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Exro exceeds highest UL requirements to demonstrate best-in-class safety performance during large-scale fire testing of the company’s Cell Driver™ Energy Storage System
CALGARY, Alberta (September 27, 2022) — Exro Technologies Inc. (TSX: EXRO, OTCQB: EXROF) (the "Company" or "Exro"), a leading clean technology company that has developed new generation power control electronics that expand the capabilities of electric motors and batteries, is pleased to announce that the company’s Cell Driver™ Energy Storage System (“Cell Driver”, “ESS”), has successfully completed large-scale module fire testing and the first major phase towards product certification from Underwriters Laboratories (“UL”). UL certification is globally recognized as the gold standard in product safety testing for energy storage, with certification required for all energy storage systems prior to connecting to the grid in North America. The tests were conducted by ESRG Lab, industry leaders in product testing, and witnessed by Intertek, a leading certification provider to industries worldwide. Results of the testing demonstrated that Exro’s Cell Driver™ significantly surpassed the industry’s UL9540A requirements, considered one of the primary standards for energy storage safety.
Safety is a major concern and focus for the battery storage industry. While fires are rare, when they do occur, they pose considerable risk given the hazardous and volatile nature of the battery chemicals involved. The UL9540A test is designed to assess an energy storage system’s ability to limit the spread of a potential fire through thermal runaway (i.e., fire propagating from one defective battery cell to others). The test involves applying a heating plate to a battery cell to artificially induce a thermal runaway event whereby the fire would spread to adjacent cells within the module under test and the energy system.
Key conclusions from the independent third-party ESRG Lab report, and certified by Intertek, are summarized below:
These results highlight the exceptional safety performance of Exro’s Cell Driver™. More than 10 hours (37,688 seconds) was required to achieve battery module fire propagation as per the UL9540A test plan, a significant amount of time for this test. Exro’s Cell Driver™ contains twenty-four modules, each module containing nine individual cells, and at the end of the test period the fire remained too small to detect and was contained within a single module. Importantly, due to the Cell Driver’s design architecture and cooling features, test technicians were required to apply two additional heating plates to induce thermal runaway.
"We are absolutely thrilled with the performance of our energy storage system during this important first phase of UL testing, which is widely regarded as the most demanding of the certification requirements,” said Chief Executive Officer Sue Ozdemir. "As the world pushes forward with the electrification transition, Exro’s Cell Driver technology is proving to be a superior and cost-effective product offering that addresses major industry challenges in energy storage from safety, complexity of design, reliability and having a positive impact on the circular economy given a focus on repurposing used EV batteries for a second life in stationary storage. With Global Energy Storage Market Reports forecasting energy storage to be an approximately $100 billion market by 2030, we are looking forward to providing additional visibility into our progress towards commercialization over the coming months, as we work to capture market share in the under-serviced commercial and industrial sectors.”
Analogous to how Exro’s Coil Driver™ technology for electric vehicles (“EV”) expands the capabilities of electric motors given an ability to control an electric motor through the power electronics inverter down to the individual coil level, Exro’s Cell Driver™ technology expands the capabilities of batteries by enabling cell level control through an innovative battery management inverter combined with advanced cell control software. With an ability to control energy at the cell level, Exro’s Cell Driver™ can optimize batteries for health and performance, extending battery life and permitting stationary energy storage systems to operate more efficiently. While most energy storage systems control at a module level, and some systems monitor to a cell level, the Cell Driver™ introduces next-generation innovation to dynamically monitor and control at a cell level.
Active cell balancing across Exro’s Cell Driver™ enables the charging and discharging of battery cells based on their individual state-of-charge (“SOC”) and state-of-health (“SOH”), while matching power demand and power quality. The solution is optimized for maximum cell lifetime, while enabling micro-protection mechanisms for enhanced safety and uninterrupted operations. These mechanisms dynamically isolate defected cells without disruptions to system operations, thereby detecting and eliminating potential thermal runaway events before they could occur.
As the world moves toward higher adoption rates in the electrification transition, one of the greatest challenges that will need to be addressed in the next 5-10 years is the supply of batteries. While applicable for new batteries, the primary objective of Exro’s Cell Driver™ technology is to provide an effective solution for second-life applications, providing significant cost savings by reviving and utilizing used EV and telecom batteries for a second-life application. Enabling reuse of these cells is critical to reducing the environmental and climate change impacts associated with battery recycling and disposal and offering a real-world solution that leads the way to a circular electrified economy.
UL is widely recognized as the long-time safety science leader and the organization’s expertise provides credibility to regulators and the broader marketplace. UL certifications demonstrate that products have been tested to applicable industry-wide standards. Over the course of the next seven months, Exro’s Cell Driver™ technology will be tested through a host of these standards with the end goal to fully certify Exro’s Cell Driver™ as a deployed commercial and industrial product per North American regulations and to receive UL9540 certification.
In parallel with the UL certification process, Exro has begun marketing the Cell Driver™ and working to secure first pilots and orders with commercial and industrial distribution partners. These items can be advanced ahead of receiving UL certification. The company is in active discussions with potential distribution partners and anticipates additional details to be announced in the near future. By securing partnerships while working towards UL certification, Exro can be well positioned to ensure the commercialization and delivery of Cell Driver™ products to customers beginning in H1/23.
On Wednesday, September 28th at 10:00 a.m. MDT, join the discussion with Sue Ozdemir and Exro leaders for a live Q&A session. See the link below to register for the event and to submit your questions in advance.
Exro Technologies Inc. is a leading clean technology company that has developed new generation power control electronics that change how the world optimizes energy by expanding the capabilities of electric motors and batteries. The company’s innovative technologies serve to bridge the performance-cost gap in e-mobility and stationary energy storage, and act to accelerate adoption towards a circular electrified economy by delivering more with less — minimum energy for maximum results.
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