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CSIRO drops lead-acid research

Thu, 06/20/2013 - 18:36 -- Ruth Williams

Following the retirement of Dr Lan Lam in February CSIRO has announced it is not going to continue with research or development into lead-acid batteries.

CSIRO is the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia's national science agency which, under Dr Lan Lam, invented the UltraBattery – a combination of lead-acid technology with a carbon negative offering faradaic and ionic properties.

Glenn Platt, Theme Leader of Local Energy Systems at CSIRO said: “With the retirement of Dr Lan Lam, the UltraBattery now in production, and considering the incredible need for energy storage ahead, we felt the time was right to turn our attention more towards issues such as the operation of energy storage systems, optimal design of such systems, and so on. We remain committed to supporting the commercialisation of the UltraBattery, and confident it has an incredible future.”

The UltraBattery is currently deployed in hybrid vehicles and stationary applications to success around the world. Despite this, CSIRO has decided to move attention away from lead-acid and towards getting the most out of a variety of energy storage technologies and how to integrate these with broader energy systems.

Although not focusing research on lead-acid, Platt said lead-acid batteries, along with other forms of energy storage, will play a bigger role in the coming years as renewable energy is integrated into electricity systems.

CSIRO has said it plans to continue to run battery tests and analysis to understand battery behavior in a variety of applications at its testing facilities.