Presentations

We will be updating the list of presentation topics and abstracts as sessions are approved by the Technical Program Committee.

MOLECULAR REBAR®: Advanced Pb-Acid Batteries Enabled – Next Generation Solutions for EFB Batteries and Beyond

The rapid adoption of e-Vehicles is challenging the micro/mild-hybrid internal combustion engine (ICE) market through demanding the batteries involved to do more, for less cost. The lead–acid battery industry must embrace these challenges and drive innovation forward and faster to increase charge-acceptance and develop more robust high-temperature durability, all the while balancing cranking performance, capacity, and water loss. Black Diamond Structures, LLC and their partners are enabling battery manufacturers to lead this charge by offering New Solution which complements our unique MOLECULAR REBAR® technology with an expander package specifically designed to maximize the best facets of the technology. New Solution, co-developed with Addenda, took years to develop and delivers industry-leading performance compared with other commercially available negative active-mass packages. New Solution provides; (i) AGM-level performance from an EFB design under the Volkswagen’s challenging Regenerative Ability test, (ii) 85% improvement to micro-cycling durability by eliminating materials utilization non-uniformity and stratification, (iii) heightened cranking performance, (iv) improvements to other key OEM-specified parameters ― while retaining a W4 water-loss rating. New Solution combined with MOLECULAR REBAR® in a custom-developed, synergizing expander package manufactured by Addenda provides advanced battery performance for less than 1–3% of total battery manufacturing costs.

Dr Paul Everill Chief Technology Officer, Black Diamond Structures, LLC, USA

Paul Everill holds a PhD from Tufts University. As the Chief Technology Officer for Black Diamond Structures, LLC, he oversees Lead–Acid and Lithium-ion product development, intellectual property management, and crucial technology partnerships.

Closing Panel Session – ‘Ask us Anything’

Closing panel session of industry experts. This ‘Ask us Anything’ style panel session will see our panel of experts answer every and any question you have.

Submit a Question

One-on-One Chat – ‘The life and times of a lead analyst’

Join our exclusive chat with two eminent lead market forecasters – Neil Hawkes, CRU, and Farid Ahmed, Wood Mackenzie.

Mr Doug Lambert Vice President of Sales and Technology, Wirtz Manufacturing Company, Inc., USA

Joined Oldham Batteries (Denton, Manchester, UK) in February 1977, and now with over 44 years of experience in the lead-acid battery industry; working for battery manufacturers, battery manufacturing equipment suppliers, and 12 years as a specialist lead-acid product and process consultant, is currently;

Vice President of Sales and Technology, for WIRTZ Manufacturing Company Inc., Port Huron, Michigan, USA (having re-joined WIRTZ in August 2011 as Technology Manager, and accepting the VP role in October 2012).

Mr Neil Hawkes Principal Analyst, Base Metals, CRU, United Kingdom

Neil has been responsible for CRU’s lead market analysis for over 30 years.  As a recognised authority on lead, he is a regular speaker at conferences and has also undertaken research in more specific lead industry topics from time to time.

Mr Farid Ahmed Principal Analyst Lead Markets, Wood Mackenzie Ltd, UK

Farid Ahmed has spent his entire career in the metals industry. After a period in production and technical roles, he transitioned into the commercial world of lead where he combined his specialist background with the wider business needs of a technical and commodity-based product.  In 2005, he founded a business consultancy focusing on the metals industry and on lead in particular. Farid joined Wood Mackenzie in 2105 as Principal Analyst Lead Markets.

One-on-One Chat – ‘A look into the future’

Hear the insights and directions of the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) from their Director, Alistair Davidson and his team.

Mr Doug Lambert Vice President of Sales and Technology, Wirtz Manufacturing Company, Inc., USA

Joined Oldham Batteries (Denton, Manchester, UK) in February 1977, and now with over 44 years of experience in the lead-acid battery industry; working for battery manufacturers, battery manufacturing equipment suppliers, and 12 years as a specialist lead-acid product and process consultant, is currently;

Vice President of Sales and Technology, for WIRTZ Manufacturing Company Inc., Port Huron, Michigan, USA (having re-joined WIRTZ in August 2011 as Technology Manager, and accepting the VP role in October 2012).

Dr Alistair Davidson Director, Consortium for Battery Innovation

Dr Alistair Davidson is Director of CBI, managing all the consortium’s work programs. Alistair attended the University of Oxford and obtained a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. He has lectured at both Washington State University, USA and the University of Chongqing, China.

Dr Matt Raiford Senior Technical Manager, Consortium for Battery Innovation, USA

Matthew Raiford earned his Ph. D. in Chemistry from University of Texas at Austin in 2014.  Afterwards, he worked at RSR Technologies focused on materials development in active materials for lead–acid batteries.  Matt joined CBI in 2019.  As Senior Technical Manager he oversees the CBI technical program and other projects.  Matt is focused on improving dynamic charge acceptance and energy throughput of lead–acid batteries and is working with national labs, universities, and the  industry.

Dr Carl Telford Research & Innovation Manager, Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI)

Carl Telford has over 20 years experience in strategic research, consulting, and R&D. He is an expert in futures thinking, road mapping, and facilitation. In his career to date, Carl has helped major public and private organisations across the world develop strategies, with particular experience in the automotive, off-highway, energy and infrastructure, and chemicals and materials sectors. His academic background includes a PhD in materials engineering.

