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Prototype battery breaks bottleneck in lithium-sulphur progress

Thu, 11/24/2016 - 12:55 -- Xuan Zhong

Scientists in the UK have developed a prototype lithium-sulfur battery after being inspired by the cells in the human intestine.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge claim to have found a way to prevent the dissolution and diffusion of polysulfide in liquid organic electrolytes — a key issue when looking to commercially develop lithium-sulfur batteries.

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Irish OEM unveils lithium-ion buses

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 15:39 -- Paul Crompton
Irish OEM unveils lithium-ion buses

Bus maker Wrightbus is to demo lithium-ion electric buses on the UK’s streets— less than two years after its fleet of Routemaster London busses suffered from battery failure.

Wrightbus is making the new StreetAir EV busses using batteries from French battery systems firm Forsee Power.

The 10.6 meter long single-decker busses will be powered by a 300kWh battery capable of driving up to 200 miles in a single charge. The busses will be demonstrated in London and Liverpool.

The last time Wrightbus was spoken about in the BEST office it was because more than half of the 500 Routemaster buses had major problems with their batteries.

Wrightbus refuses to reveal the name of the firm that supplied batteries for the Routemaster busses, although it was at pains to point out Forsee had nothing to do with the project.

Forsee Power has, however, been a battery supplier to Wrightbus since 2013 when it provided batteries for eight single deck induction power transfer busses.

“Our collaboration with this manufacturer encompasses the whole product range our company has developed for transport applications,” said Sébastien Rembauville-Nicolle, Forsee Power Transport & Storage Division Manager.

“Our products allow us to satisfy all of the requirements in the Wrightbus Specification, and our three product ranges Pulse, Flex, Zen are or will soon be one of the battery offerings on the Wrightbus product range.”

The Pulse range allows fast charging (3-5 mins at the station, 15-25 times per day); a 150kwh Flex battery system, a battery can clock up over 200 miles a day; the Zen range provides 300-500 kWh with less weight.

Back in March Forsee announced a new facility in Zhongshan, in the Chinese region of Canton, which bosted an assembly capacity of more than 100,000 scooter and 1,000 electric bus batteries.

The €1.5 million investment included plans to reach 300 MWh— the equivalent of 1,000 electric buses— by 2017.

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Rising European ESS and EV market drives UK lithium-ion deal

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 11:29 -- Xuan Zhong

UK energy storage system manufacturer Hyperdrive Innovation has become the first firm to secure a supply of lithium-ion cells and modules from Japanese vehicle OEM Nissan.

The deal with fellow Sunderland-based firm Nissan will allow the firm to launch a scalable 48V/66Ah, 3.5kWh ESS and use the cells in bespoke battery packs for electric motive applications.

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UK lithium-ion firm Nexeon steps into Asian market

Fri, 10/21/2016 - 09:30 -- Xuan Zhong

UK lithium-ion battery materials company Nexeon has opened an office and development laboratory in Hakusan High-Tech Park, Japan.

Nexeon Japan K.K. has opened the office on the Hakusan High-Tech Park in Yokohama to have greater access to Nexeon’s ‘key target markets’ in the electronics and automotive sectors.

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UK firm’s lithium-sulfur cell doubles average lithium-ion equivalent

Thu, 10/13/2016 - 10:12 -- Paul Crompton

UK lithium-sulfur firm Oxis Energy has reported its development cell has reached double the specific capacity of an average lithium-ion battery.

Internal tests show the cell reaches 400Wh/kg following three years of work by OXIS scientific team's work on increasing gravimetric energy density of its new ultra-light cell chemistry.

The development was made through a high capacity cathode active material coupled with a newly developed electrolyte formation.

The company’s cells had previously achieved 325Wh/kg in 2015 through its developments on the Innovate UK funded REVB project.

However, it could be two years before these new cells are market ready or being used at an industrial level.

An Oxis spokesman told BEST: “The testing and validation stage for any new battery product entering the market is a lengthy process as the performance and safety must be assessed to international standards by an approval third party testing organization.”

