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Grid-scale use of advanced lead batteries to be studied by UK organisations

Thu, 06/17/2021 - 12:45 -- Paul Crompton
Grid-scale use of advanced lead batteries to be studied by UK organisations

A study to boost the use of lead batteries in grid-scale applications will explore the technology’s performance and lifetime capabilities, especially when paired with renewables.

Scientists will combine research techniques, such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, to study and predict various utility duty cycles to show the advantages of lead batteries in grid energy storage applications.

The research will explore the development of advanced levels of modelling and prediction of lead battery behaviour in utility grid storage applications.

The model developed by researchers will be compared to data gathered from in-situ lead batteries to better understand the impact on battery lifetime.

The project will be led by UK institutes the University of Warwick, Loughborough University and is supported by the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI).

Europe’s energy storage transition has increased from 550MWh in 2016 to 5.26GWh by the end of last year, with front-of-the-meter deployments representing more than 50% of installed capacity.

Professor Richard McMahon from the University of Warwick said: “Lead batteries have key benefits of safety and recyclability but there is work to be done to understand how best to manage lead batteries in energy storage service to optimise efficiency and prolong life.

“This knowledge will show owners and operators of storage facilities that lead-based systems provide a safe and cost-effective solution.”

Professor Dani Strickland from Loughborough University, said: "The availability of low-cost powerful microprocessors is fuelling an explosion in our capability to monitor, understand and impact battery degradation in real world situations at low cost. 

“This project is exciting because it will use expertise in the partner organisations to transition lead batteries to the world of big data and smart energy storage.”

The research will be a critical part of the CBI’s drive to achieve the technical performance goals for lead batteries set out in its technical roadmap by generating insights into how to maximise battery life in real-world energy storage installations.

Image: Isolated multichannel battery and cell voltage measuring circuit for use in series strings.

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