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Tesla

UK to build its biggest lithium-ion ESS to date— a year after capacity limit was lifted

Fri, 09/24/2021 - 13:53 -- paul Crompton

The UK is set to build its largest lithium-ion energy storage system using a Tesla Megapack.

The system will be delivered through a partnership between Spain’s Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV)— part of Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel group— and the UK’s Harmony Energy.

Work on the 99MW/198MWh energy storage system (ESS) at Clay Tye in Essex, has begun.

The system will use a Tesla Megapack lithium-ion batteries, together with Tesla’s Autobidder AI software for real-time trading and control.

It will be connected to the distribution network operator UK Power Networks to deliver energy storage and grid-flexibility services.

Clay Tye follows the completion of the firms’ 34MW/68MWh energy storage system in West Sussex, UK, that uses 28 Tesla Megapack batteries and Tesla’s Autobidder software; the firm’s also deployed a system in Holes Bay last year.

Tesla fire

Last month, a fire spread across two Tesla lithium-ion battery packs at Neoen’s 300MW/450MWh energy storage system (ESS) in Australia.

UK lift restrictions

The Clay Tye ESS beats two other projects in the UK, which are: the 150MW/150MWh Minety battery in south-west England, and a 100MW/100MWh project in Chester, which is due to be commissioned in Q1 2022.

In July 2020, the UK government introduced a secondary legislation to remove barriers for storage projects above 50MW in England and 350MW in Wales.

Removing barriers for energy storage projects were aimed at encouraging bolder investment decisions in larger battery facilities.

 

Image: an ESS previously built in Holes Bay, UK.

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Tesla’s lithium-ion megapack causes three-day fire during test at Australian 300MW ESS

Mon, 08/09/2021 - 16:25 -- paul Crompton

A fire that spread across two Tesla lithium-ion battery packs at Neoen’s 300MW/450MWh energy storage system (ESS) in Australia took three days to extinguish.

French firm Neoen, which owns and operates the Victorian Big Battery project, said a fire occurred within one of the Tesla megapacks and spread to another during initial testing of the ESS on 30 July.

The system was disconnected from the grid and there was “no impact to the electricity supply", said Neoen managing director Louis de Sambucy in a statement.

Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) crews wore breathing apparatus as they worked to contain the fire within the 13 tonne lithium-ion battery— which is housed in a shipping container—and stop it spreading to nearby batteries.

A FRV HAZMAT appliance conducted atmospheric monitoring with a Scientific Officer in support. 

A Neoen statement read: “Investigation preparations are underway and physical inspections will commence once the CFA [Victorian County Fire Authority] have completed their procedures.

“Testing will resume only once Neoen can be ensured that all security conditions are met.”

The Victorian Country Fire Authority, Energy Safe Victoria and WorkSafe Victoria are set to work with Neoen and Tesla on a “full and comprehensive” investigation of the fire.

The FRV statement did not give the cause of the fire.

The project to modernise the grid and unlock capacity within the existing Victorian electricity network will be delivered by Neoen, Tesla, and network partner AusNet Services.

The project is due to start operating this December.

Tesla’s 3MW megapacks are pre-assembled and pre-tested in one enclosure — including battery modules, bi-directional inverters, a thermal management system, an AC main breaker and controls.

Tesla had not replied to BEST’s questions at the time of publication.

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Tesla agrees to $1.5 million settlement over battery voltage reduction in its cars

Mon, 08/09/2021 - 16:16 -- paul Crompton

US electric vehicle maker Tesla is set to pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit regarding the voltage restriction of batteries amid a spate of fires in their Model S sedans.

The suit, filed in August 2019, alleged that Tesla reduced the maximum voltage to which battery packs in around 1,743 Model S vehicles could be charged.

The over-the-air software updates to battery management systems in May 2019 related to charging and thermal control following a number of incidents where batteries caused fires in their Model S vehicles.

Plaintiff David Rasmussen launched the claim after the software update reportedly reduced his Model S vehicle’s battery by 8kWh, decreased range and increased charging times.

