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E.ON to replace lead-acid for nickel batteries in European substation

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 09:50 -- Paul Crompton
Saft’s Uptimax

Power utility E.ON is replacing lead-acid backup power batteries from a distribution substation in the north west of Hungary with Saft’s nickel cadmium technology. 

The pilot project aims to show how Saft’s Uptimax maintenance-free nickel pocket plate batteries can be installed as a direct Plug and Play replacement for time-served lead-acid batteries. 

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East Penn buys into lithium-ion market in bid to expand motive power offering

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 12:00 -- Paul Crompton
East Penn buys into lithium-ion market in bid to expand motive power offering

North American lead-acid giant East Penn Manufacturing has reaffirmed its intention of moving into the lithium-ion market with the purchase of a majority interest in Navitas Systems.

The move allows East Penn to expand its motive power battery offering and  ‘strategic integration’ into other market segments in a bid to provide a wider range of energy storage system solutions.

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Saft invests in electrolyte expansion in France

Mon, 08/05/2019 - 14:12 -- Paul Crompton
Saft invests in electrolyte expansion in France

French company Saft, the battery subsidiary of fossil fuel giant Total, has started work on a €9 million ($10m) project to expand its electrolyte manufacturing site in Poitiers, western France.

The 1,800 square metre facility, expected to start operations next year, will initially double the site’s annual production capacity to 1,000 tonnes, Saft said.

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Saft replaces icebreaker batteries after 30 years of service

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 13:41 -- John Shepherd
Saft replaces icebreaker batteries after 30 years of service

French battery maker Saft has installed replacement nickel technology batteries on board eight Russian icebreakers— 30 years after the company supplied the vessels’ original nickel iron (NiFE) batteries.

The batteries provide engine starting and backup power for the vessels operating around Russia’s ports in the southern Azov Sea. 

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Saft expands China Ni-Cd plant for rail projects

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 11:01 -- John Shepherd
Saft expands China Ni-Cd plant for rail projects

Saft has expanded its Zuhai battery cells plant in China to ramp up production for rail projects in Asia.

The French battery maker said on 20 May its new assembly line for MRX and MSX nickel-cadmium battery cells— which increases the plant's production capacity by up to 19 megampere-hours per year— is Saft’s “most important development in Asia” since it moved Zuhai to its existing 12,000m² site.

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Saft wins starter batteries order for Brazil cargo trains

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 13:37 -- John Shepherd
Saft wins starter batteries order for Brazil cargo trains

French battery company Saft has won an order to supply its SRX nickel-cadmium starter batteries to a freight rail company in Brazil.

Saft said the order from logistics firm MRS Logistica is for its 64V “low maintenance nickel technology battery systems” to be installed on board 58 16-cylinder diesel locomotives manufactured by GE Transportation.

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Saft to ‘expand lithium’ with Chinese lead group Tianneng

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 09:51 -- Hugh Finzel
Patrick Pouyanné

France’s Saft and Chinese lead-acid battery group Tianneng Energy Technology have formed a joint venture (JV) to expand lithium-ion manufacturing and “scale up its e-mobility and energy storage businesses”.

The JV will “primarily focus on the development, manufacturing and sales of advanced lithium-ion cells, modules and packs”. Production will be based at Tianneng’s Changxing factory, with a potential annual manufacturing capacity of 5.5GWh.

“This is a first strategic move driven by Total, following its acquisition of Saft in 2016,” said Patrick Poyanné, CEO of Total, the French battery manufacturer’s parent company. “The JV will allow Saft to join forces with a Chinese partner, a world leading lead-acid battery manufacturer, willing to develop its lithium-ion activities.

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KULR to supply Saft with battery safety testing devices

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 12:41 -- Hugh Finzel
KULR to supply Saft with battery safety testing devices

KULR Technology will supply French battery maker Saft with innovative ‘internal short circuit’ (ISC) battery-testing devices to aid ongoing research into safety and the prevention of battery fires.

The ISCs, which replicate latent defects in batteries that can be some of the most common, serious, and hardest cell failures to detect, will be delivered early in the second quarter of 2019.

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‘US needs more investment in batteries’— former energy chief

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Ernest Moniz

Batteries should be included on a “breakthrough technology shortlist” in preparation for a much-needed overhaul of US energy policy, according to an expert report.

Increased federal funding and private investment is needed to support an expansion of battery storage and other technologies “deemed to have very high breakthrough potential”— such as hydrogen, ‘smart grids’ and advanced nuclear, the ‘Advancing the Landscape of Clean Energy Innovation’ report said.

The US is also recommended to establish an “impartial entity to closely monitor” supplies of lithium, cobalt, graphite and other critical materials, which are “becoming strategic resources for enabling a clean energy future”.

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Europe ‘lost edge to China’ in batteries— Saft owner

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Patrick Pouyanné

Europe has “lost its edge” to China in the battery stakes— even before the EU’s proposed Batteries Alliance starts making cells, the boss of the company that owns French batteries firm Saft has said.

Patrick Pouyanné (pictured), the chairman and CEO of oil and gas giant Total, which acquired Saft in 2016, told broadcaster CNBC: “Quite frankly, Europe’s lost its edge, in this area, hasn’t it? The Chinese are now the world leaders in renewable energy.”

Pouyanné said he had spoken to German economy minister Peter Altmaier, who had “talked a lot about batteries, and how he thinks it’s an important direction” in which Europe should go.

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