Delegates at the 15th European Lead Battery Conference (15ELBC) heard how groundbreaking innovation and the unique advantages of lead batteries as an enabling technology can open up future energy storage markets for lead batteries.
The sold-out conference, in Valletta, Malta, (13-16 September) had a record attendance of more than 800 participants from 52 countries across the globe and 100 exhibition stands.
Bringing together all those involved in the development, production and use of lead batteries the programme explained the latest technical advances that help make lead batteries the lowest cost and most sustainable energy storage solution.
In his keynote address Bob Flicker, of East Penn Manufacturing, said that innovation had revitalised lead battery technology in the past 20 years thanks to the efforts of the industry and the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium, improving durability, manufacturability, safety and reducing environmental impact.
He added: ‘Lead batteries have a strong past and an optimistic future. The new generation batteries will be an enabling technology for hybrid electric vehicles, smart grids, renewable energy storage and other potential markets.’
Speakers from outside the industry also backed this outlook, including Eckhard Karden, of Ford, Germany, who said that lead batteries still had an important role to play in automotive applications. While Luis Munuera, of the International Energy Agency, described how in electricity storage ‘batteries can play a very valuable role in system operation and managing network bottlenecks'.
Addressing how lead batteries could keep their advantage in the market place Christian Rosenkranz, of JCI, Germany, said it was necessary to look beyond the chemical properties of energy storage applications and ensure that all socio-economic and environmental impacts, such as recycling, are considered as well. ‘Lead battery technology due to its performance, robustness and infinite recyclability remains very attractive,’ he added.
And Doug Lambert, of Wirtz Manufacturing, called for the concept of lead batteries as a zero environmental emissions storage solution across its entire life cycle.
The next European Lead Battery Conference will now take place in Vienna, Austria, 4-7 September, 2018.
15ELBC Conference Secretariat:
International Lead Association
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7833 8090