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UK consortium secures funds to develop liquid air energy storage tech

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Bardon Hill Quarry, Leicestershire

A commercial-academic UK consortium has secured more than £350,000 (US$454,000) of government funding to develop a liquid air energy storage (LAES) system.

Partners building material company Aggregate Industries, energy tech firm Innovatium and the University of Birmingham, said the funding would be used to take its Prisma (peak reduction by integrated storage and management of air) technology “from initial laboratory testing to full operation in an industrial environment”.

Aggregate Industries said Prisma “is an innovative LAES technology that stores energy in liquid air form to provide compressed air, allowing inefficient partially-loaded, variable-demand compressors to be turned off, thus improving the total system efficiency by up to 57%”.

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EU launches ‘batteries innovation platform’

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Diego Pavia

Batteries Europe— a technology and innovation platform “to drive research and innovation, knowledge transfer and competitiveness across the European battery value chain”— has been launched by the European Commission.

The move aims to “spur development of battery projects at both pan-EU and national levels”.

The €1 million (US$1.13m) project will be operated on behalf of the Commission by sustainable energy investment firm InnoEnergy, in cooperation with the EuropeanEnergy Research Alliance (EERA) and the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE), and supported by project partners Zabala and Clerens Consulting.

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Mercedes adds batteries to investments in Poland

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Mercedes-Benz is to build a new battery factory in Jawor, Poland, creating 300 jobs and expanding the global battery production network of Mercedes to nine factories across three continents.

The announcement follows up on the German automotive manufacturer’s electric initiative, under which the company will “electrify the complete portfolio until 2022”.

Mercedes is currently building a “state-of-the-art engine factory” at the site in Jawor, 100 kilometres from the German border. This plant “will produce four cylinder engines for hybrid and conventionally driven vehicles” and will be the first production site of Mercedes cars in Poland.

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Europe ‘lost edge to China’ in batteries— Saft owner

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Patrick Pouyanné

Europe has “lost its edge” to China in the battery stakes— even before the EU’s proposed Batteries Alliance starts making cells, the boss of the company that owns French batteries firm Saft has said.

Patrick Pouyanné (pictured), the chairman and CEO of oil and gas giant Total, which acquired Saft in 2016, told broadcaster CNBC: “Quite frankly, Europe’s lost its edge, in this area, hasn’t it? The Chinese are now the world leaders in renewable energy.”

Pouyanné said he had spoken to German economy minister Peter Altmaier, who had “talked a lot about batteries, and how he thinks it’s an important direction” in which Europe should go.

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UK contest to find energy storage ‘innovation’

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

The UK’s Department of Business has launched a competition offering up to £20 million (US$26.2m) for “innovative, replicable solutions that could provide a market competitive alternative to conventional commercial large scale energy storage technologies.”

To be eligible for the competition funds, projects must demonstrate “a target minimum output power of 30MW or minimum capacity of 50MWh.”

The scope of the competition includes “a broad range of large-scale energy storage technologies over a range of durations, capacity and response times.”

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Study to consider EU ‘green’ battery regulations

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

A study has been launched to inform potential new regulations stipulating the ‘green’ characteristics of batteries to be produced in the EU, BEST Battery Briefing can reveal.

EU energy chief Maroš Šefčovič wants only batteries with “truly green” credentials and the “highest environmental standards” to be produced by the bloc’s ambitious Batteries Alliance, which Šefčovič says will incorporate a cell manufacturing industry to compete with Asia.

Now BBB has learned EU chiefs have commissioned a feasibility study “on possible requirements” for batteries to be produced by the Alliance— a pet project of Šefčovič, who is a candidate to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as Commission president.

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Germany names ‘national battery factory’ consortium

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Federal research minister Karliczek  © BMBF / Hans-Joachim Rickel

Germany has revealed the partners of a new government-backed battery cell consortium, as part of plans to secure the nation’s “technological sovereignty in battery technology”.

Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché has been selected to join the consortium along with German battery peers BMZ, TerraE, Customcells, EAS and Liacon.

Federal research minister Anja Karliczek said Germany would invest an extra €500 million (US$570m) in battery research over the next four years, including the construction of a ‘national battery research factory’— to be operated by the consortium— bringing research and production activities “under one roof”.

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Anderman cautious on EV ‘expansion’

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Menahem Anderman

Electric vehicle penetration of the global car fleet will be at less than 10% by 2025, industry guru Menahem Anderman has told BEST Battery Briefing.

Anderman, who chairs this week’s Advanced Automotive Battery (AABC Europe) Conference under way in Strasbourg, said: “We are on the edge of expansion, but I am not sure it will be as much as some people project.”

“It might be a bit lower than some, such as European car makers, predict,” Anderman told BBB.

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Second Korean collaboration for BMZ Group

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
BMZ's Sven Bauer and Samsung SDI's Michael Son at the contract signing

Germany’s BMZ Group and South Korea’s Samsung SDI have entered a long-term cooperation agreement to jointly promote the expansion of electromobile applications in the European market.

Karlstein-based BMZ said Samsung SDI, “one of the world's largest cell manufacturers, will rely in the future on BMZ as system supplier for battery systems, integration and software”.

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Monbat signs bipolar tech licensing deal with ABC

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Ed Shaffer

Bulgarian lead-acid battery manufacturer Monbat has signed a licensing rights agreement with US bipolar battery tech company Advanced Battery Concepts (ABC).

Monbat has acquired rights to the “full suite” of GreenSeal bipolar led battery technologies, ABC said.

CEO and chairman of Monbat Atanas Bobokov said his company had “seen the competitive advantages GreenSeal offers lead battery manufacturers… and envisaged many potential applications” for the technology.

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