


A revolutionary new energy storage platform has been launched at the University of Sydney by Gelion Technologies, a company spun-out of research at the University by Professor Thomas Maschmeyer, winner of the 2018 Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science.

The platform, Gelion Endure, is based on safe, low-cost zinc-bromide battery technology developed by Professor Maschmeyer. The system will provide a scalable method to store renewable energy. The company plans to launch the system into the $70 billion global energy storage market.

Professor Maschmeyer, Gelion's founding chairman, said it was fitting to be launching Gelion Endure at the University of Sydney, where he and his team started developing the technnology in 2014.

“I’m honoured to be launching Gelion Endure here as our first commercial endeavour. During the next year, the University will be incorporating Gelion battery cells on campus to power mobile light towers to improve safety after dark, helping to build the foundation for a more sustainable campus.

“The University of Sydney has been an unwavering supporter of Gelion from the outset and our continued relationship speaks to its growing reputation in high-impact innovation and technology translation to further positive societal outcomes,” Professor Maschmeyer said.

The University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Michael Spence, said: “The University is proud of Professor Maschmeyer, who is one of Australia’s most innovative scientists. We look forward to building on our partnership with Gelion Technologies as the renewable energy sector grows.”

One of the Gelion endure battery stacks.

One of the Gelion endure battery stacks. about the size of a tennis ball container.

Expertise in catalysis

Gelion batteries were designed using Professor Maschmeyer’s expertise in catalytic chemistry. They use zinc-bromide, a much cheaper and safer technology that lithium ion batteries, as the workhorse to store renewable energy.

“As the global economy switches from fossil fuels to renewable energy, storage systems will become increasingly important,” Professor Maschmeyer said. “And Gelion’s battery storage platform can help provide capacity for a post-carbon economy.”

Gelion’s chief executive, Rob Fitzpatrick, said that storage is the key element enabling widespread adoption of renewable power. Innovative battery storage solutions at scale are required for renewable energy to reach its full potential.

“The global battery market is currently valued at $60bn to $70bn and yet, if we were to take all current batteries produced in one year, they would only have the capability to store around 11 minutes of annual electrical power use. Gelion has set out to fill the overwhelming market need with an inexpensive, robust, safe, fully recyclable and scalable battery – the Gelion Endure system.”

The zinc-bromide chemistry used by Gelion operates safely without the need for active cooling and uses 100 percent of the battery’s capacity. Further, its electrode surfaces can be rejuvenated remotely, using state-of-the-art battery management systems, without the need for on-site servicing – making it ideal for stationary energy storage applications in all areas, including remote sites.

About Gelion
Gelion Technologies Pty Ltd (‘Gelion’) was founded in April 2015 as a spin-out of the University of Sydney. The company’s novel battery technology provides a low-cost, safe and long-life energy storage solution. Gelion is owned by Gelion UK, a joint venture between management and Armstrong Energy, who oversee the corporate governance and funding of the business, as well as assisting in long-term strategic planning. Gelion is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

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About Professor Thomas Maschmeyer
Thomas Maschmeyer is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Sydney. He has co-founded four companies (Avantium, Ignite Energy, Licella and Gelion) and served as the founding director of the University of Sydney Nano Institute and the Laboratory of Advanced Catalysis for Sustainability.

Previous roles include assistant director for the Royal Institution; senior research associate at Cambridge’s first college, Peterhouse; and vice-chairman of the Delft Institute of Chemical Technology. He is a fellow of many academies and has published more than 300 items, including 26 patents.

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