Sodium-ion saltwater battery

The sodium-ion saltwater battery is the world’s first battery that is truly safe, durable and ideal for solar energy storage systems. The battery is a sealed electrochemical energy storage system based on unique saltwater electrolyte.


This unique Aqueous Ion Exchange Battery (AIB™) battery chemistry consists of a saltwater electrolyte, a manganese oxide cathode, carbon titanium phosphate composite anode and a synthetic cotton separator. The battery uses non-corrosive intercalation reactions at the anode and cathode.


Benefits of saltwater batteries

Saltwater batteries are maintenance free and optimized for daily deep discharge. The batteries are abuse-resistant, can handle large temperature ranges, can be partially loaded without degradation, and are easy to configure and install.


Sodium-ion saltwater accumulator



Sodium-ion saltwater battery-24V112Ah


The sodium-ion saltwater batteries are optimised for daily deep discharge. This means charge and discharge profiles from 4 to 20 hours.


The AIB™ saltwater batteries have a safe electrolyte: saltwater. The batteries are completely sealed and require no maintenance. They are self-balancing and therefore require no compensating charge or battery management system (BMS).

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Olaf Bitter from Elfa

Olaf Bitter

Technical Account Manager

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How does a saltwater battery work?

At its core, a saltwater battery contains salt and a freshwater reservoir. When the battery is being used, the salt and freshwater are separated. This causes the sodium ions to move from one side to another. This flow of ions creates an electric current, which can be used to power devices.


A saltwater battery is low-maintenance, environmentally friendly and lends itself well for different purposes. It has a lifespan of up to 20 years.


The chemistry of an AIB battery

In addition to the safety and durability benefits of using salt water as an electrolyte, another advantage is the thermal mass of the embodied water. This means that AIB products do not heat up or cool down quickly, and they can therefore be used in a very wide operating temperature range.


AIB chemistry is based on charge/discharge mechanisms that are unaffected by partial state of charge – these batteries can therefore be placed on partial charge or even no charge indefinitely, with no irreversible loss of capacity as lead acid batteries have.


Saltwater batteries can reduce energy costs and maximize the use of renewable energy sources.

Applications include: own consumption, backup power supply, peak-shaving, demand response and off-set diesel generator use for a wide range of markets including: Microgrids, Commercial & Industrial, Telecom, Green Architecture, Lighting and Utility Scale


  • Aqueous Ion Exchange Battery (AIB) batteries withstand daily deep discharge (80% DOD), a wide temperature range and partial charge cycles with minimal degradation.


  • AIB batteries have an environmentally friendly electrochemical design that does not contain heavy metals, toxic chemicals, inorganic solvents or other harmful materials.


  • AIB batteries do not rely on heavy or toxic metals such as lead or corrosive materials such as sulfuric acid or lithium hexafluorophosphate.


  • IB batteries are safe enough to be processed through traditional waste streams.



Sodium-ion saltwater batteries


Sodium-ion saltwater batteries


Applications of saltwater batteries

Applications include own consumption, backup power, peak-shaving, demand response and off-set diesel generator operation for a wide range of markets, including:

  • Microgrids;
  • Commercial & Industrial;
  • Telecom;
  • Green Architecture;
  • Lighting;
  • Utility Scale.


Benefits of saltwater batteries



  • 12V/24V/48V nominal modular blocks for low-voltage and high-voltage configurations
  • Easy to connect using standard connectors
  • Maintenance-free, fully enclosed
  • Compatible with all leading Power Conversion Systems
  • Shipping batteries as non-hazardous goods


Robust performance

  • Large temperature range (from -5 °C to 50 °C) without heating, ventilation and air conditioning HVAC
  • Withstands partial charge cycles without affecting battery life
  • Long lasting in real use conditions, 3000 cycles
  • Deep discharges – capable of 100% depth of discharge without affecting battery life
  • Self-balancing, no equalizing charge required


Peace of mind

  • Non-flammable and non-explosive, no fire suppression required
  • Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Bronze
  • 10-year warranty
  • Made in Austria




The alternative to saltwater batteries

At Elfa, we have a promising alternative to traditional saltwater batteries: the sodium-nickel battery from Swiss-based FZSONICK.


This type of battery, also known as a Na-NiCl2 battery or a Zebra battery, offers several advantages compared to a saltwater battery. Sodium-nickel batteries have a higher energy density, allowing them to store more energy in a smaller size. Additionally, they provide fast charging times, which is beneficial in situations requiring quick energy uptake.


Another benefit of FZSONICK batteries is their long lifespan. They can withstand a large number of charge-discharge cycles, making them a durable and cost-effective solution. Moreover, they perform well at high temperatures, making them suitable for applications where heat may be a factor.


Safety is also a crucial aspect of FZSONICK batteries. Like saltwater batteries, FZSONICK systems are exceptionally safe to use. They are entirely free from risks of fire, explosion, and the release of harmful gases. This makes the sodium-nickel battery of FZSONICK ideal for businesses that prioritize the highest safety and reliability standards.


While saltwater batteries have excellent properties for large-scale energy storage, it is essential to stay up-to-date with alternative technologies. If you wish to learn more about this type of battery, read our comprehensive blog about FZSONICK!


Frequently asked questions


We are happy to help!

Are you looking for a suitable saltwater battery for a professional application? We will be happy to help you. Feel free to fill in the contact form. We will contact you as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, Elfa only supplies to business customers. Therefore, we kindly ask you to have your electrical installer contact us. This way, we can still assist you. Thank you for your understanding.

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