Grid Energy Storage Performance Improvement Using Controlled Overcharge

Electric Applications Incorporated (EAI) has reported the effect of combining a novel means of minimizing overcharge with a high-level partial state-of-charge (PSoC) operation.  Commercially available pure-lead AGM 12V-monoblocs were operated in the laboratory under ambient temperature conditions, using a condensed time profile, and simulating BESS operation in applications such as load-levelling or peak-shaving.  The overcharge delivered to the monoblocs was reduced to an extremely low level so that the batteries were effectively operating under PSoC conditions with a high, top SoC level.  Using this methodology, the normal equalization process associated with PSoC duty was no longer required, the lifetime energy throughput of the monobloc was improved and the charging times were significantly reduced.  EAI conducting work funded by the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) is investigating the application of this minimum-overcharge/high level PSoC methodology (controlled overcharge protocol) to lead–acid technologies other that pure-lead AGM (such as gel and thick plate, non-carbon enhanced AGM products) with similar life-extending benefits.  EAI is also investigating if this controlled overcharge protocol can be effectively applied to the multiple parallel strings of numerous series-connected cells that are required to provide the capacity of a typical BESS.  This presentation summarizes work to date in this CBI research program, including test methodology, current test results and serial/parallel string limitations.

Mr Tyler Gray Director, Projects Management, Electric Applications Incorporated, United States

Tyler Gray is an electrical engineer and has over ten years of experience in evaluation and testing of electric vehicles and battery systems. In his role as Director, Projects Management at EAI Tyler develops certification plans and test protocols to qualify battery systems to industry standard safety requirements and life safety code requirements.

Development of Multi Panel Stamped Grid Plate Technology for Motor Cycle and small UPS Valve-Regulated Lead–Acid Batteries

Two-wheeler (Motor Cycle & Scooter) automotive and small UPS valve-regulated lead-acid batteries are among the fastest growing and competitive markets in the world, especially in India and other Asian countries.  Serving this demanding requirement is a challenge in terms of an environment-friendly manufacturing technology, low battery weight, improved process consistency, product reliability, and scale-up.  To meet current and future customer requirements, Amara Raja Batteries Limited (ARBL) has designed and developed ‘Multi Panel Stamped Grid Plate’ technology for an improved two-wheeler automotive battery.  The technology involves strip making with a cold rolling process to create a fine grain structure (to improve corrosion resistance) followed by innovative high-speed, multi-panel grid stamping and pasting.  Continuous production, minimal scrap, improved process capability and high-speed panel cutting are among the important new features.  The presentation will discuss the key challenges in achieving the successful commercialization of the new technology, for example, the prevention of plate damage during bunching and stacking at high run rates.  ARBL believes that this new development will enhance the capability and sustainability of lead‒acid batteries when compared with competitive battery chemistries.

Mr Senthil Kumar P Deputy General Manager, Technology, Amara Raja Batteries Limited, India

Senthil Kumar. P.  has spent 20 years with Amara Raja Batteries.  He has held various responsibilities in Engineering, Research & Product Testing of industrial and automotive lead‒acid batteries. Currently, he is the Head of Process Engineering and  Deputy General Manager of Technology.

Advanced Tubular Gel Batteries for Residential Energy Storage and Solar Applications

For many years, AGM VRLA batteries were being used widely in South & South-East Asia and Africa for back-up energy storage and domestic solar applications.  Although being a maintenance-free system, the battery technology gave insufficient cycle life to satisfy the needs of its users.  Consequently, Luminous Power Technologies has developed an efficient Tubular Gel VRLA battery of robust reliability by means of (i) a balanced gel recipe, (ii) an optimum plate alloy and separator combination, (iii) a customized process.  The maintenance-free feature provides relief from watering and the gelled electrolyte helps to supply consistent back-up power.  Moreover, the cycle life equals that of  tubular flooded batteries and lower gas release renders it safe for installation inside homes.  Performance data obtained from the battery in both the laboratory and the field have demonstrated maintenance free, safe, and consistent performance during lifetime.  The Tubular Gel VRLA battery technology fine-tuned by Luminous Power Technology for deep-cycle applications will play an important role in future sustainable green energy in emerging economies.

Mr Amlan Kanti Das Senior Vice President (Head of Battery Operations, R&D, Projects & Engineering, EHS), Luminous Power Technologies Pvt Ltd, India

Amlan Kanti Das is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering.  He has 25 years of experience in operations, technology management, and product development.  He has worked for Exide Industries Limited, Tata Steel and Gujarat Guardian.  At present, Amlan is a Member of Executive Management Committee of Luminous Power Technologies Pvt Ltd

Powering all our futures

The objective of the LME is always to support its physical and financial communities with the products and services required to manage price risk effectively.  LME has been working closely with the electric vehicle and battery industries to identify and develop risk management solutions that are tailored to their requirements.  This presentation will share such solutions available to LME for EV metals and battery materials.  Metals are an essential enabler of a sustainable future, and as global demand for metals increases so will the expectations on sustainable standards.  This presentation will also give an overview of the LME’s strategy on sustainability and how it will support the metals industry in this aspect.

Mr Edric Koh Head of Corporate Sales, Asia, London Metal Exchange, Singapore

Edric Koh joined the LME in 2014 and is based in its Singapore office, where he is Head of Corporate Sales, Asia. He has over 15 years of experience in commodity price risk management.  Previously, he worked at Mizuho Bank and was responsible for marketing commodity derivatives and advising hedging strategies to corporate customers.

Lead‒acid battery technology evolution and future challenges

Lead‒acid battery performance has steadily improved during the last century through incremental developments that have accelerated in the last two decades due to the important technological evolutions in the automotive sector and, more recently, the increasing demand for energy storage.  After the invention of starved electrolyte/valve regulated lead‒acid (VRLA) batteries, initially through acid (GEL) and later by glass mat absorption (AGM), internal gas-recombination allowed full maintenance free operation.  It was, however, in this century that VRLA batteries became a mass market product ideally suited for both automotive and energy storage applications.  To cope with new requirements such as improved charge-acceptance to recuperate the energy during short charging periods (automotive) or the ability to maintain battery performance at low state-of-charge over  many years of use (energy storage), new versions of the lead‒acid battery have been developed.  Among these technological evolutions, the following advanced designs have been introduced.

