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Sensor targets acid stratification

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 09:27 -- News Editor
Sensor targets acid stratification

A new ‘sensor’ developed to combat acid stratification has been unveiled by Johnson Controls. 

The sensor, presented at last month’s international conference on lead-acid batteries (LABAT17) in Sofia, Bulgaria, comprises an array of several electrochemical mini-cell sensors that simultaneously and continuously measure electrolyte density in different parts of battery cells.

 

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JCI plans two new battery plants in China

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 11:33 -- Xuan Zhong
JCI plans two new battery plants in China

US-based battery giant Johnson Controls (JCI) plans to set up two new plants – with a combined annual capacity of 13.5 million batteries – in China.

JCI plans to ramp up its output of batteries to consolidate its leading position in the stop-start system sector in the country, the South China Morning Post reported.

 

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Break-through partnership in ‘Green’ lead-acid battery recycling

Tue, 02/14/2017 - 11:17 -- Xuan Zhong

Green lead-acid recycling start-up Aqua Metals has signed it’s first licensing deal with global battery giant Johnson Controls.

Johnson Controls (JCI) will supply used lead-acid batteries, and receive AquaRefined secondary lead from Aqua Metals as part of the five-year, non-exclusive deal.

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China plant doubles AGM battery capacity to meet start-stop demand

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 09:54 -- Xuan Zhong

Johnson Controls cited rising start-stop vehicle demand for expanding production capacity of its Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) batteries in China.

The US firm is increasing the capacity of its AGM production lines in its Changxing Plant, Zhejiang province facility to more than three million units a year.

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Whistle-blowing JCI escapes EU lead price fixing fine

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 10:31 -- Xuan Zhong

Johnson Controls is set to escape forthcoming European Union antitrust fines after owning up to price rigging with smaller rivals on the price of lead purchased from scrap dealer, according to Bloomberg newswire.

Eco-Bat Technologies Ltd, Recylex SA, and Campine SA still expected to be fined in the coming weeks for their role in a cartel among companies buying lead recycled from car batteries.

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JCI gambles on stop-start industry to pay off

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 15:53 -- Paul Crompton
JCI gambles on stop-start industry to pay off

Battery maker Johnson Controls is gambling on the stop-start automotive market keeping the lead-acid industry buoyant for the next 20 years.

Joe Walicki, president of power solutions at the US firm, is forecasting that 50% of North America and China, and 60% of Europe’s vehicles will be stop-start by 2020.

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Johnson Controls $780m investment in global AGM output

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 14:26 -- Paul Crompton
Johnson Controls $780m investment in global AGM output

US battery giant Johnson Controls is doubling its North American absorbent glass matt production capacity to meet the needs of the stop-start vehicle industry.

The company is investing $245 million between 2016 and 2020 in the move, but it is not known whether the spending will be made in the existing Toledo, Ohio, plant or if a new plant will be built.

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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.

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