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US ESS guidelines could pave way for global standard

Thu, 02/05/2015 - 16:00 -- Paul Crompton
US ESS guidelines could pave way for global standard

A revised set of guidelines outlining how to gauge the way large batteries and grid-scale Energy Storage Systems (ESS) are evaluated has been released.

The latest protocol is set to ‘level the playing field’ in the way companies determine how different ESSs handle similar situations.

The protocol was developed by a working group of more than 100 stakeholders working under the leadership of the U.S. Department of Energy and two of its laboratories: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Sandia Laboratories.


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Flux Power secures Li-ion battery pack supply deal

Thu, 02/05/2015 - 13:02 -- Paul Crompton
Flux's 24-volt LiFT Pack

Lithium battery developer Flux Power Holdings, Inc. has secured an order for its Flux's 24-volt LiFT Pack batteries to power the electric pallet jacks of a US based consumer packaged goods company.

The Californian company’s industrial ESS Li-ion LiFT Pack S5, was designed for use on Class III pallet jacks or "walkies," which are small forklifts operated by a user walking alongside.

The announcement follows technical approval of the Flux packs by the forklift OEM's, Toyota Material Handling Group North America and Crown Equipment Corporation.

As the packaged goods company assessed Flux's 250Ahe LiFT Pack battery, before expanding its evaluation to the 80Ahe and 135Ahe models

The packs produce 2000 cycles before battery capacity is 80% of the original size and able to produce 180Amp and max peak current, according to Flux.

Ron Dutt, Flux Power's CEO, said was excited to have secured approval for their lithium battery packs.

He added: “We are pleased that Crown and Toyota recognise the value our advanced lithium battery packs bring to their key customers and thank them for their support in making this happen. “Today's technical and purchase approvals are significant milestones that build Flux's reputation, brand and market position."

G4 launches ‘ultra-high power’ nickel metal hydride battery

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 13:05 -- Editor
G4 nickel metal hybride battery

US developer G4 Synergetics has launched an ‘ultra-high power’ advanced nickel metal hydride (NiMH) secondary battery.

G4’s NiMH design is primarily for power-dependent applications, rather than high energy as most commercial cells are designed. The batteries have a low internal resistance, which enables the batteries to deliver extremely high power.

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Kenyan lead-acid firm ABM starts VRLA production

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 09:30 -- Laura Varriale
ABM VRLA battery

Kenya’s Associated Battery Manufacturers (ABM) has started production of VRLA car batteries following a KSh600m ($6.85m) upgrade of its Nairobi factory.

The first battery to roll off the production line is the Powerlast VRLA, a Chloride Exide branded battery.

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Saft wins $20m Boeing contract

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 16:18 -- Ruth Williams
Boeing has 75 satellites containing Saft batteries in orbit

Lithium-ion battery manufacturer Saft will supply battery packs to Boeing for use in communication satellites.

Five contracts have been awarded to build lithium-ion batteries for four geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellites, which represents $20m worth of satellite battery packs that are due for delivery between 2014 and 2015.


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Integrated circuit recharges batteries

Fri, 12/13/2013 - 10:06 -- Ruth Williams

Semiconductor developer, STMicroelectronics, has brought out a new integrated circuit (IC) that uses a thermo-electric generator to power electronic circuits and recharge batteries.

The IC uses ambient light or thermal energy to power small electronic devices such as wireless sensors, smart-building and industrial equipment controls.


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Battery University in Silicon Valley

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

San Jose State University will be offering courses specifically designed for students who want to work with battery technology.

The University is partnering with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and CalCharge to offer the professional programme of education at the University’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, which feeds more graduate engineers into the Silicon Valley workforce than any other university.

California has over 40 battery-related companies working on energy storage solutions for electric vehicles, consumer electronics and the renewable energy storage sector.

The courses are offered in response to changing workplace demands in the high tech battery industry.

European Commission takes UK to court over VAT on energy-saving products

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

The European Commission is taking the UK to court over its reduced VAT rate on energy-saving products.

The UK charges 5% instead of the standard 20%. Under EU VAT rules, discounts are only allowed for social policy reasons, not environmental reasons.

In a statement, the European Commission said: "Member States themselves unanimously decided on the list of goods and services that could benefit from a reduced VAT rate, and they also insisted that this list be strictly applied, with no room for manoeuvre or interpretation. This is important to prevent competitive distortions in the Single Market and to ensure a fair and level playing field between all Member States."

The Commissions added economic studies showed reduced VAT rates "are often not the best way to achieve policy objectives" and direct subsidies could be more efficient.

Stationary fuel cell developer ACAL Energy appoints new CEO

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

UK hydrogen fuel cell developer ACAL Energy has appointed Greg McCray as CEO, the company said in a statement.

McCray was previously CEO of Antenova Limited, a wireless components company. While at Antenova, Greg transformed the organisation into the world's fastest-growing innovative antenna business, backed by global venture capitalists and major institutional funds.

ACAL Energy claims it has a “revolutionary approach” to hydrogen fuel cell technology buy using 80% less platinum on average. This results in a significant cost and footprint reduction.

After eight years of R&D investment, ACAL Energy is now ready to license its FlowCath fuel cell technology to major automotive manufacturers and companies in the stationary power industry, it said.

Samsung and Xtreme Power team up for smart grid project

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power are installing a 1MW/1MWh lithium-manganese oxide energy storage system for a demonstrative smart grid project in Texas. The system, to be installed at the Reese Technology Centre in Lubbock, is partly funded by the Department of Energy.

The project aims to promote utility scale energy storage with wind energy. The battery system will be utilised to regulate power generated from local wind turbines that suffer from intermittent loss of generation.

Samsung’s lithium-ion battery technology together with Xtreme Power’s Xtreme Active Control Technology (XACT), which gives millisecond response time, will enable the wind generated power to be fed into the national grid.

This is the first project Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power have worked on together to provide energy storage solutions for renewable integration and grid support. The companies have formed the alliance to reach renewable energy goals and promote a cleaner electric grid.


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