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Hammond expands into micro-hybrid technology, and Malaysia

Thu, 08/22/2013 - 16:25 -- Ruth Williams


Hammond Group, Inc. (HGI), owner of Hammond Expanders and Hammond Oxides, has announced a new family of next generation battery additives and expanders formulated specifically for advanced lead-acid batteries.

“Lead-acid chemistry is facing new challenges from the evolving energy demands of automotive and industrial batteries. Hammond’s goal is to bring value-generating solutions”, said Ed Klavin, President and COO of Hammond Oxides.

One of the first product introductions is a new, proprietary expander formulated to meet the specific demands of idle stop-start and micro-hybrid applications.

The traditional expander blends using carbon black, lignosulfonate and barium sulphate, have not been fully sufficient to meet the demands of dynamic charge acceptance. The new expander blend uses a significantly higher amount of advanced carbons in the mix to achieve desired performance characteristics.

Achim Lulsdorf, Vice President of Product Development at Hammond Group, said: “It could not just be any carbon, we established that a highly structured conductive carbon with certain surface properties works best. It helps to form a conductive matrix in the dense sulphate layers to break it up and allow the current to pass.”

HGI will use the Asian Battery Conference in Singapore to announce the fourth quarter 2013 start-up of a new, tetrabasic lead sulphate (TTBLS) plant in Selangor, Malaysia where Hammond now produces expanders and specialty oxides. Sold under the trade name SureCure, small additions of Hammond’s TTBLS can significantly improve battery capacity and cycle life with improved plate consistency; equal performance at lower cost may be realised as less positive active material is required.

“We are installing TTBLS production in Malaysia to serve growing demand in the Asian market. Hammond will offer our customers new additive solutions to improve battery performance and reduce material cost”, said Sudhir Patel, CEO and President of Hammond Group, Inc.

Johnson Controls appoints new CEO and announces supply deal with Chevy

Thu, 08/22/2013 - 16:03 -- Ruth Williams
Alex Molinaroli

Johnson Controls has announced Alex Molinaroli is to be the company’s President and CEO from October 1st.

Molinaroli, who has been with the company since 1983, will also serve as Chairman of the Board from January 1st 2014, when Stephen Roell will step down.

The new President has said he wants to lessen the company’s business in car parts such as seats, dashboard displays, roof liners and other components. Instead he wants the company to be seen as a multi-industry company by getting into climate-control equipment and systems for hospitals, schools, offices and commercial buildings.

The auto battery business will however remain; the company has announced it is to supply Chevy with AGM batteries for the 2014 Malibu car.

JCI’s battery will go into the stop-start engine marking the first time Chevy has equipped a car with the fuel-saving technology as standard. 

Sacred Sun Power opens state-of-the-art lead-acid plant

Thu, 08/22/2013 - 15:32 -- Ruth Williams

Shandong Sacred Sun Power Sources Co. Ltd has opened a state-of-the-art facility that, when running at full capacity, will be one of the largest lead-acid battery factories in the world. The production site in Qufu City, Shandong, China, currently has an annual production capacity of four million kVAh, when the plant is fully operational this could reach six million kVAh each year.

The one billion RMB (US$163 million) plant is part of the new environmentally-conscious era of Chinese lead-acid battery manufacturing because it adheres to the Lead-Acid Battery Industry Access Conditions that have recently been announced by the Chinese Government.

Some Chinese battery producers have been criticised for lead contamination coming from plants. To prevent such pollution, Sacred Sun has introduced ultramodern production processes and equipment including a fully automatic lead-milling process, a closed-loop system to supply, recover and recycle lead in production, and fully enclosed battery formation. These methods are highly effective for reducing lead fumes and dust. The new plant also uses advanced technology and equipment for producing tubular plating.

According to the Lead-Acid Battery Industry Access Conditions, as set out by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China, new, reorganised and expanded lead-acid battery manufacturers' capacities can be no less than 500,000 kVAh, in the hope of improving the industry access threshold.

Shandong Sacred Sun Power Sources, located in Qufu City, Shandong Province, China, was established in 1991. The company produces lead-acid batteries that are primarily used in standby power and electric vehicle applications around the world.

Reclassification of portable batteries gives threshold to UK recyclers

Thu, 08/22/2013 - 15:06 -- Ruth Williams


The EU is to re-classify portable batteries with a single weight threshold of 3Kg to overcome discrepancies in portable and industrial battery classifications for recycling.

Recycling targets introduced in the UK in 2010 to increase recycling of portable batteries have been skewed by the inclusion of larger batteries. Collectors have included automotive and industrial lead-acid batteries in the targets, which bump up numbers.

The grey area surrounds the definition of a portable battery: anything over 10kg is industrial, under 4kg is considered portable but between these two figures producers can decide whether it is classed as portable or industrial.

