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German firm to open $44 million EV lithium-ion battery testing facility in US

Mon, 01/10/2022 - 10:13 -- Paul Crompton

German testing firm TÜV SÜD is set to invest $44 million in a state-of-the-art electric vehicle (EV) lithium-ion battery testing facility in Michigan, US.

The 80,000-square foot facility will provide EV battery, environmental, EMC/wireless, electrical safety testing and homologation services to the automotive and transportation market.

The new facility is scheduled for completion in Q1 2023.

The firm’s electric vehicle lithium-ion battery testing and certification services ensures batteries, cells, chargers and electrical components for use in automotive applications meet global safety requirements for all major manufacturer and industry certifications quickly.

Testing includes: full environmental capabilities; altitude simulation; shock and vibration; vibration with environmental (including humidity), battery abuse testing; life cycle testing; calendar life testing, and more.

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Black-start ESS commercialisation is as simple as ABC for bipolar lead battery firm

Fri, 09/24/2021 - 14:42 -- Paul Crompton

Advanced Battery Concepts (ABC) has launched a residential storage system using lead batteries to address the growing need for emergency power in the US. 

The system, called Home Emergency Energy Storage (HEES), relies on the firm’s patented GreenSeal bipolar batteries.

The HEES system can be situated in about eight-square feet of interior space preferably located near the main circuit box. 

Once installed, storage is downstream from an in-bound electric inverter that helps maintain power storage.

When grid power is lost, the system automatically delivers electricity until grid power is restored. The system can provide up to 6kW and draws upon a storage reserve of 18kWh to power critical loads. Run times can be up to two full days.

The University of Michigan's Ross Business School Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) program helped the company assess and analyse the energy marketplace.

The MAP data, in conjunction with the 12-year development conducted by ABC, led to the invention of the bipolar battery and a state-of-the-art production facility in Clare, Michigan.

ABC’s founder and CEO, Edward Shaffer, said: "We accomplished this in a relatively short period of time thanks to our entire team and through utilisation of our low volume production line designed specifically to supply batteries for the micro-grid energy storage market."

He added: "We recognised a growing need for safe and reliable backup power. We have that. We are taking the same measured and responsible steps we relied on during product development for the roll-out into the market. 

“We will establish distribution within an initially limited geographic area so as to verify the functions and features of this unique energy storage solution. We have invested our time and resources to come this far.”

Bipolar lead battery

ABC's patented GreenSeal batteries' feature bipolar construction enables much greater production efficiencies with less environmental impacts than traditional storage batteries. 

Michael Everett, ABC's chief operating officer, said: "Our GreenSeal battery manufacturing facility in Clare, Michigan, is an advanced proving ground for robust scale manufacturing processes that efficiently enables continuous production of our batteries. 

“GreenSeal manufacturing is reliable, precise, clean and minimises environmental impact of a lead-acid plant to levels unattainable in traditional manufacturing plants. Low investment capital, smaller footprint, much reduced power consumption and significantly improved EH&S considerations.”

You can read more about bipolar batteries in our special report by Dr Mike McDonagh HERE

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Vistra expansion makes project the world’s biggest lithium-ion ESS

Wed, 09/01/2021 - 14:38 -- Paul Crompton
Vistra lithium-ion ESS

Power generation firm Vistra has completed the second phase of its record-breaking lithium-ion energy storage systems in Monterey County, US.

The 100MW expansion of the Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility brings the facility's total capacity to 400MW/1.6GWh— the largest of its kind in the world.

The battery system is being used to bolster reliability to California's grid using technology from LG Energy Solution.

Curt Morgan, chief executive officer at Vistra said: "This facility provides a solution California desperately needs and this expansion was able to come online at the right time, as the summer heat intensifies and demand for electricity is at its highest. 

“The state's laudable immense build-out of intermittent renewable power has both lowered emissions and presented a reliability challenge. 

“Our Moss Landing battery system helps to fill the reliability gap, storing the excess daytime power so it doesn't go to waste and then releasing it to the grid when it's needed most." 

The project was announced 15 months ago, with construction started in September 2020.

Phase one of the project, a 300MW/1.2GWh system made up of more than 4,500 stacked battery racks or cabinets, was connected to the power grid and began operating on 11 December.

The site has the space to support even further expansion up to 1.5GW MW/6GWh using Vistra’s existing site infrastructure, including existing transmission lines and grid interconnection. 

The 100-MW/400-MWh Phase II expansion is operating under a 10-year resource adequacy agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). Phase I has a similar 20-year resource adequacy agreement with PG&E.

