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Lead-acid operator Metair selects Romania for first LIB line

Thu, 08/15/2019 - 14:14 -- Paul Crompton
South Africa, Metair Investments, Europe, lead–acid, lithium-ion, battery, Romania.

South Africa-based Metair Investments, whose group includes European lead–acid operations, is to commission its first lithium-ion battery production line in Romania.

Managing director of the automotive and energy storage group, Theo Loock, said the facility would be commissioned at the end of November, but he gave no details of the line’s production capacity or exact location.

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‘Frustration’ leads team to solid-state Li breakthough

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 14:17 -- Paul Crompton
Student solid state batteries © Lunghammer - TU Graz

European scientists have made a breakthrough in developing a solid-state electrolyte they claim has the same conductivity levels as liquid.

The team from Graz University of Technology, the Technical University of Munich and Belgian university UCLouvain, have developed a crystalline ionic conductor, which exhibits high lithium-ion mobility.

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EU-US firms ink deal for 100MWh Slovakia battery plant

Thu, 08/01/2019 - 12:33 -- Paul Crompton
EU-US firms ink deal for 100MWh Slovakia battery plant

European battery maker InoBat and US materials firm Wildcat Discovery Technologies have signed a deal that paves the way for a 100MWh battery production line to be built in Slovakia.

Construction on the €100 million (US$111m) plant in the Danube Valley is expected to begin in the first half of next year, with the first batteries ready for distribution around 18 months later.

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Savannah eyes batteries market in bid for Portugal mine ownership

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:22 -- John Shepherd
Savannah CEO David Archer

Commodities developer Savannah Resources has said it will become the sole owner of Portugal’s Mina do Barroso lithium project in Portugal through an all-share offer valued at around US$11.9 million.

The UK-based developer, which already owns 75% of the project, said full ownership would “provide greater exposure of Europe’s most significant spodumene lithium deposit” as it’s developed and commercialised.

Savannah’s CEO David Archer (pictured) said the move was being made at a time when “legislators and battery end users in the region have come to appreciate the need for Europe to have domestic sources of battery raw materials as the region seeks to reduce emissions from the transport sector via the transition to electric vehicles (EVs)”.

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Irish regulator rules on commercial battery storage levy

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 09:30 -- John Shepherd

Commercial battery storage units in Ireland will now be required to pay a levy charged to all electricity customers to support renewable energy generation, the country’s Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has announced.

The CRU said the Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy will only be imposed on commercial storage units based on their “house load” when offline, rather than on the total amount of electricity imported from the grid, stored, and then exported.

As battery storage units take electricity from the grid when there is surplus generation, store it, and then feed electricity back to the grid in profitable peak demand periods, there had been uncertainty over whether they should be subject to the levy. The levy is normally imposed on electricity customers who are supplied with electricity at a single site for consumption on those premises.

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Investment booster for Pb recycling process in UK

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 09:02 -- John Shepherd

Aurelius Environmental, which is pioneering a lead-acid battery recycling process in the UK, is to invest £1.5 million (US$1.9m) in advanced ‘green’ technology after securing a debt funding package.

Miles Freeman, CEO of Aurelius and former operations director of Ecobat Technologies, said the business would invest in machinery that “produces virtually zero waste— allowing us to provide a more sustainable and environmentally friendly process to the market”.

The announcement comes less than two years after Aurelius and research partner Cambridge University were awarded an EU grant of €1.3m ($1.5m) to develop ‘Fenixpb’— a hydrometallurgical process that produces lead oxide directly from spent batteries.

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Exide invests in VRLA storage plus solar at Portugal plant

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 10:14 -- Hugh Finzel

US battery manufacturer Exide Technologies is investing in a solar power facility coupled with VRLA battery storage at its production plant in Castanheira do Ribatejo in Portugal.

Another solar facility will be installed at Exide’s recycling plant in Azambuja, Portugal.

The solar-plus-storage system will pair 500kWh worth of Sonnenschein A600 VRLA from GNB— a division of Exide Technologies— with solar. The two sites will have a combined total of around 10,000 solar photovoltaic panels, with a total generating capacity of 3.8MWp. The company said this was equivalent to the power requirements of more than 2,000 homes.

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Daimler takes NorthStar partnership to next level

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 09:35 -- Hugh Finzel

Swedish-American battery manufacturer NorthStar has agreed a deal to supply Daimler with wireless battery monitoring systems for the Pure Lead AGM batteries it supplies to the auto giant.

Germany’s Daimler— parent company of Mercedes-Benz, and the largest truck manufacturer in the world— will install a tailored version of NorthStar’s ACE battery monitoring systems (named AGM Truck Test) at all of its service centres in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

NorthStar’s ACE wireless battery monitoring systems was launched for the telecom segment in 2017, and subsequently for the transportation segment in 2018. The AGM Truck Test tracks the battery’s performance throughout its service life, and ensures batteries are only replaced when they reach the end of their reliable life.

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ILA calls for new EU strategy on batteries

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 11:45 -- John Shepherd

Europe has been urged to develop a new industrial strategy to “champion” all batteries, including lead-acid.

The managing director of the International Lead Association (ILA), Dr Andy Bush (pictured), said the creation of a Batteries Alliance and a ‘batteries action plan’ for the EU, has been “one of the successes of the European Commission”.

However, Bush said it was a “weakness” for EU policymakers to “focus predominantly on one battery technology, omitting to support Europe’s existing strengths in this area and the jobs it generates in our societies”.

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Sunlight takes a shine to lithium with new ‘smart battery’

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 11:33 -- John Shepherd
Sunlight Li.On Force batteries

Greek lead-acid battery maker Sunlight is entering the electrical industrial vehicles (eIVs) market with the launch of a “smart lithium batteries” line.

Sunlight said the debut of its ‘Li.On Force’ follows “a multi-year intensive research plan” to produce batteries “that combine the advantages of batteries featuring lithium technology” with applications of Internet of Things technology.

A battery management system relays performance and other data in real time to a Sunlight control centre via the Cloud.

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