This lack of clarity meant larger lead-acid batteries – that are already widely recycled – were included with the collections. In 2012, 3 000 tonnes of portable lead-acid batteries were on the market but 9 000 tonnes were reported as being collected as waste. The discrepancy of 6 000 tonnes means the recycling figures lose all credibility.

The EU has a portable battery-recycling target of 45% for 2016; to meet this in the UK will require double the current collection rate.

Batteries that are now classified as non-portable will continue to be recycled at exceptionally high rates in the UK, as in the rest of Europe. 

EcoVolt Power ships first order of longer life SLI batteries

Thu, 08/22/2013 - 14:30 -- Ruth Williams
EcoVolt's EcoSmart SLI

EcoVolt Power, lead-acid battery manufacturer, has made the first commercial delivery of its EcoSmart SLI batteries to Energy Battery Group, a distributer in Atlanta, Georgia.

The batteries use patented bridge-and-pier technology to continuously circulate electrolyte around the lead plates, a technique that the company claims will reduce acid stratification and plate degradation, thus lengthening battery life to twice the life of comparable automotive batteries.

Rick Hallock, President and CEO, of Energy Battery Group, said: "While a great deal of attention has been focused on rare earth battery technology, lead-acid batteries will continue to dominate sales of starter batteries for many years to come."

Happy 125th birthday EnerSys!

Fri, 08/09/2013 - 15:44 -- Ruth Williams
John Craig, Chairman, President and CEO

Global battery giant EnerSys is celebrating its 125th anniversary.

“The EnerSys family is proud of its rich heritage. From our humble beginnings in Philadelphia in 1888 to the International Space Station circling the Earth today, EnerSys develops and manufactures highly regarded energy solutions for our global markets,” said John Craig, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at EnerSys.

He puts the success down to a combination of hiring the best employees, producing technologically advanced products and providing excellent customer service.

Begun in 1888, the company is currently the largest manufacturer of industrial batteries — with sales exceeding US$2.3 billion in 2012 — it has global facilities for manufacturing, assembling and distributing its batteries to customers in more than 100 countries.

Since 2000 EnerSys has acquired 24 companies, remarkable through the years of worldwide economic turbulence.

Battery University in Silicon Valley

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

San Jose State University will be offering courses specifically designed for students who want to work with battery technology.

The University is partnering with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and CalCharge to offer the professional programme of education at the University’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, which feeds more graduate engineers into the Silicon Valley workforce than any other university.

California has over 40 battery-related companies working on energy storage solutions for electric vehicles, consumer electronics and the renewable energy storage sector.

The courses are offered in response to changing workplace demands in the high tech battery industry.

European Commission takes UK to court over VAT on energy-saving products

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

The European Commission is taking the UK to court over its reduced VAT rate on energy-saving products.

The UK charges 5% instead of the standard 20%. Under EU VAT rules, discounts are only allowed for social policy reasons, not environmental reasons.

In a statement, the European Commission said: "Member States themselves unanimously decided on the list of goods and services that could benefit from a reduced VAT rate, and they also insisted that this list be strictly applied, with no room for manoeuvre or interpretation. This is important to prevent competitive distortions in the Single Market and to ensure a fair and level playing field between all Member States."

The Commissions added economic studies showed reduced VAT rates "are often not the best way to achieve policy objectives" and direct subsidies could be more efficient.

Stationary fuel cell developer ACAL Energy appoints new CEO

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

UK hydrogen fuel cell developer ACAL Energy has appointed Greg McCray as CEO, the company said in a statement.

McCray was previously CEO of Antenova Limited, a wireless components company. While at Antenova, Greg transformed the organisation into the world's fastest-growing innovative antenna business, backed by global venture capitalists and major institutional funds.

ACAL Energy claims it has a “revolutionary approach” to hydrogen fuel cell technology buy using 80% less platinum on average. This results in a significant cost and footprint reduction.

After eight years of R&D investment, ACAL Energy is now ready to license its FlowCath fuel cell technology to major automotive manufacturers and companies in the stationary power industry, it said.

Samsung and Xtreme Power team up for smart grid project

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power are installing a 1MW/1MWh lithium-manganese oxide energy storage system for a demonstrative smart grid project in Texas. The system, to be installed at the Reese Technology Centre in Lubbock, is partly funded by the Department of Energy.

The project aims to promote utility scale energy storage with wind energy. The battery system will be utilised to regulate power generated from local wind turbines that suffer from intermittent loss of generation.

Samsung’s lithium-ion battery technology together with Xtreme Power’s Xtreme Active Control Technology (XACT), which gives millisecond response time, will enable the wind generated power to be fed into the national grid.

This is the first project Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power have worked on together to provide energy storage solutions for renewable integration and grid support. The companies have formed the alliance to reach renewable energy goals and promote a cleaner electric grid.


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