ITRI takes home silver at Edison Awards

The state-backed Industrial Technology Research Institute, in recognition of its ultrafast rechargeable aluminum battery (URABat), was named the Silver Winner in the Power Source subsection of the Energy and Sustainability category at the prestigious Edison Awards April 20 in New York City.

ITRI's URABat, which utilizes aluminum and graphite, was developed in collaboration with Stanford University. Due to its cutting-edge graphite lamination properties, the battery can fully charge in one minute and undergo up to 10,000 charging cycles without losing capacity.

There has never been as substantial a growth in battery technology like the one that ITRI has provided, Edison Awards Executive Director Frank Bonafilia said.

We are glad that URABat has once again been recognized by an international accolade after winning the 2016 R&D 100 Awards, said Yang Chang-chung, deputy division director of ITRI's Green Energy and Environment Research Laboratories. URABat is expected to offer a new power storage alternative that [will] hugely impact the world, he said, adding that the latest honor reaffirms the institute's commitment to accelerating the commercialization of the aluminum battery.

Commercial URABat production will cost half of what mainstream lithium batteries require as aluminum and graphite are relatively inexpensive materials, ITRI said. Aluminum batteries are safer and more stable than the lithium varieties, and will not catch fire if damaged, the institute added.

In the future, the institute stated, aluminum batteries will be used in large-scale storage facilities for renewable energy, as well as power light electric vehicles and consumer electronics. It added that the technology may one day become standard in many larger passenger conveyances.

Established in 1987, the Edison Awards honor excellence in new product and service development, marketing, design and innovation. The winners of this year's awards were chosen from a selection of around 3,000 of the world's top innovations.

Headquartered in northern Taiwan's Hsinchu County, ITRI is a government-backed nonprofit R&D organization established in 1973 to help local industries stay competitive and sustainable through applied research and enhanced technical services. It functions as a driver of transformation in Taiwan's industrial sectors, including electronics, information and communication technology, machinery and semiconductors.

ITRI supports over 15,000 local companies each year, 73 percent of which are small and medium enterprises.

Source: Taiwan Today