The upcoming autumn issue of Batteries & Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Magazine will include a significant supplement on battery recycling— and we want to hear about the challenges and opportunities your company faces...
The promised BEST battery testing service has arrived. We’re calling it BEST Battery Reviews (BBR).
Says Mike McDonagh, BEST magazine’s technical editor, who’ll be heading up the service: “How practical is reading the advertising blurb of battery producers? Of what relevance are the endless tables of data found in manufacturers catalogues? How do you know how this battery will stand up in your application— under real conditions outside of IEC, JIS or ANSI standards? And what else are you looking for in a battery or charger which is not found in manufacturers’ data?”
Energetix subsidiary Energetix Pnu Power has received a UK patent for an important method relating to the core technology within its compressed air uninterruptible power supply products.
The patent - titled 'Lubrication of Positive Displacement Expanders' - describes the method by which efficiency of the conversion of compressed air into electrical power can be optimised with minimal lubrication of mechanical components. Pnu Power produces back-up power solutions, using compressed air, for utility switching, telecommunications, data centres and other mission critical industrial operations.
Energetix says the grant of this patent provides additional protection to the company's core product platform and builds on the company's intellectual property portfolio relating to its Pnu Power technology.
The company has a core patent granted in 20 countries which protects its compressed air driven UPS system as well as two further patents providing additional protection.
Porous Power Technologies (PPT) has launched a line of ceramic-filled battery separators designed to improve the thermal stability and safety of the large-format lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, flat-cell consumer electronics, and high-power applications.
Under heat, the ceramic-filled polymer separators fuse together, leaving a thin film of ceramic particles between the electrodes and reduce the likelihood of hard shorts that can lead to thermal runaway and cell failure.
The ceramic particles are evenly distributed throughout the PPT chemically inert PVDF polymer. The particles reside primarily in the pore walls, leaving a large and uniform open pore structure that enable ions to pass through with less resistance and less heat generation.
The separators will provide greater power in high-current applications as well as having increased thermal stability with less cell degradation. The design offers reduced separator shrinkage, extended cycle life, higher bake-out and operating temperatures, and improved puncture and abuse resistance.
Quick Cable Corporation has launched a targeted DC power programme including an online catalogue of products for stationary battery dealers, installers and OEM suppliers.
This is in response to the growing market for backup power in fields such as telecom centres, financial institutions, manufacturers and distribution centres requiring DC power from battery systems.
The new catalogue expands Quick Cable’s product portfolio of battery connectors, cables and accessories for DC power requirements.
The power programme brings in UL listed cable options up to 777 MCM, battery containment systems and additional chemical and maintenance products specific to the stationary battery market.
The battery containment systems have been designed around a flexible, model to make it easy to design a system based on battery rack dimensions using the Quick Cable online configuration tool.
China Racing has announced it will be taking part in the Formula E Championship electric vehicle race series in 2014. China Racing is the second of ten teams to be confirmed for the zero-emission race after UK-based Drayson Racing Technologies.
The teams will race on street circuits in ten cities across the world in electric cars. The cars for the inaugural year are being designed by McClaren, Spark Racing Technology and Dallara. All teams have the opportunity to use the customer car for the first year and encouraged to build their own cars for races in the following years. With support from Chinese automotive makers China Racing hopes to build a team car within three years.
(L-R): CEO Team China Racing – Steven Lu, Chairman Team China Racing - Yu Liu, FIA President - Jean Todt, First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy - Mr. Liang JianSheng, CEO Formula E Holdings - Alejandro Agag.
Alejandro Agag, Chief Executive Officer of Formula E Holdings said: “China has enormous potential for the expansion of electric vehicles as a tool to fight pollution in cities. We think the FIA Formula E Championship can be a powerful tool to make electric cars popular with the Chinese public, particularly the younger generations. Having a Chinese team with us in the Championship will be key to succeeding in that challenge.”
Cummins Power Generation has launched a website specifically focused on product and technical information to support the needs of its data centre customers.
In a statement, Cummins said the launch of http://cumminsdatapower.com reflected the need for information in one of the biggest growth segments in the world today – backup power for data centres.
Brent Ness, Global Data Centre Segment Leader for Cummins Power Generation, said: “We continually hear from data centre customers and from consulting engineers around the world that they want fast, easy access to information directly related to data centre product offerings,” said
“This website not only contains product information, it also includes technical bulletins, white papers and other information relevant to the application, operation and maintenance of the complete backup power system in data centres.”
An energy efficient heating system offering efficiency savings of up to 20% could be key in the transition to low-carbon energy systems in Europe. This is according to a report commissioned by SSE (UK energy generators and distributors) and Dimplex (a global heating solutions firm).
The smart electric thermal storage (SETS) system works by storing up renewably produced energy when production is high but demand is low. The report indicated SETS could provide up to 54GW of additional flexible storage capacity across Europe by 2050, enabling renewable electricity to be stored when demand is low and used to heat homes when needed.
The system, first brought to the market by SEE and Dimplex in a product called Quantum, is intended to replace out-dated night storage heaters with something more efficient and with better room temperature control as well as being designed for smart grid integration.
The report found that if all 27 EU countries replaced storage heaters with SETS, savings of 7.4TWh of electricity and three mega-tons of CO2 could be made each year. If used in all electrically heated homes as much as 148GW could be provided by 2050.
Stuart Mackenzie, Managing Director of Dimplex, added: “Quantum offers consumers with electric storage heaters the opportunity to reduce their running costs by up to 27%. It’s also a Green Deal approved measure, so the capital cost outlay can be substantially reduced.”
Chinese portable power company Powerocks has an ever growing range of mobile phone power boosting accessories. The high capacity portable batteries provide additional power for mobile and tablet devices that are compatible with USB ports.
The lithium-ion batteries can be charged form a mains power supply and then provide several re-charges for smart phones and tablet devices. The slim-line design of iPhones and the like mean the battery cannot be swapped with a spare, it must be recharged, resulting in companies coming up with novel ways to help users re-charge when travelling or away from mains charging.
The range includes the Stone series of portable batteries that offer between 5800mAh and 7800mAh capacity, which provide an additional three times power for devices; The Magicstick is the size of an AA cell and offers 2600mAH power on the go for phone devices.
The ultimate in portable battery is built into the phone cover. The interestingly named Cheese Crystal is a protective case for the iPhone4 that has an 1800mAH lithium-ion battery incorporated in it to double potential battery life.
When charged, Powerocks range can power up to two devices, dependant on model, two or three times. The designs are complimentary to Apple style and show these chargers can be sleek and elegant but still pack a lot of power.
German chemical giant BASF has released its sales figures for 2012 showing growth across the company. The chemical segment overall sales figures grew 7% on 2011, the 2012 sales increased to €13.8billion. There was however a decline in EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) due to plant shut downs and lower margins.
The tables below show the full figures for 2012 compared to the previous year across the range of the company (bottom) as well as the fourth quarter sales figures (top).