Cadenza Innovation, based in Oxford, Connecticut, is bringing to market low-cost and high-performance technology solutions for the lithium-ion battery industry. The company's mission is to deploy its intellectual property, field-proven operational and mass production expertise working with key technology partners to create lithium-ion batteries with the highest energy density, lowest cost and highest level of safety. Driven by a team of industry experts, many of whom held key leadership roles at lithium-ion battery cell, pack and system provider Boston-Power and Arthur D. Little, Cadenza does not intend to be a battery manufacturer, but aims to license its technology to battery makers and others.
Cadenza’s unique lithium-ion cell design combines the advantageous properties of the cylindrical jelly roll architecture with the use of large prismatic cells. The jelly rolls are longer and wider than those in conventional 18650 cells leading to higher volumetric energy density, lower cost, and higher yield. Cadenza’s technology is able to place the battery cylinders more densely and put them in a ceramic insert made from a proprietary, non-combustible fiber material that provides both thermal insulation and fire resistance. This insert sits in an aluminum container to get optimal cooling. The thermally isolating housing, including fire retardant, enables a closely packed jelly roll configuration that eliminates cascading failures.
Cadenza’s large prismatic cell configuration allows for an open jelly roll structure with shared atmosphere. Non-expanding cells and no cascading results in space-effective and low-cost module designs. Overall, this solution eliminates many unnecessary components and results in more energy per unit volume. The simplified architecture uses readily available components and established mass production techniques to achieve reduced cost. Manufacturers can take jelly rolls from outside sources and use Cadenza’s prefabricated housings to produce high-performance batteries, thereby breaking the long-standing paradigm of requiring extensive vertical integration in order to be a battery manufacturer.
Cadenza is focused on the electric vehicle and grid storage markets. For the EV market, higher energy density results in increased vehicle range in a smaller pack footprint and the lower cost of the batteries can enable price parity with ICE vehicles. For the grid market, higher energy density provides greater flexibility in placing storage systems while reduced cost generates a higher ROI in a wider range of use cases. Enhancing the safety of lithium-ion battery systems is a crucial benefit for all application areas. Cadenza is working with a number of leading companies in both market areas including ABB, Alcoa and Fiat Chrysler.
Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud, CEO of Cadenza observed “It is very exciting to be living in the middle of two technology revolutions: the transformation of the electric grid and of transportation as we know it today. Both of these require innovations in energy storage and it is a privilege to be a part of the New York State and NY-BEST ecosystem as we undertake initiatives on a global scale.”
Cadenza was founded in 2012 by Dr. Lampe-Onnerud, former CEO of Boston-Power and widely considered to be one of the pre-eminent battery experts in the world. Cadenza’s predecessor company, Cloteam LLC, was funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) in 2013. The company has subsequently received support by the U.S. Department of Energy and from NYSERDA. Cadenza has completed its first round of external financing. In July, 2016, the company raised over $5 million in Series A funding, which it intends to use to expand product development, secure additional certifications, extend initial deployments, make key hires and fuel revenue growth. Cadenza has applied for more than a dozen patents and has already had four published. The company expects that its technology solutions will be available on the market within two years.