  • Thin-Plate VRLA batteries (with sealed inter-cell connectors) that allow precise internal gas pressure control with individual valves, thereby improving gas-recombination efficiency and state-of-charge balance in every cell.
  • Lead‒Carbon electrodes developed by carbon suppliers that enable the battery industry to improve charge-acceptance with new additives or innovative current-collectors.
  • Hybrid capacitors that were originally developed as a capacitor electrode directly connected to the negative plate, but more recently have evolved to a double layer electrode where the external surface of the lead plate is covered with a carbon dispersion.
  • Bipolar plates, a technology still in development but with significantly improved designs that by using new materials (polymer‒lead composites or silicon‒metal coatings) have the potential to eliminate the top lead connectors, thus reducing weight and improving specific energy.

Nevertheless, despite the recent improvements, lead‒acid batteries are facing strong competition from Li-ion technologies in the new booming markets of e-mobility and energy storage.  The traditional markets (automotive and industrial) are still mostly served by lead‒acid, but Li-ion is becoming a strong challenger due to the cost reduction achieved with high volume production for EV applications.  The key to the long-term survival of lead‒acid batteries is the ability of the industry to adapt to the new market requirements with incremental future innovations.  Enhanced Flooded Batteries (EFB) with carbon nanomaterials, either inside the active mass or attached to the separator, are probably the next step to keep lead-acid as the preferred technology in the automotive 12V market which includes the auxiliary batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.  On the other hand, significant performance improvements (and cost reductions) should be achieved to resist the increasing challenge of Li-ion technologies in the industrial markets.  For lead‒acid, focusing on its well-known advantages (safety and sustainability) and with improvement in both recharge ability and cycle-life are the key to retaining some important markets (e.g., Backup systems, Telecoms, Motive Power) that are now at risk.  The presentation will discuss innovations that may help lead‒acid batteries to face these challenges and compete with other advanced technologies.

Dr Francisco Trinidad PhD Electro-Chemistry, Independent Advisor, Spain

Francisco Trinidad holds a PhD from the University of Madrid.  In 1977, he joined Tudor R&D group and was promoted as the Industrial Development Director in 1992.  Following Exide’s acquisition of the company, he became its Research Director in Paris, then the Development Director of Transportation Europe, and more recently the Director of Battery Technology in Exide Europe.

During more than 43 years of experience with several electrochemical systems, he has co- written 25 papers, delivered over 70 presentations at battery conferences, and has 14 international patents.

Observation and Forecast for Lead–Acid Battery Applications and Markets in a Pandemic ‎Era

In 2020, the global lead–acid battery market was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in that sales declined.  In the long-term future, the scale of the automotive market may contract due to the increasing popularity of electric vehicles.  On the other hand, the market for power supply and energy storage is expected to continue to grow.  The presentation will discuss the development and prospects of the main application markets of lead–acid batteries.

Mr Lu (Mark) Hsueh-lung Senior Researcher/Secretary-General, Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)/Taiwan Battery Association, Taiwan

Mark Lu is responsible for research on battery-related industries in Taiwan — from materials, cells, packs, and related applications.  He also looks after the official government statistics of Taiwan’s battery industries, as well as participating in consultations with both the Taiwan government and companies worldwide. From 2010, Mark has served as Secretary-General of the Taiwan Battery Association.

Panel Session

Dr David Rand Honorary Research Fellow, CSIRO, Australia

After completing his PhD at Cambridge in 1969, David joined CSIRO.  In the late 1970s, he formed the CSIRO Novel Battery Technologies Group. With five other scientists, David established the ALABC in 1992 and served as its Manager in 1994.  He is the co-inventor of the UltraBatteryTM. He was CSIRO’s scientific advisor on hydrogen energy until retirement in 2008.  David remains active as an CSIRO Honorary Research Fellow.

China’s lead-acid battery industry

The presentation briefly describes the status of the Chinese market for lead‒acid batteries in 2020, as well as the challenge from lithium batteries.  A detailed analysis of China’s market size and market demand has been undertaken.  The study includes a separate list of both the top manufacturers and the top customers in the different applications such as:  network power, SLI, and motive power.   In addition, there is a focus on the market situation in China from different aspects such as the top manufacturers, annual sales, and exporting status.  Finally, attention is given to the development trend of both the lead‒acid battery and the lithium battery, as well as their respective opportunities in China.

Mr Dong Li Chairman, Leoch International Technology Co., Ltd, China

Dong Li is the founder of Leoch International Technology Co., Ltd (Leoch International).  The Company has established 12 lead‒acid battery factories in China (6) Vietnam (2), Malaysia (2), India (1), Sri Lanka (1),  as well as a lead‒acid battery smelter and a lithium battery factory.  Dong is a Guest Professor of Shanghai University and a Visiting Professor of the Xi’an Engineering University.

 

Grid Energy Storage Performance Improvement Using Controlled Overcharge

Don Karner President, Electric Applications Incorporated

Don Karner holds BSc and MSc degrees from Arizona State University. He spent fifteen years in the electric utility industry as the Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer for the construction and operation of the PaloVerde Nuclear Generating Station. Don is now President of Electric Applications Incorporated in Phoenix, Arizona, that conducts testing of various battery technologies, performs energy-storage application development, and supports battery research and development.

Advanced Tubular Gel Batteries for Residential Energy Storage & Solar Applications

Abstract will be available shortly.

