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Patent applications for stationary energy storage batteries doubled – study

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 12:18 -- Laura Varriale
Battery storage patent boom

Patent family applications for batteries suitable for stationary energy storage have doubled. From 2006 to 2011, the number of patents increased from 2,800 to 5,900, according to a study by Technical University Munich.

The lithium segment is most dynamic with a steep upward trend since 2008 and 4,900 patent family applications in 2011. Simon Müller, physicist and economist at TUM told BEST: “A lot of companies have high market expectations for lithium batteries that result in extensive research development.

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Graphite One to commence drilling at Graphite Creek

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 12:03 -- Laura Varriale
Graphite Creek

Graphite One Resources (GOR) is to begin a drilling and sampling programme at the Graphite Creek Deposit in Alaska, US.

The Graphite Creek is the only advanced stage large-scale flake graphite deposit in the US, according to GOR. GOR aims to produce and deliver graphite that is used for anodes in lithium-ion batteries.

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Panasonic and Tesla partner for “gigafactory”

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 10:53 -- Laura Varriale
Tesla EV

Panasonic is to supply and install battery machinery to Tesla Motor’s planned large-scale lithium-ion battery plant.

Panasonic will likely invest up to ¥30 billion ($294.7m) initially, according to a Nikkei report. Tesla aims to begin building the plant this year and to start making lithium-ion cells in 2017.

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Albemarle to buy lithium producer Rockwood for $6.2 billion

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 10:32 -- Laura Varriale
Rockwwod lithium asset in Nevada

Chemical maker Albemarle is to pay $6.2 billion in stock and shares for lithium producer Rockwood to tap into the increasing demand for lithium.

Rockwood is one of the four big lithium producers that control about 90% of the lithium production market. The purchase of Rockwood will give Albemarle access to the company’s assets in the Atacama desert in Chile, providing a low-cost base for lithium production. Rockwood also has a site in Nevada, US.

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UK’s National Grid: Battery energy storage too costly for balancing services

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 10:02 -- Editor
National grid

Battery energy storage costs need to fall by as much as 99% to be competitive with other grid balancing technologies, according to UK transmission system operator National Grid.

In a report published on 10 July, Future Energy Scenarios 2014, National Grid explored the number of years taken to recover the cost of sodium sulphur and lithium-ion batteries through revenue from individual reserve services – Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) and Fast Reserve - and the decrease in total plant costs that would be necessary in order to recover costs.

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Tesla integrates batteries with PV systems

Fri, 12/13/2013 - 10:23 -- Ruth Williams
Tesla and SolarCity make storage a priority

Tesla Motors has teamed up with PV installer SolarCity to make a smart battery system for use with solar installations that will automate when energy is drawn from the PV system, the grid or the battery.

The system is called DemandLogic and allows businesses to reduce peak usage of electricity from the grid. The system would also provide backup power during blackouts and maintains grid stability.

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Three fires could spell recall for Tesla as Musk considers building own batteries

Wed, 11/13/2013 - 16:54 -- Ruth Williams
A fire officer extinguishes flames after a Model S hit a large piece of metal in the Road, Louisiana

Tesla may be set to face a costly recall after three fires on its Model S in five weeks called into question the safety of the battery. Despite Elon Musk’s protestations to the contrary, the decision will be down to US regulators who may decide to investigate the fires as a defect.

Musk is adamant a recall will not be required. This could be the case if the regulators view the fires as isolated incidences rather than an inherent problem with the car’s design.

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Tesla gets Samsung onboard to ramp up production

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 12:05 -- Ruth Williams
The Model S goes global

Tesla Motors is ramping up production of the Model S with the anticipation of sales reaching 21,000 in 2014. The EV manufacturer has sought out a secondary supplier of lithium-ion batteries; Samsung SDI has been announced, alongside existing supplier Panasonic.

The diversification of battery supplier shows that Tesla is confident the Model S will continue to sell in high numbers, that it is strengthening its battery supply to meet the expected numbers. Tesla is testing Samsung SDI’s batteries before the deal is confirmed.

Concurrently, a European Tesla plant has opened in Tilburg, Netherlands, to assemble cars from US-made components for the European market.

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