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A123 Systems wins $1B contract to supply Li-ion batteries for 48V systems to SAIC-GM

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 11:01 -- Paul Crompton

Automotive News China reports that Li-ion battery maker A123 Systems won a 6.9-billion CNY (US$1 billion) contract to supply 2.6 million Li-ion batteries for 48V systems to the SAIC-GM joint venture in China.

The news comes via a statement by Wanxiang Group, the owner of A123 Systems.

A123 initially entered into a partnership with SAIC Motor in 2009 with the formation of Advanced Traction Battery Systems (ATBS), a battery pack joint venture company. In 2012, the two expanded their partnership.v

 

DNOs need to own energy storage to secure industry’s future

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 12:06 -- Paul Crompton
DNOs need to own energy storage to secure industry’s future

Energy storage needs to be defined and have its own set of regulations to allow UK-based distribution network operators (DNO) to make the most of the technology.

That was feeling at Energy Storage Network’s annual symposium held in London, UK, last week, as the thorny issue of regulations and codes continues to hamper the industry.

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Will Trump take the lead out of Mexico?

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 12:04 -- Paul Crompton
Will Trump take the lead out of Mexico?

As the lead industry begins its roll out of a new communications programme extolling the virtues of lead to the American public, it has emerged that Battery Council International executive director Mark Thorsby has written directly to President Trump informing him of how important the lead industry is to North America.

Thorsby’s letter emphasises how responsible the US lead industry’s manufacturing is, and dismissed lead’s polluting reputation as being “installed in an era when lead issues were not well understood”.

While such lobbying exercises are often regarded as ‘going through the motions’, could it be that Mr Thorsby has serendipitously started the process to bring lead industry jobs, including recycling, back to the USA?

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Indian start-up plans next stage of second-life lithium-ion ESS development

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 12:34 -- Paul Crompton

An Indian start-up has developed a prototype energy storage system using recycled lithium batteries from electric vehicles.

Totus Power has field trailed a prototype/proof of concept in India, but remains 12 months and $350,000 away from doing a pilot with a pre-production prototype.

The company can take a used EV module, connect it to its own battery management system and charge an ESS from a solar or a plug-in power source.

It can be used to replace lead-acid batteries or fossil fuel energy generation, said Siva (Shiv) Rajendran, founder and CEO of Totus Power

He told BBB the company has all the infrastructure/relationships to make up to 5,000 units a year.

The company is currently sourcing end-of-life batteries from an unnamed ‘large’ automaker’s ‘most popular EV model’.

Rajendran said: “The deal is in the works, hence I can’t share the name yet. This is already a large supply pool, which we will take a few years to fully utilise. Conservatively, we can make 10,000 units a year - if not more. 

“It seems very simple to manufacture a EV battery down to a Totus Power product.

“The Modules are the building blocks of a EV battery and is shipped in boxes to us by the automaker directly. We already pre decide what level of quality these used modules are, i.e SOH%). 

“Some of our knowledge is in correlating this SOH% to real world life, along with the supply chain and associated shipping and recycling regulations.  

“But they say the devil is in the details: So over the next 12 months, when we start writing our assembly/manufacturing procedures, I will have a better handle on what ‘simple to manufacture’ actually means.”

However, because the firm is mainly self-funded and has only secured a few grants to date, its speed of execution is dependent on more cash becoming available. 

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Home battery trial to test benefits of ESS and renewables

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 11:36 -- Paul Crompton
Home battery trial to test benefits of ESS and renewables

UK firm Moixa is once again testing the benefits of batteries for homeowners and utilities in making use of renewable energy.

The residential energy storage firm, along with utility Northern Powergrid (NP) and community renewable energy group Energise Barnsley teamed up to demonstrate how batteries can utilise solar energy.

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Lithium and sulfur combined in new anode material

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 10:29 -- Paul Crompton
Lithium and sulfur combined in new anode material

Researchers in India have combined two chemistries to boost the capacity retention of an anode material in lithium-ion batteries.

The team from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras combined the lithium ion insertion reaction from lithium-ion batteries and the sulfur redox reaction from lithium-sulfur batteries to increase the battery’s overall capacity.

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Changing shape of active mass may boost lead-acid tech

Tue, 01/24/2017 - 10:20 -- Paul Crompton
Changing shape of active mass may boost lead-acid tech

A British research team aims to redesign battery electrodes to boost the efficiency of lead-acid batteries for use in electric vehicles after receiving a government backing.

The University of Sheffield has received £100,000 ($123,000) to study ways of improving lead-acid batteries from the UK’s Engineering Physical Sciences and Research Council (EPSRC).

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Umicore acquires more lithium-ion cathode patents from 3M

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 09:48 -- Xuan Zhong
Umicore acquires more lithium-ion cathode patents from 3M

Materials firm Umicore has agreed a third patent deal to acquire US technology firm 3M’s lithium-ion cathode IP.

The latest deal sees the Belgian firm acquire the ownership of three Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) patent families for cathode materials collectively covering South Korea, China, Japan, Europe and the US.

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Lead-acid battery giants back silicon joule firm Gridential

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 09:48 -- Xuan Zhong
Lead-acid battery giants back silicon joule firm Gridential

Advanced battery firm Gridtential has gained $6 million of investment from a group of the industry’s biggest lead-acid suppliers and distributors.

Investors include lead-acid battery maker East Penn Manufacturing; deep-cycle battery firm Crown Battery Manufacturing; lead-acid exporter Leoch International, and global distributor Power-Sonic.

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Work starts on Asian test area to rival Silicon Valley

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 11:40 -- Paul Crompton
Work starts on Asian test area to rival Silicon Valley

Previously more popular with tourists and pilgrims, the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji could soon become a mecca for energy storage researchers.

Moves to make the area Asia’s answer to Silicon Valley began with the building of a 1MW solar power station in Kofu City, Yamanashi, a prefecture 63 miles west of Tokyo.

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