Amlan Kanti Das Senior Vice President – Battery Operations, Research and Development, Luminous Power Technologies (P) Ltd.

Speakers biography will be available shortly.

One-on-One with the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI)

Dr Matt Raiford Senior Technical Manager, Consortium for Battery Innovation, USA

Matthew Raiford earned his Ph. D. in Chemistry from University of Texas at Austin in 2014.  Afterwards, he worked at RSR Technologies focused on materials development in active materials for lead–acid batteries.  Matt joined CBI in 2019.  As Senior Technical Manager he oversees the CBI technical program and other projects.  Matt is focused on improving dynamic charge acceptance and energy throughput of lead–acid batteries and is working with national labs, universities, and the  industry.

Dr Alistair Davidson Director, Consortium for Battery Innovation

Dr Alistair Davidson is Director of CBI, managing all the consortium’s work programs. Alistair attended the University of Oxford and obtained a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. He has lectured at both Washington State University, USA and the University of Chongqing, China.

One-on-One Analysts

Mr Farid Ahmed Principal Analyst Lead Markets, Wood Mackenzie Ltd, UK

Farid Ahmed has spent his entire career in the metals industry. After a period in production and technical roles, he transitioned into the commercial world of lead where he combined his specialist background with the wider business needs of a technical and commodity-based product.  In 2005, he founded a business consultancy focusing on the metals industry and on lead in particular. Farid joined Wood Mackenzie in 2105 as Principal Analyst Lead Markets.

Mr Neil Hawkes Principal Analyst, Base Metals, CRU, United Kingdom

Neil has been responsible for CRU’s lead market analysis for over 30 years.  As a recognised authority on lead, he is a regular speaker at conferences and has also undertaken research in more specific lead industry topics from time to time.

Lead: Fight Fit or Fighting Fat?

Lead–acid has been the dominant battery chemistry for 160 years.  Nevertheless, in the past couple of decades, new technologies – especially lithium-ion – have gained market share and prominence, particularly in terms of performance and perception.  Does the old adage ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ mean that lead’s unassailable position for so many decades stifled development and that this ‘old tech’ is now getting left behind?  Did complacency cause the lead–acid battery industry to get fat on the profits, rather than fit for the fight ahead?  This presentation examines whether the rate of development in modernising lead–acid batteries can bridge the performance gap to lithium-ion, whether lead has any aces up its sleeve left to play, or if it’s trapped against the ropes just waiting for that knock-out punch.

Mr Farid Ahmed Principal Analyst Lead Markets, Wood Mackenzie Ltd, UK

Farid Ahmed has spent his entire career in the metals industry. After a period in production and technical roles, he transitioned into the commercial world of lead where he combined his specialist background with the wider business needs of a technical and commodity-based product.  In 2005, he founded a business consultancy focusing on the metals industry and on lead in particular. Farid joined Wood Mackenzie in 2105 as Principal Analyst Lead Markets.

Operational experience and system modelling of Dual Chemistry Energy Storage Systems

Energy storage is predicted to play an increasing role in next-generation energy systems as countries move towards a renewable future.  From transport electrification to grid-connected projects, a wide range of applications and technologies are currently available on the market or in the research and development stage.  One such area is hybrid storage systems which use technologies with different operational characteristics to obtain an overall improved storage performance.  The first part of this presentation presents the operational history and general performance data for a dual-chemistry energy storage system.  The ADEPT system is a 100kW grid-connected hybrid battery system which uses lead–acid and Li-ion in the same unit connected directly on the DC bus.  The project was commissioned in early 2019 and has been in continuous operation except for a few months break in the second half of 2019.  The general operational pattern has been the charging the system overnight at around 20kW and the discharging it at 100kW maximum inverter power during evening peak hours.  Performance results will be reported and include power and current sharing between the strings, the overall efficiency, and the general behaviour of the two batteries.  The second part of the presentation concerns modelling of the dual battery system with the aim of gaining a better understanding of DC linked hybrid battery behaviour.  Two designs of GS–Yuasa lead–acid batteries (LEV50 and SWL3300) have been tested at the University of Southampton to gather data for modelling purposes.  Pulse discharge and constant-current charge/discharge, at different C rates, were performed.  The resulting equivalent circuit models were used in Matlab/Simulink simulation studies of different lead–acid and Li-ion hybrid battery systems with varying numbers of cells and strings.  This approach was adopted to provide further insights into the behaviour of a given battery and thereby aid the optimisation of its configuration for given applications.

Mr Peter Stevenson Senior Technical Co-ordinator, GS Yuasa Battery Europe Ltd, United Kingdom

Peter Stevenson holds a MA degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge.  He joined Ever Ready Advanced Projects Group in 1979 to develop primary lithium cells and photo-electrochemical devices.  Peter moved to Yuasa Battery UK Ltd in 1985 to manage the development of valve regulated lead–acid products and processes for the European market.  Since 2014, he has focused introducing of GS-Yuasa Li-ion industrial batteries into Europe.

Andrei Dascalu PhD student, University of Southampton

Andrei Dascalu is an electrical engineer interested in the renewable transformation of the current energy systems. He holds a BSc (Hons) and an MSc in energy engineering and has significant experience in low voltage electrical systems design, having delivered various projects across the UK and overseas. He has a multidisciplinary approach in tackling problems which he believes is fundamental to a truly sustainable future. Currently, he works towards a PhD as part of Southampton University Energy Storage Group. His research interests are related to grid-connected battery storage systems.

