Issue One 2017
Automotive OEMS and lead-acid battery makers are accelerating a new collaborative work programme to ensure the next generation of energy storage systems meet car market needs in a two-year time frame.
Car makers and ALABC give boost to advanced automotive batteries
The trade-off between between charging performance and high-temperature durability in lead batteries was thoroughly discussed during a technical workshop in Kolster, Eberbach, Germany, with over 70 participants, organised by the European standardization committee CENELEC, Aachen University battery chair (Professor Sauer), and Ford's European research center.
As a result, car makers will now work closely on this topic with the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC), a global product driven pre-competitive research organisation focused on improving the performance of lead batteries for both automotive and energy storage applications.
Dr Eckhard Karden, of Ford, Aachen said: “This was a highly successful meeting. A lot of good information was shared. Lead-acid has a lot of advantages in terms of robustness, maturity and cost. I’m pleased developments are speeding up.
“Many companies have different testing standards for the next generation 12-volt automotive batteries and we should harmonise on these. Agreed standards result in more efficient development processes, faster product innovation and reduced costs all round.”
Dr Alistair Davidson of ALABC said: “The Consortium is happy to work even more closely with the car industry to accelerate the development of the technology for the micro hybrid market. I am convinced that the advanced lead–acid battery consortium has a vital role to play in furthering the science that underpins this work.
“The test standardization includes harmonizing methods for determining water loss, dynamic charge acceptance, and start-stop cycle durability — the key feature which has made micro hybrids the most successful electrified cars, accounting for more than 60 % of the European car fleet.”
ALABC has strong presence at AABC Europe
ALABC attracted a lot of interest to its eye-catching stand at the recent Advanced Automotive Battery Conference, in Mainz, Germany, where it also gave a presentation. More than a dozen scientists from research institutes and battery firms all over Europe presented their findings on lead battery enhancements in a conference track dedicated to lead technology.
It was an excellent platform for ALABC to communicate its key messaging regarding the benefit of using of advanced lead batteries in 12V and 48V automotive applications to car the companies present.
Dr Boris Monahov, ALABC Program Manager, said: “We are just beginning to understand the interaction between lead and carbon at the molecular level using new investigative analytical techniques. These are going to yield even greater performance improvements in the next few years…lead is far from dead.”
Submission made to European Horizon 2020 Project
In conjunction with a number of companies ALABC has been involved in a submission to the European Commission on a call for projects under the European Horizon 2020 Project under the heading Highly efficient hybrid storage solutions for power and heat in residential buildings and district areas, balancing the supply and demand conditions.
The project objective is to show the benefits of using battery energy storage associated with renewables in residential buildings. The companies involved include system designers, engineers and renewable companies.
The project will focus on hybrid solutions e.g. a combination of lead and lithium batteries to ensure optimum performance, cost and lifetimes. It is expected that the EC will decide on project funding in Q3 2017. If this project were awarded by the EC, a grant would be awarded to ALABC, and there would be no cost to the membership.
This would be an excellent project for ALABC to be involved with, and as with the UoM project, would fit in well with the new technical communications program. Once again any lessons learnt about the performance of lead batteries in this project will be shared with all members and has the potential to be used to determine the future direction of ALABC R&D.
An ALABC member has already confirmed interested, but battery manufacturing members will be contacted if a grant is obtained to ascertain whether there is further interest.
Three ALABC technical workshops in 2017
ALABC will hold three technical workshops in 2017 in Asia, Europe and North America, aimed at discussing key areas for improvement for lead batteries.
The topic of each workshop will be specific to the major application in each region. The purpose of each workshop identify the key areas for research that would be expected to result in improved lead battery performance. A white paper of the workshops be developed after each meeting.
Workshop one: Hangzhou, China, 21 February
In conjunction with ALABC Chinese members the meeting will be hosted by Narada Batteries and will focus on deep discharge batteries. Further details available from Boris Monahov and Anita Wright at ALABC.
Workshop two: Varna, Bulgaria, 12 June
Held the day before the LABAT Conference this workshop will be jointly organised with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The focus will be on batteries for start-stop vehicles and 12V/48V mild hybrids, as well as batteries for renewable energy storage. In addition, the 2017 ALABC Members and Contractors Meeting will take place the day before on 11 June.
Workshop three: North Carolina, USA (late Oct/early Nov TBC)
This workshop will focus on storage batteries for grid support, as well as batteries for start-stop vehicles. Further information will be provided later in the year.