Gelion names new CEO to take “breakthrough” Aussie battery technology global – RenewEconomy

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Australia-based Gelion, whose non-flow zinc-bromide energy storage technology was spun out of the University of Sydney, has appointed a new CEO to lead the company’s push into the booming global battery market.
Gelion says seasoned battery and energy technology innovator, John Wood, has taken up the role from Hannah McCaughey, who was appointed as CEO on an interim basis in March.
Wood’s past industry experience includes as CEO of battery developer Ecoult, an advanced lead acid battery outfit that was bought in 2010 by East Penn manufacturing, one of the world’s largest lead-acid manufacturers.
Gelion chair Dr Stephen Mahon says Wood’s 30-year record of successful entrepreneurship in emerging technology markets makes him the right person for the job at Gelion, at the right time.
“With his wealth of commercial, battery, and manufacturing experience, I am confident that under his leadership we can take Gelion to the next level of growth,” Mahon says.
“Having now successfully transitioned the battery manufacturing from laboratory to production, John’s depth of knowledge and proven record of creating shareholder value will help Gelion plan for scale.”
Gelion’s battery technology uses an electrolytic gel that is inherently fire retardant, which means it can operate at temperatures up to 50°C without the need for air-conditioning systems.
The batteries also can be discharged to zero volts without affecting performance, are more energy dense and last longer than traditional lead-acid batteries, and offer a safe and recyclable alternative to lithium-ion batteries.
For manufacture, Gelion has been able to keep costs down by using cheaper components and by producing the batteries in existing lead acid battery factories.
In 2021, the company announced a partnership with local Sydney-based outfit, Battery Energy and, in September this year, marked its first industrial production of zinc-bromide batteries at the Battery Energy factory.
Gelion’s Endure batteries have also been tapped by Acciona Energy to participate in a trial at a solar farm in northern Spain.
“The energy storage industry is a critical contributor to the rapidly accelerating clean energy transition, of which lithium batteries play a primary role,” said Gelion’s new CEO, Wood.
“However, compared to lithium solutions, Gelion’s gel-based zinc bromide battery is more cost effective, unreliant on rare earths, sustainably produced, recyclable, safe in high temperatures, and provides long duration storage with lower maintenance costs.
“They are also scalable on a predominantly Australian supply chain, and integrate with existing lead-acid production lines,” Wood said.
“It is an honour to lead this effort and I look forward to helping the team deliver success for all stakeholders by engaging an Industry of suppliers and customers I know well and respect.”
Sophie is editor of One Step Off The Grid and deputy editor of its sister site, Renew Economy. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.

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