Powering all our futures

Mr Edric Koh Head of Corporate Sales, Asia, London Metal Exchange, Singapore

Edric Koh joined the LME in 2014 and is based in its Singapore office, where he is Head of Corporate Sales, Asia. He has over 15 years of experience in commodity price risk management.  Previously, he worked at Mizuho Bank and was responsible for marketing commodity derivatives and advising hedging strategies to corporate customers.

Innovation Pathways for Lead–Acid Batteries: The CBI 2019–2022 Technical Program

During the last ten years, a significant increase in lead–acid battery performance has been observed in automotive, stationary, and industrial applications.  New plateaus of service life, reliability, and charge-acceptance have been reached by a renewed focus on innovation in the industry.  The Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) over the last three years has developed a technical programme centred on improving lead–acid battery performance in key markets, mainly 12 V automotive and energy storage system (ESS) applications.  The programme consists of projects across the UK, EU, and USA that are focused on both applied and fundamental science.  This presentation will provide an overview of the CBI technical programme, as well as a summary of the new 2021 roadmap and the market trends influencing CBI research efforts.

Dr Matt Raiford Senior Technical Manager, Consortium for Battery Innovation, USA

Matthew Raiford earned his Ph. D. in Chemistry from University of Texas at Austin in 2014.  Afterwards, he worked at RSR Technologies focused on materials development in active materials for lead–acid batteries.  Matt joined CBI in 2019.  As Senior Technical Manager he oversees the CBI technical program and other projects.  Matt is focused on improving dynamic charge acceptance and energy throughput of lead–acid batteries and is working with national labs, universities, and the  industry.

Lead-Acid Battery Solutions for sub-MWH Energy Storage Systems

The vast majority of small energy storage systems (ESS) are in the range of 5 to 300 KW with a backup that can vary between 2 to 12 h.  For the latter, a well-designed system with lead–acid cells of appropriate quality can provide a robust technical and economical solution.  In rural India, a typical off-grid ‘Microgrid solution’ with a dedicated solar plant has been used to demonstrate such a backup.  This involves a grid-integrated small ESS that serves a limited community of users who experience significant demand fluctuation with peaks arising at around the same time on each day.  The presentation reports the overall economics of the system, both in terms of upfront storage block capex as well as an indicative levelized cost of energy (LCOE).  The key target is to improve the life of present battery technology to 3000-4000 cycles at a given depth-of-discharge.  The options available and the necessary improvements are discussed.  Finally, the role of a ‘Management System’ as opposed to a ‘Monitoring System’ is critically examined.

Dr Dipak Sen Choudhury President, R&D, Exide Industries Limited, India

Dipak Sen Choudhury has a PhD in Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.  He has over 40 years of experience in the energy storage industry.  During this time, he has worked successively with Chloride, Shin Kobe Battery, and East Penn Manufacturing.  Currently, Dipak is the President of R&D of Exide Industries Limited.

GravityGuard™ —An Additive for EFB Technology and Deep-Cycle Applications for Electrolyte Stratification Reduction

BCI 2021 Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz Innovation Award winner

Stratification in lead–acid batteries is almost as old as the technology itself.  As the industry seeks to improve many key features, novel materials can open new pathways.  Hammond Group Inc. has developed an additive in the form of a metal silicate.  This award-winning innovation improves the retention and distribution of H+ ions, thereby combatting stratification when added to the positive and/or the negative active mass.  Alternative battery technologies (gel, AGM) seek to prevent stratification through the immobilization of electrolyte.  Although this approach has improved cycle-life, it comes with a large price tag in both manufacturing and for the consumer, as well as a higher sensitivity to abuse conditions.  The addition of metal silicate to the active material generates micro ‘gel structures’ that have a similar effect as gel electrolyte.  Data is presented that  describes the effects of metal silicate in active material during mixing, after curing, after forming and after cycling.  Laboratory cells (2-V) are used as an indicator of battery performance.  Full-scale test battery results reveal not only a greater reduction in stratification, but also an improvement in cold-cranking and cycling.  Our patent-pending GravityGuard™ product is a novel solution to an age-old problem.

Mr Thomas Wojcinski R&D Chemist, Hammond Group, Inc., USA

Thomas Wojcinski holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Purdue University and is one of Hammond Group’s Research and Development Scientists.  His 16 years of experience in lead-acid battery additive and materials research has involved ALABC–CBI research projects and Hammond product development projects including Treated SureCureTM. Currently,  GravityGuardTM is his first application for a co-patent.

Optimization of grid configuration by investigating its effect on the positive plate of lead–acid batteries via numerical modelling

New applications of lead‒acid batteries involve higher discharge rates during lifetime. Consequently, ohmic voltage losses in current-collecting system become more important.  In this study, 3D numerical modelling methods using COMSOL software have been employed to investigate the effect of grid configuration, lug position, diagonal wire angles and the tapering of wires towards the lug on the performance of the positive plate.  This involved modelling the current and potential distribution through grid wires, active material, and adjacent electrolyte to the surface of each grid.  The six different grid configurations were Conventional Side-lug, Conventional Middle-lug, Diagonal Side-lug, Diagonal Middle-lug, Double-diagonal Side-lug, and Double-diagonal Middle-lug.  Differences in maximum and minimum potential values in each and every model indicated that Double-diagonal Middle-lug grids possess the most uniform potential distribution through the whole grid with just 90 mV difference between the highest and the lowest potential values.

Mr Ali Alagheband Hosseini Technical Manager, Sarv Sanat Toos (SST Co.), Iran

Ali Alagheband Hosseini holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering and MSc in Industrial Engineering.  He is the Technical Manager at SST Co.  In March 2018, Ali also became the Director of the Engineering and R&D Department at NGKH Co., the largest lead‒acid battery manufacturer in the east of Iran.

