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Editor's Blog

Buzzwords aplenty

25/11/2019

'End-of-life', 'circular economy' and 'second-life' are new buzzwords that we are all becoming familiar with as the sustainability agenda marches relentlessly on. Whether it’s new developments in the recycling of lithium-ion batteries or the acknowledgment and desire to remedy the informal recycling of lead-acid batteries, there are positive signs that the energy storage industry is up to the task. 

In a world that is increasingly dependent on, and needy of, energy storage there is no doubt batteries have a major part to play— whether it’s for EVs or renewable storage. There are new moves afoot to combine chemistries so that more versatile battery storage solutions can be developed, as power management innovator Chris Hale elaborates in the Autumn 2019 issue of our magazine.

It is incumbent on all within the industry to play a part. Whether it’s issuing a call-to-arms by highlighting a problem or shouting a victory cry for successes unveiled. 

To this end, we spoke to American Manganese on how they have made a breakthrough in the recycling of lithium-ion batteries. We anticipate this will be the first of many. And in our report from the Secondary Lead Conference in Bali we find the industry making positive steps in controlling the pollution from lead smelting. This is a multi-pronged attack with new technologies, new processes and containerised plug-and-play solutions all having a part to play.

Every little helps in the greening of industry and technical editor Dr Mike McDonagh summarises two years of research that shows how a simple item, like a connector, can be the source of great energy savings, or losses, in battery formation.

With a little foresight, rather than from the pain of hindsight, we can learn from the lessons of others and show that we can build a better future for the next generation. It will require people of principle, monitoring the industry and a desire for action in ways that may appear unpopular. 

A cartoon on our office wall says: when you point a finger at someone, remember, there are three fingers pointing back at you. If you have any comments then let us know.

 

What matters: FIFA or ESA….the ball is in your court.

So ESA’s annual event is over for another year. It’s no longer an event for battery scientists or even battery vendors but it looks like an excellent networking event for everyone else. As a conference with formal presentations, forget it.

Musk has set the pot boiling

It’s funny how us lesser beings can pursue a technical topic till we’re blue in the face and no one seems to take any notice. Electrical Energy Storage is just one such topic.

Savannah 2015— the verdict

Well, BCI sure has gone digital— the only analogue service was Ann Noll and her ‘ring out your dead’ bell. I remember Michael Mayer of ELBC fame in a similar role but that’s another story.

Apple Electric Car? B*ll*cks !

Short of a definitive announcement from the company, you can take all the stories about Apple coming up with electric car any time soon as total bollocks and a figment of a flaccid and useless mainstream press adding up one and one and making it 27.

The editor’s take

AABC: Lead is far from dead again and nobody else is making money!
There’s a plethora of hybrid, pure electrics and plug in electrics now available from German manufacturers— more than 60 variants but nobody is buying— well not in any serious numbers…

Musk was right… now make it happen

What’s your definition of good engineering? Mine would include making use of the stuff that’s already there, cannibalising (if necessary) existing kit to make what I need or want to try. That’s what I learned as a kid messing around with electronics half a century ago and I’m glad to say it's a philosophy that rings true with some of the best minds out there today.

Alevo: The Apple of energy storage?

North Carolina-based Alevo believes it is 'redefining energy', y'all.

Energy storage: Not ready for prime time (yet)

There’s good reason to believe energy storage is not ready for prime time. Not yet.

Seriously missing Google

It’s only the absence of Google that makes you realise just how dependent we’ve become on it and how valuable it is.

Energy storage: It’s been a long time coming

It’s been a long time coming: this ‘energy storage’ malarkey. But visitors to this year’s Intersolar in Munich were in for a treat— a whole hall dedicated to the stuff.

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