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Musk wins battery bet

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 10:10 -- News Editor
Musk wins battery bet

So Elon Musk has won his bet to build a 100MW storage battery for South Australia in 100 days and he doesn’t have to give it away free. Switch-on was due last Friday. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, who was due to visit the installation, said the battery storage system will help support South Australia during the upcoming summer season, and reduce its reliance on other states for additional energy.

The editor reflects: In 2002, I was one of a number of guests of SAFT and ABB to celebrate the commissioning of a 40MW battery in Fairbanks, Alaska.

 

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Saft to supply nickel batteries to HK metro

Fri, 08/04/2017 - 09:32 -- News Editor
Saft to supply nickel batteries to HK metro

French battery manufacturer Saft has announced it will supply batteries to 93 Hong Kong’s new MTR metro trains.

In the five-year multi-million euro contract, Saft is supplying its SRM nickel-technology batteries to the Chinese train builder CRRC Sifang Co. Ltd.

 

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Norwegian Maritime Authority approves two new lithium-ion ESS

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 09:55 -- Xuan Zhong

Two companies have had their lithium-ion energy storage systems  approved for use in a variety of hybrid and fully electric maritime applications in Norway.

Saft, the French firm brought out by utility company Total earlier this year Seanergy® marine lithium-ion Super-Phosphate® (SLFP) ESS has been approved by the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA).

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Saft to replace substation lead-acid batteries with nickel cadmium

Thu, 10/20/2016 - 09:26 -- Xuan Zhong

Battery maker Saft has been awarded the contract to supply its maintenance-free nickel cadmium backup battery systems to Brazil’s capital city.

The French firm will replace existing lead-acid batteries at all 34 of Brazilian power utility CEB (Companhia Energetica de Brasilia) distribution substations serving Brasilia.

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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.

Saft ramps up lithium capacity in China to meet demand

Fri, 04/08/2016 - 16:35 -- Paul Crompton
Saft ramps up lithium capacity in China to meet demand

French battery manufacturer Saft is set to double its primary lithium cell production in China to meet growing demand in the Asian markets.

Saft has invested €5million ($5.6million) in the new Zhuhai site in order to double production capacity to 60 million cells per year by Q3 2016.

 
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Big week in Saft’s fortunes

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 12:11 -- Paul Crompton
Big week in Saft’s fortunes

It’s been a good week for French battery firm Saft as it posted half-year sale profits, announced a €20million deal and three major projects.

The company is set to supply its 48V Evolion lithium-ion battery systems to Indian telecoms provider Reliance Jio’s.

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Saft space battery win

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 11:19 -- Gerry Woolf
Saft space battery win

Saft, the self acclaimed world leading designer and manufacturer of advanced technology batteries for industry, signed a five-year extension to a framework agreement to supply lithium-ion  battery systems to JSC ISS, Russia's largest commercial satellite company, at the Paris Airshow last week.

The contract further extends the agreement originally signed in 2010. It covers the development and supply of lithium-ion () battery systems for GEO (geostationary earth orbit) commercial telecommunications satellites based on the Express platform. The contract extension further cements the relationship between Saft and JSC ISS which started in 2008.

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European firms in Li-ion home storage partnership

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 14:23 -- Paul Crompton
European firms in Li-ion home storage partnership

French battery manufacturer Saft showcased the latest addition to its lithium-ion home storage portfolio in partnership with German inverter manufacturer KACO at the ees exhibition in Munich.

The new Intensium Home 10M 240V cabinet system consists of five lithium-ion modules and boasts a 10 kW rated capability and a 10kWh storage capacity, suitable for both home and commercial installation.

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Saft Li-ion batteries to replace Pb-A in military applications

Tue, 06/02/2015 - 10:30 -- Paul Crompton
Saft Li-ion batteries to replace Pb-A in military applications

French battery manufacturer Saft has launched a lithium-ion battery designed as a drop-in replacement for lead-acid in military vehicles.

The 26V, 60Ah Xcelion 6T™ battery weighs 20.7kg and can be discharged from -40 to +60 degrees centigrade.

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