Improved High-Rate Discharge Process in a Production Line

To ensure reliability, prior to shipment all automotive batteries are subjected to electrical load tests that are performed in accordance with industry accepted standards.  It is essential that the energy discharged from the battery during testing is minimized to avoid the cost and delay associated with recharge.  These basic requirements must be considered when defining the ideal high-rate discharge test process.  Immediately after formation, and preferably after post cleaning, the batteries are discharged at high current for a few seconds.  The voltage under load at the end of test is determined and compared with nominal values to reach a pass/fail decision.  This presentation outlines a new approach to a high-rate discharge (HRD) machine in terms of its assembly, programming flexibility and the ability to discriminate accurately between acceptable and unacceptable batteries.  It will be shown how supplemental evaluation criteria such as Direct Current Internal Resistance (DCR), ACR and a constant current – constant voltage (CCV) discharge curve vs. time can be implemented.  Finally, the presentation demonstrates how the new generation of the HRD machine allows a simplified programming of customized test and evaluation profiles to improve the reliability of the results.  

Mr Michael Wipperfuerth Vice President Sales, CMWTEC Technologie GmbH , Germany

Mr. Michael Wipperfürth graduated 2001 from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Frankfurt am Main as a business economist IHK. For five years he worked as a purchasing manager at CMW Automation GmbH.

In 2006 he took over the sales management of CMW for Asia and Europe.

Mr. Wipperfürth joined CMWTEC TECHNOLOGIE GmbH in 2009 and has since been responsible for worldwide sales and marketing of finishing and forming machines. In June 2021 he was promoted to Vice President Sales.

Energy storage with lead‒acid batteries: can they be cost-effective?

Energy storage using batteries has been established as an effective and efficient way of storing electrical energy both to stabilize electricity networks and to time-shift electricity generation to consumption, especially as more and more electricity is produced from renewable resources which are intrinsically intermittent.  Lead–acid batteries are perfectly adapted to automotive 12 V and industrial standby and traction applications.  Although they are also successfully applied for energy storage both in front of the meter and behind the meter, there is a range of competing technologies, such as Li-ion, sodium‒sulfur and flow batteries, for this service. Lead‒acid  batteries can provide long cycle and calendar lives and have been adapted for shallow cycling applications where the battery is not routinely brought back to a fully-charged condition. Li-ion batteries have advantages in terms of specific energy but for static applications this is not important in the same way as for electric vehicles. Other technologies are also better suited to static service. Safety is an important consideration. Lead‒batteries and flow batteries have aqueous electrolytes which are not flammable whereas Li-ion batteries have organic electrolytes that are flammable. The sustainability of lead‒acid batteries also the advantage of having very high recycling rates. The selection of preferred technology for battery energy storage depends on overall lifetime costs and this will be discussed to show that lead batteries are cost-effective.

Dr Geoffrey May Director, FOCUS Consulting, United Kingdom

Geoffrey May is a metallurgist and a Chartered Engineer first and second degrees  at the University of Cambridge.  He first joined Chloride to work on sodium-sulfur batteries and then on valve-regulated lead‒acid batteries. He moved to Hawker Batteries and became the  Group Director of Technology and then joined FIAMM as Chief Technology Officer.  Finally, he set up his own business — FOCUS Consulting — to provide expert service for battery manufacturers, users and investors.

PowerFill Separator for Advancing Faster Acid-Filling of AGM Lead-Acid Batteries

During recent decades, AGM separators have been progressively developed for VRLA batteries and are used increasingly in Automotive, Telecom/UPS and other Industrial applications.  Hollingsworth & Vose Company (HV) is well recognized as a market leader for AGM separators.  One challenge many customers encounter during AGM battery assembly is slow filling of acid electrolyte into the batteries.  This problem not only slows down the battery assembly speed, but also results in an uneven acid distribution in the plates that potentially causes dry spots on plates and dendrite formation during battery formation.   This presentation shows that a key factor in affecting the acid filling speed is the gas pocket trapped toward the central area of the plate + AGM.  The gaseous species in the pocket are the air and possibly CO2 generated by the reaction of the acid with carbonate species in the plates. Unless these gases are exited out from the battery, they tend to hinder the flow of the acid into the central area.  HV has recently developed the PowerFillTM AGM separator to solve the above issue by modifying its surface to create open channels. With these channels, the gaseous species in the pocket can escape more easily from the battery during the acid filling process, thereby allowing acid to flow quickly into the central area and enabling even acid distribution within the plates and AGM.  The PowerFillTM technology can be applied to various types of AGM, and the resultant separators still retain the same strength and compression retention behaviour of the base AGM.  These and other properties of the PowerFillTM AGM separator, as well as its potential applications, will be discussed in detail.

Zhiping Jiang Chief Scientist, Hollingsworth & Vose, USA

Zhiping Jiang holds a Ph.D in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1990) and MBA from University of Massachusetts at Lowell (2005).  He undertook a two-year’s post-doctoral study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology that involved product and technology development in various areas such as batteries, battery materials and separators, separation materials for Liquid Chromatography. In 2012, Zhiping joined Hollingsworth & Vose Company as the Chief Scientist in the Battery Division.

Alive and kicking – lead no longer the forgotten battery metal?

LME lead prices have recovered well from the depths of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic as it swept around the world.  Alongside the broader ‘macro’ recovery in economic activity lifting all LME metal prices, key ‘micro’ lead industry drivers have also played a part. Lead supplies have struggled to keep up with a strong rebound in lead demand, hit by local production shortfalls, notably in North America and Europe.  All eyes have turned to look for Asian lead to come to the rescue, notably the oversupplied Chinese market. Nevertheless,  having spare lead is one thing, shipping it to where it is needed remains a huge logistical headache.  As well as moving into the shorter-term spotlight, there are also good reasons why it is risky for investors to dismiss the prospects of battery metal lead in the longer-term too. While the current price rally does not signal a new supercycle, lead remains very much ‘alive and kicking’ in the global ‘green’ decarbonisation drive ahead.

