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BEST formation procedures help lead-acid battery manufacturers make six figure savings to bottom line

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 10:29 -- Paul Crompton

Results from battery testing services by BESTmag and its partners Digatron and UK Powertech are helping lead-acid battery factories save hundreds of thousands of dollars per annum.

BESTmag is happy to report that by using Digatron test equipment, the losses it identified during laboratory trials have been verified during field trials at a number of lead-acid battery plants around the globe.

One company that followed recommended procedures reported savings of more than $300,000 in a single plant. This was achieved by following maintenance procedures for the formation connectors, which reduced their contact resistance.

The Best Battery Testing (BBT) service was implemented more than two years ago when BESTmag teamed up with Digatron and UK Powertech to identify the hidden energy and financial losses inherent in the lead-acid battery formation process. 

Last year, the work progressed from the laboratory to field trials in several factories in various locations around the world, with companies asked to simply follow the recommended procedures that had been identified from the results of the testing work of the BBT team. 

Dr Mike McDonagh, lead tester and BESTmag technical editor, said: “Unfortunately, this work has been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and understandably all the companies involved in the field trials have had their priorities temporarily reassigned. 

“For this reason, the reporting of this project is now delayed. However, the work is continuing and sufficient information will be gathered to enable a full report of the findings to be issued in the near future. 

“It can be reported however, that so far, all the available results indicate that the actual energy, financial and carbon savings are still in line with the original predictions.” 

The coronavirus pandemic has been a major disruptor of global industry, but despite the lockdown in the UK, the team has managed to begin the third phase of the battery formation project.

The third phase includes: adopting new, more energy efficient and cost-effective lead-acid battery formation schedules. 

McDonagh has been working from home along with Digatron and UK Powertech to progress formation schedule trials, using remote computer access to the Digatron test equipment. 

This will form the third and last stage of the lead-acid formation improvement programme which is designed to reduce the costs and improve the competitiveness of lead-acid battery manufacturing units, said McDonagh.

As the formation process accounts for more than 50% of a lead-acid battery factory's energy usage, it will add hundreds of thousands of US dollars on a manufacturer’s bottom line as well as saving energy and significantly reducing their carbon footprints.

Image: the CEO of digatron Kevin Campbell next to his battery test unit, with Mark Rigby in our test laboratory

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