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Powin secures lithium cells supply deal with CATL

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 12:09 -- Hugh Finzel

US-based battery storage firm Powin has secured a 1.85GWh supply pipeline of lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cells from Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL).

CATL will supply the cells into 2022 for Powin’s Stack modular battery energy storage systems, which are utilised in various utility scale, commercial, and industrial battery energy storage systems— “including the largest batteries in both Canada and Mexico”.

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US tightens lithium-ion battery transportation rules

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

The US is tightening transportation regulations with new measures for carrying lithium-ion cells and batteries on cargo planes “to address an immediate safety hazard”.

The federal government said airlines would be barred from carrying “potentially hazardous lithium-ion cells and batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft”.

And lithium-ion cells and batteries will have to be generally shipped with a state of charge of no more than 30% on cargo aircraft.

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24M hails semi-solid technology ‘milestone’

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

US-based 24M has reached a “significant milestone” towards scaling up development of its novel semi-solid lithium-ion technology.

The Massachusetts company said it has developed and delivered “commercially viable, high energy density lithium-ion cells with energy densities exceeding 250 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg)”.

The development of the high energy density nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) cells is part of a US$7 million three-year contract awarded to 24M in 2016 by the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), in cooperation with the US Department of Energy. 

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Daramic expands production at sites in Asia

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

US-based lead-acid separator manufacturer Daramic has announced the opening of new polyethylene battery separator production lines in China and Thailand, to “support the growing demand” of customers primarily in Asia.

The introduction of one additional manufacturing line in Tianjin, China will double the company’s capacity at the location, while the new manufacturing line in Prachinburi, Thailand will increase capacity at the location by 20%.

As well as meeting Asian demand, the expansions will enable Daramic to balance operations globally in order to supply customers regionally, meaning that capacity that was previously “utilised to meet Asia demand can now be diverted to support customers in other global regions”.

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US marks ‘Battery Day’ with Li recycling centre launch

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Argonne National Laboratory

The Department of Energy (DoE) marked ‘National Battery Day’ in the US with the launch of the country’s first lithium-ion battery recycling centre.

The ‘ReCell Center’ has been set up at the Argonne National Laboratory to “help the United States grow a globally competitive recycling industry and reduce [its] reliance on foreign sources of battery materials”, the DoE said.

Lithium-ion batteries in the US are currently collected and recycled at a rate of less than 5%. The DoE aims to eventually “profitably capture 90% of all lithium based battery technologies”, and subsequently “recover 90% of the key materials” from lithium batteries.

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Enersys extends reach into lithium with new motive power battery

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

US-based lead-acid battery maker Enersys has continued its push into the lithium sector by expanding its range of ‘NexSys’ motive power batteries.

Enersys said it is set to introduce advanced lithium-ion technology to the Nexsys line of high-performance motive power batteries with the launch of Nexsys ion this year.

The company said its expanded range will encompass superior thin plate pure lead (TPPL) and lithium-ion batteries “to offer a full spectrum of intelligent and flexible power options’ FOR electric material handling vehicles.

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US West Coast project combines storage with solar, wind

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Portland General Electric (PGE) and NextEra Energy Resources are planning to construct a new energy project in Eastern Oregon, described as the “nation’s first major energy facility co-locating wind, solar and battery storage”.

The Wheatridge Renewable Energy project will combine 300MW of wind generation, 50MW of solar, and 30 MW of battery storage, which will be the largest storage facility in the state of Oregon.

The wind generation will come from 120 wind turbines, manufactured by GE Renewable Energy. “The specific equipment to be used at the associated solar farm and battery storage facility is still to be determined, the project partners said.

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Wirtz invests in ZAF’s ‘lead battery disruptor’ tech

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
NiZn battery§

US lead-acid battery equipment company Wirtz Manufacturing has made an undisclosed investment in nickel-zinc developer ZAF Energy Systems.

Wirtz said the move would allow ZAF to build a full production line at its facility in Joplin, in the US state of Missouri— “expanding its manufacturing capacity to thousands of batteries per month”.

Funds and equipment from the investment will be used to expand ZAF’s nickel-zinc batteries globally and demonstrate the first ever prismatic high-volume nickel-zinc (NiZn) process, Wirtz said.

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Support for battery storage ‘bridges US political divide’

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Mark Takano

Energy storage and support for advanced batteries research such as lead-acid has emerged as a rare issue to unite US legislators across the current political divide.

A Capitol Hill briefing organised by Battery Council International saw Republican and Democrat representatives stress the need for research into energy storage was a key “area of alignment” for both main parties.

Representatives Mark Takano (Democrat) and Chris Collins (Republican), who serve as co-chairs of the Advanced Energy Storage Caucus, were among those attending the briefing.

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Tesla to acquire Maxwell Technologies

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Dr Franz Fink

Tesla is to acquire Maxwell Technologies, in a deal that values the California-based ultracapacitor firm at around US$218 million.

Maxwell said on 4 February the companies had entered into a definite merger agreement under which Tesla would buy the company's 45.9 million shares for $4.75 a share in an all-stock transaction. The deal represented a 55% premium to the share price, which closed at $3.07 on 1 February.

The merger is expected to be finalised in the second quarter of 2019 or shortly after, subject to the successful tender and exchange of shares, regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

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