Mr Neil Hawkes Principal Analyst, Base Metals, CRU, United Kingdom

Neil has been responsible for CRU’s lead market analysis for over 30 years.  As a recognised authority on lead, he is a regular speaker at conferences and has also undertaken research in more specific lead industry topics from time to time.

Optimization of Paste Formulation for Lead‒Acid Batteries Used for Parking Air-Conditioners in Heavy Duty Trucks

In recent years, a new design of the lead‒acid battery has been introduced  or parking air-conditioners.  The battery offers power for AC service, electric blankets, and other devices on the vehicle. Unlike traditional SLI batteries, they operate  under partial state-of-charge (PSoC) conditions and a high deep-discharge  cycle performance is required.  At present, the products on the China market suffer  a rapid drop in capacity and a short life.   To meet customer’s needs, research conducted by  Jinkeli  has led to optimization of the formulation of both the positive and negative pastes for the parking AC batteries. This development has improved battery charge acceptance and significantly increases cycle-life under low voltage charge and discharge.

Mr Pengfei Cui Product Manager, Jinkeli , China

Pengfei Cui  commenced his career as a research engineer in the lead-battery industry when he joined Fengfan Co., Ltd. as a research engineer in 2005.   After  appointments  with Tianneng and Narada, mainly in product development and technical support,  Pengfei moved to  Jinkeli to conduct  research on battery additives.  This work involved several new product development  projects with  EFBs,  AGM start‒stop batteries and parking air-conditioner batteries.

Carbon fibre electrodes for battery energy storage applications

Energy storage plays a key role in the power management and broader use of renewable energy. The electrochemical battery provides quick charge‒discharge ability and high storage capacity and  therefore is commonly used to store electric power.    Nevertheless, the lead electrode decays with partial state-of-charge /discharge cycling that results in a low battery cycle- life.

This presentation introduces a ‘Thin Plate of Pure Lead’ which is completely bonded with a carbon fibre/cloth bone structure.  This design has been designated as a  ‘carbon fibre electrode’.   Under  special partial state-of-charge/discharge cycling, the Thin Plate of Pure Lead is corroded into lead nanoparticles in deep layers.  These react in equilibrium with the electrolyte during charge/discharge process to form a nanoporous structure.  Carbon fibre electrodes have been used as positive and negative electrodes to form a lead‒acid cell that demonstrates long cycle-life and high rate charge/discharge ability.  The coulombic efficiency is almost 100% without heat loss on 2C-charging and 10C-discharging.

Associate Professor Shu-Huei Hsieh Vice President for Research and Development, National Formosa University/Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Taiwan

Shu-Huei Hsieh established The Nano Material Laboratory (NML) in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the National Formosa University in Taiwan.  By utilizing wet chemistry methods, NML aims to develop low-cost fabrication processes for the mass production of functional carbon materials for energy-storage applications.

The Improvement of Utilization and Durability of Positive Active Materials for Lead-Acid Batteries

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption from the transport sector is a major problem for governments worldwide. For example, the European Commission (EC) has demanded automakers to reduce CO2 emissions by 2030 to 55 % of those in 2021, i.e., to less than 50 g CO2 emissions per 1 km driven.  Furthermore, the EC aims to remove 100 % CO2 emissions by 2035.  These actions require a complete replacement of internal combustion engine vehicles and hybrid vehicles (HEVs) to zero-emission alternatives such as electric vehicles (EVs). Lead–acid batteries in HEVs and EVs are used as auxiliaries unlike conventional SLI and  idle stop-start (ISS) batteries and therefore a reduction in both size and weight is require for improving fuel efficiency. Increasing utilization of the positive active material (PAM) is a key target for cost, size and weight saving. In general, it is well known that PAM subject to a high utilization shows poor durability and thereby  adversely affects the cycle-life of lead–acid batteries. The use of new additives is a promising approach for maximizing the trade-off between utilization and durability of PAM.  This presentation will report the effect of new additives on the characterization, utilization, durability of PAM.

Dr Akihiro Watanabe Research Engineer, The Furukawa Battery Co., Ltd, Japan

Akihiro Watanabe has both a Bachelor of Engineering degree (2011) and a Master of Engineering degree (2013) from Kanagawa University, Japan, as well as a Doctor of Science from Tokyo Institute of Technology (2017)  He joined the Furukawa Battery in 2017 and is now a research engineer in the R&D department.

Assessment of Carbon Black–Organic Expander Interactions on Capacity, Dynamic Charge Acceptance, Cold-Cranking and Partial State-of-Charge Life of Lead‒Acid Batteries

Numerous investigations have demonstrated that the charge acceptance and life of lead–acid batteries in PSoC operation can be improved by the addition of high levels of specialty carbon additives to the negative active material (NAM).  Unfortunately, in some investigations an undesirable increase in water loss and diminished cold-cranking performance occurred at high carbon black and low organic expander pairings.  Increasing the organic expander dosage and use of specialty organic expanders remedied the adverse responses.  These complicated responses warrant a systematic investigation to elucidate the relationship between the carbon black, the organic expander and battery performance.  This presentation concerns an investigation of the interaction of lignosulfonate expanders Vanisperse A and Vanisperse DCA with eight commercially available carbons.  The carbon’s surface-area ranged from 75 m2 g-1 to 1400 m2 g-1.  Whereas, a general correlation was established between the carbon specific surface-area and the effective dose, nonlinearities in lignosulfonate adsorption suggested secondary factors, for example, carbon surface groups or size exclusion due to carbon pore structure might also play a role. Furthermore, given that the relative mass of the lignosulfonates adsorbed varied with the carbon suggested that lignosulfonate structure might also influence adsorption. Subsequent battery tests also revealed strong correlations between effective lignosulfonate dose and battery performance, though again the extents of these correlations were complicated by secondary effects or intrinsic lignosulfonate / carbon synergies.  Nevertheless, it can be concluded that (i) the effective dose of lignosulfonate is contingent on the carbon specific surface-area and (ii) a minimum threshold effective dose of lignosulfonate is necessary to preserve or improve key battery performance metrics.

