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Johnson Controls to capture ‘rapidly growing’ AGM market with fourth China battery plant

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 15:41 -- Paul Crompton
Johnson Controls to capture ‘rapidly growing’ AGM market with fourth China battery plant

US lead-acid firm Johnson Controls is set to open its fourth battery manufacturing plant in China to serve the OEM and aftermarket industry.

The facility is being built in Binzhou, Shandong Province, following a joint venture between Johnson Controls and Binzhou Bohai Piston Co., Ltd., an auto parts affiliate of Beijing Automotive Industry Group Co., Ltd.

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Johnson Controls looks to academy for lead-acid and stop-start breakthrough

Mon, 06/06/2016 - 15:55 -- Paul Crompton
Johnson Controls looks to academy for lead-acid and stop-start breakthrough

Johnson Controls has announced two multi-year research projects at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW–Madison) aimed at enhancing lead-acid start-stop batteries and energy storage systems.

The first project will focus on identifying the ageing mechanisms of absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries and supporting systems in start-stop applications.

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Don’t die… just get bought!

Tue, 05/10/2016 - 12:49 -- Paul Crompton

Now is a great time to sell your battery manufacturing business— to an oil company.

The age of oil isn’t over yet but those in fossil fuels know it’s coming, so now is the time to diversify. Some have been doing it for years— BP for example— an early entrant into solar energy.

So it’s hardly any surprise to see that SAFT, the French battery specialist,  just got snapped up by Total, the multinational but French rooted oil and gas corporation.

It only seems like yesterday that SAFT was trying to wriggle free from Alcatel, the French telecom player, back in the late 90s. The SAFT management were frustrated, merely being just a division in a business which was expanding in all directions— internet, cellular and the term ‘energy storage’ wasn’t really in executive vernacular. It is now.

SAFTs specialist lithium products have proven too costly for the hybrid and EV market but acceptable for the military and aerospace markets.

And while the company had at least one interesting liason with Johnson Controls, it seems to have been a little lack lustre of late— and maybe a little rudderless following the unexpected death of John Searle, its former chairman and highly energetic commercial manager, in 2014.

Maybe there’s a lesson here— that if battery companies are really going to reap the rewards of the energy storage market, they are going to have be part of bigger energy businesses with access to capital and management resources they sorely lack.

If you look east, the big players in batteries, LG Samsung and Panasonic are all part of much larger concerns in the electrical and electronics field.

Small is beautiful up to a point. But if energy storage is really going to change the world it needs to be part of something bigger. That might be one way that lead acid industry gets itself away from the abyss it could be heading for.

JCI drives an ‘evolution’ in stop-start technology combining lead-acid and lithium-ion

Wed, 03/09/2016 - 16:00 -- Paul Crompton
JCI drives an ‘evolution’ in stop-start technology combining lead-acid and lithium-ion

Global giant Johnson Controls says it is driving an evolution in stop-start technology— while the rest of us wait for a revolution to happen.

Advanced Market & Technology Strategist Craig Rigby told BBB that the growth of the stop-start market had superseded all expectations, far outweighing the uptake in the electric vehicle (EV) market.

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JCI takes first steps into distributed energy storage systems

Fri, 12/04/2015 - 14:45 -- Paul Crompton
JCI takes first steps into distributed energy storage systems

Johnson Controls has taken a step into distributed energy storage, installing a lithium-ion battery storage system in one of the world’s largest commercial buildings.

Chicago’s 4.2 million square foot Merchandise Mart, which was owned for half a century by the Kennedy family, now has one of Johnson’s smaller in-building storage systems, the L1000, which provides up to 85 kWh of energy storage.

 
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Unconfirmed reports suggest Johnson to buy EnerSys

Mon, 10/12/2015 - 15:06 -- Paul Crompton
Unconfirmed reports suggest Johnson to buy EnerSys

Johnson Controls is in early talks with industrial battery-making giant EnerSys over a possible buy-out, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The report said Johnson had been trying to move away from its automotive seating and interiors businesses to focus on higher-margin battery operations.

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Johnson Controls to build Pb-A battery plant in China

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 14:48 -- Paul Crompton
Johnson Controls to build Pb-A battery plant in China

Johnson Controls has confirmed plans to build a new stop-start lead-acid battery manufacturing facility in northeastern China

The US company has signed an investment agreement for a $200 million state-of-the-art plant in the Tiexi District of Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning Province.

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JCI to boost start-stop AGM production

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 11:19 -- Paul Crompton
JCI to boost start-stop AGM production

US battery manufacturer Johnson Controls is set to increase its existing lead-acid battery capacity in its Toledo, Ohio plant.

When the Toledo plant expansion finishes in 2016, it will expand the production of Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) advanced batteries for Start-Stop vehicle applications.

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Johnson Controls to rethink China battery plant

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 11:23 -- Paul Crompton
Johnson Controls to rethink China battery plant

Johnson Controls is set to focus on advanced batteries at one of its China plants— but refused to reveal whether it will be lithium or lead-acid.

Although the US company is keeping quiet about the details, a company spokesman confirmed an announcement will be made in the ‘next few weeks’.

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Johnson Controls opens Li-ion laboratory

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 09:21 -- Paul Crompton
Johnson Controls opens Li-ion laboratory

North American battery supplier Johnson Controls has opened a laboratory in its bid to develop lithium-ion battery systems for vehicles.

The Wisconsin company’s Johnson Controls Vehicle Engineering Systems Laboratory includes a dynamometer to investigate management of battery energy and power transfer.

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