Pace of innovation and sold-out lead battery conference shows the strength of the industry
Innovation in lead batteries is continuing rapidly as the industry adapts to changing energy storage markets, said Andy Bush, managing director of the International Lead Association (ILA).
Dr Andy Bush spoke today on the eve of the 15th European Lead Battery Conference (13-16 September), in Valletta, Malta, where 700 delegates from 50 countries have gathered to discuss the latest technical innovations in lead batteries for use in applications ranging from micro and mild hybrid vehicles to renewable energy storage and motive and traction power.
He said: “Lead batteries are an astonishingly successful product and remain by far the most popular rechargeable battery worldwide due to their unique combination of performance, low cost, safety and recycling record. As long as the lead battery maintains these outstanding abilities it will continue to have a bright future.”
Dr Bush also cited recent significant announcements illustrating the industry’s commitment to investing in lead batteries:
East Penn Manufacturing and RSR – Have announced a new collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory to use Argonne’s state-of-the-art analytic technologies to accelerate research on lead batteries.
Ecoult – The Australian company has developed an UltraBattery®-based 20 kW UltraFlex system for off-grid and dual-purpose applications (incorporating renewable self-consumption, diesel cycling and UPS) and has already achieved consistent fuel savings for its off-grid clients in the order of 50% or more.
Exide Technologies – The European company announced the launch of its next-generation maintenance-free TENSOR xGEL lead traction batteries, which exhibit high-power, increased energy efficiency and the ability for rapid recharge.
Johnson Controls - Recently announced an investment of $445 million to boost production of its absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries worldwide. The investment includes $245 million to double AGM output in North America by the year 2020 and $200 million to build a new battery plant in China.
Moura – The Brazilian company is building a new $65m facility to increase its lead battery production capacity by 40% and announced its enhanced flooded batteries have achieved significant cycle life testing results at the Akkuteam battery testing lab in Germany, where its AGM batteries will be tested later this year.
Narada Power Source – In the continuation of an ALABC-sponsored project, Chinese member Narada was able to boost the number of successful power-assist cycles for their lead batteries in hybrid port cranes and elevators from 700 to over 26,000 showing that advanced VRLA batteries are an excellent power source for these emerging applications.
In addition, a new three-year multi-million dollar pre-competitive research program announced by the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (more than 70 member companies worldwide) will focus on further improving lead battery performance in automotive and industrial energy storage applications.
For further information contact: Bob Tolliday, ILA Communications Manager, tel: +44 (0) 20 7833 8090
Notes to editors
The International Lead Association is the trusted global trade association for the lead industry and its member companies are at the forefront of the mining, smelting, refining and recycling of lead. ILA represents the producers of about 3 million tonnes of lead. The association is working towards a vision of a sustainable global lead industry that is recognised for the positive contribution it makes to society.
ILA takes a leadership role in promoting responsible care and educating society about the benefits of lead for today’s and future generations. Recent studies have shown that lead-based batteries achieve a recycling rate of 99% in the EU and USA.
With offices in the UK and USA, ILA provides a range of technical, scientific and communications support for member companies, downstream users and the wider lead industry. ILA also supports the development of lead-based batteries through the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium which manages the research, development and promotion of lead batteries for markets such as hybrid electric vehicles, start-stop automotive systems and grid-scale energy storage applications. www.ila-lead.org
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