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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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SONNEN grabs another Tesla employee as it expands into US

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 14:46 -- Paul Crompton
SONNEN grabs another Tesla employee as it expands into US

Rivalry between firms Sonnen and Tesla seems to extend beyond residential energy storage products to include employees. 

German residential energy storage system firm Sonnen has hired former Tesla Energy’s North American sales manager Blake Richetta.

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Grid-scale storage only just making financial sense

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 13:08 -- Paul Crompton
Grid-scale battery storage only just making financial sense say Uk Power Network

Batteries ability to transform the UK’s grid-scale energy landscape will become clearer as prices drop, claim electricity utility UK Power Networks.

The comments by Suleman Alli, the company’s director of Safety, Strategy and Support Services, came after a two-year trial testing lithium-ion technology in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

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New York University and firm to develop next generation lithium-ion battery

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 14:39 -- Xuan Zhong

Two New York organisations have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to develop next generation lithium-ion batteries for aerial drone and mobile robots applications.

The joint research programme will see Graphene 3D Lab supply materials to Stony Brook University, who in turn will make its facilities available as the pair develop light-weight battery packs.

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