The use of lead batteries in advanced hybrid and electric vehicles is likely to contribute significantly to carbon foot print reduction, according to Alistair Davidson of the International Lead Association (ILA).
Speaking at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference in Mainz Germany this week, Dr Davidson, director of products and sustainability at ILA, explained that life cycle assessment of the use of lead batteries gave a doubled benefit to the environment in terms of 99% collection and recycling rate, coupled with reduced emissions from automobiles from technologies such as start-stop and micro-hybrid applications.
The lead battery industry must redouble its efforts to show investors and utility operators that lead batteries are a perfectly usable and cost effective means of providing grid-scale energy storage, a seminar in London heard last month.
This was the conclusion of lead battery industry leaders, following presentations made at the seminar, held at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. It follows hard on the heels of a review paper published in the Journal of Energy storage, authored by Boris Monahov and Alistair Davidson of the International Lead Association and Geoffrey May (pictured) of Focus consulting.
China’s Tianneng Power International Ltd said revenue for the first half of 2017 has been boosted by a 26.5% rise in lead battery sales, compared to the year-ago period.
In newly-released interim figures for the period up to 30 June, Tianneng posted revenue of more than CNY10 billion ($1.5b).
The Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) and Exide Spain are launching a two-year study into the use of carbon nano materials in the positive active mass.
The objective of the new project “is to investigate potential significant benefits, such as improved energy efficiency and cycle life for lead batteries in energy storage applications, through the use of nano-carbon on the positive plate”, the ALABC said.
As lead pressure groups, including International Lead Association (ILA) and Eurobat, lobby for an extension of the usage of lead-acid battery technology beyond 2020 in Europe, one of the world’s largest lead-acid battery makers has unveiled a lithium-based starter system for start-stop vehicles at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It will be in production by 2018, the company says.
The lithium titanate battery, made in conjunction with Toshiba, will power advanced start-stop vehicles.
"Johnson Controls is pursuing opportunities to develop evolutionary low-voltage energy storage systems that will help our customers meet increasing fuel regulations at a lower cost than a hybrid or electric vehicle," said Lisa Bahash, group vice president and general manager Original Equipment, Johnson Controls Power Solutions. "In partnership with Toshiba, we are expanding our lithium-ion product offerings to support the needs of our global customers."
The lithium titanate chemistry is effective at quickly recharging, works well in a wide range of temperatures and can be easily integrated into a vehicle's 12-volt electrical system. Toshiba, with its SCiB technology, is the established market leader for lithium Titanate.
"Toshiba is pleased to work with Johnson Controls to supply SCiB cells for this application," said Shun Egusa, general manager of Toshiba's automotive business. "The opportunity to support global automakers with their goal of improving vehicle efficiency is an important part of our strategy and vision."
An Advanced Start-Stop system has two batteries. A 12V Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) or Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB), which will start the engine and supply power to accessories such as lights, navigation systems and radios. The 12V lithium titanate battery will primarily accept and store regenerative braking energy during vehicle deceleration, enabling greater power and load management capabilities.
However, the hybrid battery system as currently configured, paves the way for eventual elimination of lead-acid technology, perhaps substitution the lead acid component with a supercapacitor, experts told BEST magazine
"With an Advanced Start-Stop system, drivers could save up to 8 percent every time they fill up their gas tank as the batteries enable the engine to shut off more frequently and for longer periods of time," said Bahash. "This is also a great solution for our customers because the technology allows for greater fuel savings without major changes to the existing powertrain and electrical systems."
ILA Managing Director, Dr Andy Bush, said: “The announcement of this new type of 12V battery by JCI further demonstrates that alternative battery technologies require a lead-based battery to work alongside them in start-stop and mild hybrid electric vehicles. The essential nature of lead-based batteries was one of the points that was made to the EU Commission by the European, Japanese and Korean automotive associations, along with EUROBAT and ILA, in their submissions to the review of the End-of-Life-Vehicle (ELV) Directive calling for a further exemption for lead-based batteries within the wider ban on lead in light-duty vehicles.”
The 12V battery systems will be produced starting in 2018.
Global lead consumption will grow less than expected due to a slowdown in demand from Chinese lead-acid battery manufacturers, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The EIU sees global lead consumption at 3.1% in 2014/15, down from an earlier estimate of 3.6%, primarily due to China continuing to destock lead battery supplies, emission monitoring is tightened and further outdated capacity is closed.
The Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers (EUROBAT) fears the European Commission will not extend the exemption for lead batteries from the End of Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive by another five years.
The Directive aims to ban lead in new cars. According to EUROBAT president Johannes Dempwolff, the extension period for the exemption for lead batteries will probably be less than five years.
US-based energy storage company Navitas Systems has appointed Mil Ovan as the company’s new president.
Ovan was previously Navitas Systems' chief marketing officer. Before joining three years ago, he was a principal of Nova Associates and senior vice president, as well as co-founder of battery developer Firefly Energy. In his new role as president of Navitas Systems, he will be responsible for overseeing all functional areas of the company.