OXIS advanced the energy density through the creation of new lithium-sulfur material formulations, which it integrated along with improving the cell design and production processes.

This was due to a Joint Development Agreement with French chemical corporations company Arkema material, which was present in the iteration of cell design.

A company spokesman said: “The cells are being tested internally at the moment, but will be produced for our partners in the automotive, space and defence sectors in the coming months once internal validation has been completed.

“The collaboration focused on maximising the gravimetric energy through the use of a new high capacity cathode active material coupled with a newly developed electrolyte formation.”

Huw Hampson-Jones, CEO of OXIS said: "Cells are already being deployed for testing for vehicle demonstration and development. Subject to continuing scientific progress, the significance of 400Wh-kg means that the ability to eliminate distance anxiety for consumers will become a reality as well as the eventual replacement of fossilized fuel vehicles."

 

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UK firm first to secure use of Nissan’s lithium-ion batteries

Thu, 10/06/2016 - 16:13 -- Paul Crompton
UK firm first to secure use of Nissan’s lithium-ion batteries

UK electronic vehicle system firm Hyperdrive Innovation has become the first company to secure the supply of Nissan’s LEAF lithium-ion battery technology for its own commercial products.

The company is incorporating Nissan’s UK-made battery modules in its battery systems for use in electric motive and energy storage applications.

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Lead-acid and Ni-Cd battery use falls in UK

Thu, 09/15/2016 - 14:33 -- Paul Crompton

The use of lead-acid and nickel-cadmium batteries in the UK is declining year-on-year, if figures by the Environment Agency are to be believed.

The amount of lead-acid batteries placed on the market fell by 128 tonnes in 2015 from 2,338 tonnes in 2014.

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UK energy storage hesitation threatens fossil fuel future

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 12:08 -- Paul Crompton
UK energy storage hesitation threatens fossil fuel future

Development of energy storage technologies holds the key to the UK moving from fossil fuel electricity generation to renewable sources.

Investment must be made in research, demonstration projects and development of next generation low carbon technologies, stated Dr Jenifer Baxter, head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

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SOLARWATT announces move into UK solar storage market

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 12:38 -- Paul Crompton
SOLARWATT announces move into UK solar storage market

German solar energy firm Solarwatt is revving up to unleash its ‘MyReserve’ lithium-ion energy storage system onto the UK residential market.

The move has come on the back of rising energy prices in the UK, says Solarwatt international sales manager Pol Spronck

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Sodium-ion firms get cash boost to bring technology to market

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 15:44 -- Paul Crompton
Sodium-ion firms get cash boost to bring technology to market

A UK based project to develop sodium-ion batteries for the next generation of electric vehicles has received a £38.2million grant.

The scheme to develop the technology to meet vehicle manufacturer specifications is part of Innovate UK’s initiative to make the UK a global leader in emissions-cutting technology.

English firm Faradion and Scottish based AGM Batteries were awarded the funding to deliver a working prototype of its technology for electric vehicles (EVs) by 2018.

Due to sodium salts abundance sodium-ion batteries could one day be 30% cheaper than conventional lithium-ion cells, which in turn will reduce the cost of EVs.

The partnership aims to bring sodium-ion batteries to the EV market as early as 2025.

The two firms will modify existing sodium-ion technology to make it usable in EVs, including the adaptation of active materials at the cathode and anode to meet OEM specifications.

“This project will help the automotive industry to develop a more stable, sustainable and cost-effective solution to electric vehicle power than is currently available,” said Faradion CEO Francis Massin.

Earlier this year BBB reported how Faradion had partnered with AGM Batteries to scale up production of the technology at its 4,000 square metre production facility in Caithness, Scotland. 

Innovate has also awarded AGM £700,000 to develop the technology and produce first prototypes while Faradion received Innovate UK funding to develop the technology for solar energy storage in conjunction with Moixa Technology and WMG, University of Warwick.

 

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