Earlier this month, Florida Power and Light's (FP&L) announced its Manatee Energy Storage Center in Manatee County, Florida was 75% complete, with 100 of its 132 battery units installed and all 132 inverters in place. 

When the Manatee site is completed and connected to the grid at the end of this year it will have capacity of 409MW/900MWh.

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‘Made-in-the US’ lithium-ion cell supply deal signed by Proterra and LGES

Wed, 08/25/2021 - 09:12 -- Paul Crompton
 lithium-ion battery by Proterra

Electric vehicle and charging firm Proterra has finalised a six-year lithium-ion deal with LG Energy Solution that represents plans for “multiple GWhs of dedicated battery cell capacity” in the US.

The deal extends the firms existing battery-cell supply agreement, and secures Proterra a stable supply of LG Energy Solution (LGES)— a LG Chem subsidiary— battery cells through to 2028. 

The high nickel NCMA cells will be used to manufacture Proterra’s commercial electric vehicle battery systems.

California-based Proterra had to stump up a “nine-figure sum” to secure the long-term supply of lithium-ion cylindrical cells manufactured at Korean-owned LG Energy Solution’s US plant.

Both Proterra and LGES now plan to obtain approval from their board of directors for the agreement by Q4.

Proterra did not confirm the location of the plant that would make the cells when questioned by BEST

LGES plans to invest more than $4.5 billion in US manufacturing capacity, including plants in Michigan and Ohio (in conjunction with with General Motors, which is under construction).

LGES is also working on a pilot plant for Tesla’s 4680 prototype lithium-ion cells.

High nickel NCMA cells 

Wonjoon Suh, the senior vice president and the division leader of Mobility and IT Battery Division at LGES, said: “The collaboration between LG Energy Solution and Proterra will act as a critical milestone in seizing America’s eco-friendly commercial vehicle industry, already taking a lead in the global market. 

“LGES will continue to expand our EV battery manufacturing capability in the U.S. and bolster local supply chain to foster clean energy industry in the US.”

Since 2016, Proterra and LG Chem engineering teams have been collaborating to increase cell performance to meet the requirements of commercial vehicle markets. 

The cylindrical cells to be manufactured at the new LGES plants will feature a high nickel NCMA chemistry engineered for commercial vehicle and industrial applications. 

Earlier this month, LGES secured 100% rights to battery-grade nickel and cobalt materials from Australian Mines.

The six-year deal is for mixed hydroxide precipitate (MPH) from the $1.5 billion Sconi Project in North Queensland, in which it will have access to 71,000 tonnes of nickel and 7,000 tonnes of cobalt from the end of 2024.

LGES signed a lithium-ion battery materials off-take deal with Australian firm Vulcan Energy in August for up to 45 metric tonnes of lithium hydroxide over the five-year term of the deal.

LG Energy Solution woes

In June, LGES was forced to extend its safety recall over concerns its lithium-ion powered Resu-branded residential energy storage units installed could overheat and catch on fire.

The affected units were equipped with lithium-ion cells manufactured between March 2017 and September 2018. 

The systems were installed as part of a residential energy solar system, which allowed owners to capture and store energy from solar panels. 


Launched in December, LGES said it had received ‘isolated reports’ about overheating incidents linked to home energy storage system battery installations. 

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Kore Power choses site for its US-owned lithium-ion gigafactory

Tue, 08/10/2021 - 16:07 -- Paul Crompton

Lithium-ion battery start-up Kore Power has confirmed that its gigafactory will be built in Arizona, US.

The one million square foot manufacturing facility in Maricopa County will support up to 12GWh of battery cell production for electric vehicles and power grid applications.

The US company, founded in 2018, plans to start construction of the facility, dubbed KOREPlex, by the end of the year with the goal of beginning production in Q2 2023.

Arizona governor Doug Ducey said the plant would “position Arizona as an anchor in the global battery manufacturing supply chain”. 

Kore’s new plant will add to its annual production capacity of 2GWh that is in the process of scaling up to 6GWh. 

KOREPlex will operate with net-zero carbon emissions through strategic partnerships and solar-plus- and storage co-generation.

Lindsay Gorrill, Kore Power CEO, said: “We needed a location for our factory that had a track record of supporting energy storage, a growing clean transportation sector, and a workforce that could deliver American-made battery technology that the supply chain so desperately needs. Arizona hit a home run.”

The decision comes just under two years after Kore first announced it would build a gigafactory in the US.

BEST reported in February how Idaho-headquartered Kore had narrowed the site for its 12GWh plant down to either Arizona, Florida or Texas

Kore said it picked the Arizona site as it offered proximity to complimentary industries such as e-mobility, solar, semiconductor, and utilities, workforce and logistics capacity, and a pro-business tax and regulatory environment.