Lawyers for the owners who sued said the "voltage limitation was temporary, with a 10% reduction lasting about 3 months, and a smaller 7% reduction lasting another 7 months before the corrective update was released in March 2020," reported news outlet Reuters.

However, Tesla was found to have fraudulently concealed information the cars would “experience a significant decrease in the total amount of range, and other performance issues”, according to the court paper.

The settlement is pending approval by federal district court of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. 

A hearing to finalise the proposed settlement is scheduled for 9 December which, if approved, would see the 1,743 class members paid $625 each. 

Tesla did not respond to BEST’s request for a comment.

Model S electric vehicle fires

The over-the-air software update followed a number of fires in Tesla’s Model S cars.

The fires included: a “single battery module” causing a Model S in Shanghai, China, to catch alight in April, 2019; a Model S fire in San Francisco, US, in May 2019; also in May 2019, a Model S caught alight in Hong Kong; in July 2019 a Model S caught alight in Germany.

To date, Tesla has failed to provide its customers with any further information regarding the cause of these fires and has failed to inform customers as to which vehicles are potentially at risk of catching fire, according to court papers.

Court filings say 1,552 of the affected Tesla Model S sedans have had their batteries’ voltage fully restored, and 57 received full battery replacements. 

A subsequent update restored about 3% of the battery voltage in the vehicles, and a third update released in March 2020 was designed to fully restore the batteries’ voltage over time as the vehicles are driven, the settlement documents said.

BEST has been reporting on Tesla fires as far back as 2013 when the company faced a costly recall after three fires in five weeks on its Model S called into question the safety of the battery. 

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Panasonic sells stake in long-term partner Tesla for $3.6 billion

Tue, 07/13/2021 - 08:53 -- paul Crompton
Panasonic cells and Tesla car

Tesla’s lithium-ion battery maker Panasonic has sold its entire stake in the US electric vehicle OEM for almost $3.6 billion, reports Japanese business news outlet Nikkei.

Panasonic has said the sale will pay for its $7 billion acquisition of artificial intelligence software developer Blue Yonder, reported Nikkei.

Panasonic bought 1.4 million Tesla shares for about $30 million in 2010. Those stocks rose to $730 million at the end of March 2020, and by 24 June closed at $679.82 apiece.

Japanese firm Panasonic has been a long-term supplier of batteries to Tesla.

Last year, the pair signed a three-year pricing deal relating to the manufacture and supply of 2170 lithium-ion battery cells manufactured at its gigafactory in Nevada, US.

Panasonic said it would increase the energy density of its 2170 cells by 20% within five years and commercialise a cobalt-free version within three years.

The stock sell-off came in the same week China battery maker CATL extended a battery supply deal with Tesla to 2025.

Tesla entered into a partnership with South Korea’s LG Chem and China’s CATL in January 2020 as it looked to secure a lithium-ion battery supply for its electric cars at its Gigafactory 3 plant in Shanghai.

CATL signed a two-year battery supply agreement with Tesla, with the US firm determining the battery purchase volume, last July.

For more stories on Teslsa click here 

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Tesla air quality fine as authority notes 33 violations at Fremont plant

Wed, 05/19/2021 - 09:06 -- paul Crompton
Electric vehicle and energy storage firm Tesla must pay a $1 million fine over air quality violations at its manufacturing plant in Fremont, California, US.

Electric vehicle and energy storage firm Tesla must pay a $1 million fine over air quality violations at its manufacturing plant in Fremont, California, US.

The fine from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) includes Tesla having to install a solar roof project and implement a comprehensive environmental management system at the plant.

Tesla must also fund a community microgrid, pairing a two-powerpack storage system with up to 160kW solar electric system. 

The settlement covers 33 notices of violation that the Air District issued to Tesla. 

The violations included: emissions exceeding Tesla’s permit limits, installing or modifying equipment without proper permits, failure to conduct required emissions testing, failure to maintain records and failure to report information to the Air District in a timely manner. 

Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District, said: “This settlement requires Tesla’s compliance with Air District regulations at its Fremont facility and demonstrates the Air District’s continuing efforts to ensure strict compliance with air pollution regulations, while seeking mutually beneficial solutions for the community.

“As part of this settlement, Tesla has agreed to implement a community microgrid project, which leverages the company’s technological expertise in developing next generation power here in the Bay Area.” 

The comprehensive environmental management system will track all applicable environmental requirements and ensure that the company’s managers are trained on what is needed to comply with them. 

This environmental management system is designed to ensure that Tesla remains in full compliance going forward. 

Tesla has already begun implementing such a system, but today’s settlement agreement will make this a legally binding and enforceable commitment. 

All the violations that led to this settlement have been corrected and are back in compliance. 

Last November, BEST reported how a report filed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ending 30 September, 2020, showed Tesla’s subsidiary in Germany has been ordered to pay a €12 million ($14 million) fine imposed by the Umweltbundesamt (the German Federal Environment Agency) for alleged non-compliance of ‘take-back obligations with respect to end-of-life battery products’. 

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Tesla secures five-year supply of lithium in deal with China’s Yahua

Mon, 01/04/2021 - 11:01 -- paul Crompton

US electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla has signed a five-year deal to receive battery-grade lithium hydroxide from China’s Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group. 

The total value of the contract, signed by Yahua's wholly-owned subsidiary Yaan Lithium, is $630-$880 million and lasts up to 2025, according to news outlet Reuters, which quoted a filing by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

The cost value translated into a total lithium hydroxide procurement amount of 63,000-88,000 tonnes, or 12,600-17,600 tonnes per annum, according to analysts at Daiwa Capital Markets.

Last May, Yahua commissioned a 20,000 tonnes per year lithium hydroxide plant in Yaan city into operation, more than doubling its previous capacity.

It already sources lithium - an ingredient in EV batteries - from China’s Ganfeng Lithium, one of the world’s top lithium producers.

In 2018, Tesla signed a deal to receive a fifth of China's largest lithium compounds producer, Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium’s production. Under the terms of the agreement, Tesla also designated its battery suppliers to buy lithium-hydroxide products from Ganfeng.

In 2019, Ganfeng Lithium finalised a $160 million investment deal to raise its stake in Argentina’s Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine project to 50%. Ganfeng Lithium now partners with Canada’s Lithium Americas in a 50-50 joint venture that will develop and operate the project.

Panasonic to boost energy density and develop cobalt free 2170 lithium-ion cells

Fri, 08/14/2020 - 09:53 -- paul Crompton

Tesla’s long-term battery partner aims to increase the energy density of its 2170 cells by 20% within five years and commercialise a cobalt-free version within three years.

The bold claims by the head of Japan’s Panasonic’s US EV battery business, Yasuaki Takamoto, were reported by global news agency Reuters.

 

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Report outlines Tesla’s ‘secret’ Roadrunner lithium-ion battery plans for California

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 12:01 -- paul Crompton

Tesla is planning to expand manufacturing capacity at its Freemont, California, facility to develop more ‘effective’ lithium-ion batteries and more efficient manufacturing technology.

Plans given to Freemont government back-up rumours of the US firm’s Roadrunner project that will support manufacturing, R&D operations— including cathode making— and the final step in cell manufacturing.

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Tesla signs three-year pricing and purchase volume deal with battery cell maker Panasonic

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 11:17 -- paul Crompton

Tesla has signed a three-year pricing deal with Japan’s Panasonic Corp relating to the manufacture and supply of 2170 lithium-ion battery cells manufactured at its gigafactory in Nevada, US.

The electric vehicle and energy storage system maker made the announcement on 10 June.

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Mining and battery recycling firm AMBC hires former Tesla chemical engineer

Thu, 04/16/2020 - 11:54 -- paul Crompton

Mining and lithium-ion battery recycling technology firm American Battery Metals Corporation (ABMC) has hired former Tesla engineer August Meng as its principal chemical engineer.

Chemical engineer Meng specialises in the design and development of thermochemical conversion based systems throughout the renewable energy and lithium-ion battery sector.

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