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lithium-ion batteries

Daimler invests in Sila Nano for next-gen battery tech

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:32 -- John Shepherd
Photo: Sila Nanotechnologies

Daimler is investing in the California-based producer of engineered materials, Sila Nanotechnologies, to boost development of “next generation lithium-ion battery materials”.

Daimler said it was making a “significant investment” in Sila Nano to forge a partnership that would speed up the development and commercialisation of lithium battery tech— to benefit future electric cars produced by its Mercedes-Benz subsidiary.

In addition to acquiring a minority equity stake in Sila Nano, Daimler also joins the board of the battery material specialist.

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Powin delivers LFP storage system for Texas

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 13:51 -- Hugh Finzel

US-based battery manufacturer Powin Energy will deliver a 10MW/10MWh energy storage system (ESS) to GlidePath Power Solutions for a distributed energy storage project in Electric Reliability Council Of Texas (ERCOT) territory.

The ESS will use lithium iron phosphate batteries arranged in Powin’s Stack battery architecture, which has been deployed in “the largest battery storage project in Canada, and the largest microgrid storage project in Mexico.”

The system will also utilise Powin’s bp-OS (battery pack operating system), “which offers a common battery management system and energy management system for platform control, regardless of which cell sub-supplier Powin chooses”.

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Navitas to expand production in Michigan

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 12:09 -- Hugh Finzel
Navitas Starlifter battery

US battery firm Navitas is expanding production of its Starlifter line of lithium-ion forklift batteries from a new manufacturing facility in Michigan.

Navitas has secured a 100,000 sq ft building to boost production by an additional 5,000 systems annually, in line with the company’s reported “almost 200% year-over-year growth in revenues”.  

The new facility is near Navitas’ existing 48,000 sq ft R&D and manufacturing facility in Ann Arbor.

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Australian acquisition looks to close recycling loop

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 15:45 -- Hugh Finzel

Lithium Australia (LA) is to acquire a minority stake in lithium-ion battery (LIB) recycling company Envirostream, as part of its mission to “close the loop on the energy-metal cycle”.

The acquisition comes after LA started producing lithium-iron-phosphate battery cathode material from waste batteries at its re-commissioned pilot facility in Brisbane.

LA will invest a total of AUD600,000 (US$429,000) for 560 shares in Victoria-based Envirostream— currently representing 18.9% of the company’s issued capital.

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Sunlight takes a shine to lithium with new ‘smart battery’

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 11:33 -- John Shepherd
Sunlight Li.On Force batteries

Greek lead-acid battery maker Sunlight is entering the electrical industrial vehicles (eIVs) market with the launch of a “smart lithium batteries” line.

Sunlight said the debut of its ‘Li.On Force’ follows “a multi-year intensive research plan” to produce batteries “that combine the advantages of batteries featuring lithium technology” with applications of Internet of Things technology.

A battery management system relays performance and other data in real time to a Sunlight control centre via the Cloud.

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Saft to ‘expand lithium’ with Chinese lead group Tianneng

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 09:51 -- Hugh Finzel
Patrick Pouyanné

France’s Saft and Chinese lead-acid battery group Tianneng Energy Technology have formed a joint venture (JV) to expand lithium-ion manufacturing and “scale up its e-mobility and energy storage businesses”.

The JV will “primarily focus on the development, manufacturing and sales of advanced lithium-ion cells, modules and packs”. Production will be based at Tianneng’s Changxing factory, with a potential annual manufacturing capacity of 5.5GWh.

“This is a first strategic move driven by Total, following its acquisition of Saft in 2016,” said Patrick Poyanné, CEO of Total, the French battery manufacturer’s parent company. “The JV will allow Saft to join forces with a Chinese partner, a world leading lead-acid battery manufacturer, willing to develop its lithium-ion activities.

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Swiss investor banks on storage for California

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 14:39 -- Hugh Finzel
SUSI Partners logo

Swiss investment manager Susi Partners has acquired a 50% share of Macquaries Green Investment Group’s portfolio of behind-the-meter lithium-ion battery storage projects in California.

The more than 90 individual battery storage facilities in the western Los Angeles basin have a combined capacity of 63MW/340MWh.

“This is Susi’s first investment in the US,” said chief information officer Marco van Daele. “The state of California is pursuing the explicit goal of completely CO2-free power generation by 2045.”

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UK and China launch virtual energy research centre

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 15:31 -- John Shepherd
Professor Nigel Brandon, Dean of Engineering at ICL (left) & Qikun Xue, VP for Research at Tsinghua

Imperial College London (ICL) and Tsinghua University are launching a virtual centre to collaborate on pioneering research into advanced energy systems.

The universities have agreed to jointly study “next-generation technologies and intelligent control strategies” towards low-carbon power and energy systems.

The centre will be the latest collaboration between the two universities, which have previously worked together on research projects including ‘the role of energy storage in enhancing operation and stability performance of sustainable power systems’.

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Finnish partners promote EV battery materials recycling

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 10:54 -- Hugh Finzel
Finnish partners promote EV battery materials recycling

Finnish companies Fortum and Crisolteq have teamed up to launch a materials recovery process claimed to make more than 80% of electric vehicle (EV) batteries recyclable.

Power company Fortum said the technology uses “a low-CO2 hydrometallurgical process”, developed by metal recycling services firm Crisolteq, to recover scarce battery metals such as cobalt, nickel, manganese and lithium.

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SK Innovation starts work on US battery factory

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 12:58 -- John Shepherd
Artist's impression of SK Innovation's EV plant

SK Innovation has broken ground on a US$1.1 billion electric vehicle batteries production plant in the US state of Georgia.

The South Korean group said the plant would have an annual production capacity of around 60 gigawatt-hours of lithium-ion batteries annually by 2022— when full production is slated to start.

SK Group vice-chairman Choi Jae-Won said the facility— being built on a 278-acre site in Commerce City— would be completed in the second half of 2021 and help to strengthen Korean-US economic cooperation.

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