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Firms announce collaboration to develop US battery-grade lithium supply chain

Mon, 06/21/2021 - 08:15 -- Paul Crompton
Firms announce collaboration to develop US battery-grade lithium supply chain

Energy technology firm Schlumberger New Energy and Panasonic Energy of North America, a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, have entered into a collaboration agreement to mine lithium in the US.

The agreement covers the validation and optimisation of a lithium extraction and production process used by Schlumberger New Energy at its NeoLith Energy pilot plant in Nevada. 

Panasonic will provide its guidance to validate and optimise the lithium material for battery-grade consumption. 

NeoLith uses a differentiated direct lithium extraction (DLE) process to produce high-purity, battery-grade lithium material while reducing the production time to a few weeks. 

The pilot plant is located 200 miles from Panasonic’s large-scale advanced battery manufacturing operation in Sparks, Nevada.

NeoLith objective will be to pump brine from the subsurface, extract more than 90% of the dissolved lithium, and pump more than 85% of the brine back to the subsurface in an environmentally safe manner. 

In addition to maximising the reinjection of the brine, the ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for any fresh water from an external source and reduce the environmental impact.

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Tesla air quality fine as authority notes 33 violations at Fremont plant

Wed, 05/19/2021 - 09:06 -- Paul Crompton
Electric vehicle and energy storage firm Tesla must pay a $1 million fine over air quality violations at its manufacturing plant in Fremont, California, US.

Electric vehicle and energy storage firm Tesla must pay a $1 million fine over air quality violations at its manufacturing plant in Fremont, California, US.

The fine from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) includes Tesla having to install a solar roof project and implement a comprehensive environmental management system at the plant.

Tesla must also fund a community microgrid, pairing a two-powerpack storage system with up to 160kW solar electric system. 

The settlement covers 33 notices of violation that the Air District issued to Tesla. 

The violations included: emissions exceeding Tesla’s permit limits, installing or modifying equipment without proper permits, failure to conduct required emissions testing, failure to maintain records and failure to report information to the Air District in a timely manner. 

Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District, said: “This settlement requires Tesla’s compliance with Air District regulations at its Fremont facility and demonstrates the Air District’s continuing efforts to ensure strict compliance with air pollution regulations, while seeking mutually beneficial solutions for the community.

“As part of this settlement, Tesla has agreed to implement a community microgrid project, which leverages the company’s technological expertise in developing next generation power here in the Bay Area.” 

The comprehensive environmental management system will track all applicable environmental requirements and ensure that the company’s managers are trained on what is needed to comply with them. 

This environmental management system is designed to ensure that Tesla remains in full compliance going forward. 

Tesla has already begun implementing such a system, but today’s settlement agreement will make this a legally binding and enforceable commitment. 

All the violations that led to this settlement have been corrected and are back in compliance. 

Last November, BEST reported how a report filed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ending 30 September, 2020, showed Tesla’s subsidiary in Germany has been ordered to pay a €12 million ($14 million) fine imposed by the Umweltbundesamt (the German Federal Environment Agency) for alleged non-compliance of ‘take-back obligations with respect to end-of-life battery products’. 

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Lithium-ion battery recycler to produce black mass at second North America plant

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 09:53 -- Paul Crompton

Lithium-ion battery recycler facility Li-Cycle has opened a second plant to produce black mass for the battery industry in New York, US.

The Canadian firm’s Spoke 2 facility in Eastman Business Park in Rochester will produce an intermediate mixed battery material product (black mass) from all types of used lithium-ion batteries.

The facility has the capacity to process up to 5,000 tons of lithium-ion batteries per year.

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MoU paves way for residential and small-scale VRFB deployment in Australia

Wed, 09/23/2020 - 12:52 -- Paul Crompton

Australian Vanadium (AVL) has signed two memoranda of understanding (MoU) in the past few weeks to supply vanadium redox flow battery makers with material from its planned Gabanintha Project in the US.

Both MOUs establish off take deals to support deployment of Canadian firm Enerox’s CellCube system and China’s Gui Zhou Collect Energy Century Science and Technology’s vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) on the Austrlaian market.

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Zinc hybrid ESS firm secures 1.5GWh of orders as US states tackle security of supply concerns

Thu, 09/03/2020 - 10:48 -- Paul Crompton

Energy storage system maker Eos Energy Storage has received 1.5GWh of orders for its zinc hybrid cathode battery systems in two US states.

The systems will be manufactured in Pittsburgh, US, by Hi-Power— the firm’s joint venture manufacturing facility co-owned with Holtec International.

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