Mr. Tim McNally Manager Research and Development, Borregaard USA, Inc., USA

Tim McNally joined Borregaard USA, Inc. in 1996 and is the Manager of Research and Development and the Technical Application Manager for Batteries. His group develops innovative organic expander additives to improve cold-cranking, charge acceptance, and high temperature life. He received his M.S. degree in Chemistry in 1987.

Electrolyte and positive active-mass additives to improve the PSoC cycling endurance of automotive lead‒acid batteries

For lead‒acid batteries, the  phenomena and structural changes leading to discharge capacity fading of the positive active-mass (PAM) during partial state-of-charge (PSoC) operation are but scarcely studied.  PAM has a complex structure and charge‒discharge reactions proceed through many elementary processes and phenomena that involve several electrochemically active species and intermediates.  The present study has evaluated these structural changes during PSoC operation of automotive lead‒acid batteries.  In order to improve the cycling performance of the PAM, the effect of adding (i) an inorganic phosphorous-containing substance as to the sulfuric acid electrolyte solution and (ii) a clay mineral substance to the positive plate paste.  The studied materials are natural inorganic substances that are environmentally friendly and widely available at low cost.  PSoC cycling of flooded-type 2 V, 4 Ah test cells at 17.5% DoD provokes considerable changes in degree of crystallinity of the beta-PbO2 phase, the content of the alpha-PbO2 phase, the PAM pore volume and surface area,  as well as the size and shape of individual PbO2 particles.  The two additives are able to suppress and delay the processes that cause deterioration of the PAM discharge performance.  The test cells with the studied additives sustained more than 2 000 cycles.  This performance corresponds to a notable 2-fold improvement in cycle-life compared with the control cells.  Moreover, it compares favourably with the 2022 Key Performance Indicator target for the PSoC endurance of automotive lead‒acid batteries set in the Roadmap of the Consortium for Battery Innovation.

Dr Plamen Nikolov Head of Electrochemical Power Sources Department, Institute of Electrochemistry and Energy Systems-BAS, Bulgaria

Plamen Nikolov is the Head of the Electrochemical Power Sources Department at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.  His recent scientific and technical activities are concentrated on the problems of positive plates in lead‒acid batteries.  Nikolov is co-author of numerous technical papers published in international scientific journals and conference proceedings and has delivered several presentations at prestigious lead‒acid battery forums.

Highly porous leady oxides for next-generation lead‒acid batteries — scalable, sustainable, and advanced materials for future batteries

Ever Resource has scaled up a hydrometallurgical process for the recycling of lead‒acid battery paste.  The process can reduce the carbon footprint of incumbent recyclers by an average of 85% and also cut waste outputs by more than 90%.  Lead in the battery paste burden is converted into a lead organic salt, from which a range of nanostructured leady oxides are produced.  Optimised conditions have been developed for the production of nanostructured alpha-PbO; beta-PbO; Pb2O3 and Pb3O4.  These materials are typically produced with 10‒20% free-Pb, and the process is tailored to produce consistently the ratios of materials sought by the battery manufacturer.

Dr Athan Fox Chief Executive Officer, Ever Resource Ltd, UK

Athan Fox graduated from the University of Cambridge with a PhD in Chemistry.  He then undertook work in patent law and technology transfer that included a period with Cambridge Enterprise Ltd.  Athan is now the CEO of Ever Resource, a circular economy innovator turning waste into feedstock and producing value-added products. The company is funded by the UK Government and the European Commission to scale up novel technologies for the recycling of lead-acid, lithium-ion and alkaline batteries.

Fundamental understanding of the interrelationship of battery separator structures and properties with their electrical and physical performance

Despite the relatively long history of the development and production battery separators, there are still significant opportunities for further investigation towards optimizing separator performance.  For instance, it has been a challenging question to the battery separator industry on how to attain both low electrical resistance and high oxidation resistance simultaneously.  Significant efforts have been made over the years to find the answer.  In reality, these endeavours have only been partially successful in that one property was improved to the detriment of the other.  Microporous have investigated the above problem by using fundamental knowledge of the interrelationship of composite structure to properties of the separators.  Because the separators are composites of multiple constituents such as ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, silica, oil, rubber, etc., their properties are not a linear function governed by a single factor, but rather by a multi-variable question affected by many factors, e.g., pore characteristics, polymer rheology and surface chemistry. Through a systematic approach, it was found that the chemical, electrical and mechanical properties of separators are largely affected by their microstructures.  The variables include the composition of the constituents, processing conditions, etc.  This presentation introduces a new separator product — CellForce® HT — of which the microstructure of the separator is engineered to accomplish low electrical resistance as well as enhanced oxidation resistance.  This product is the most recent outcome of  continuous efforts toward innovative battery separators, which are designed to exceed the market requirements of automotive EFB applications.

Dr Sunho Choi Technical Manager, Microporous, United States

Sunho Choi is a technical manager within the R&D department of Microporous LLC, and is in charge of imparting fundamental materials engineering and membrane process expertise to stage gate product and process development during the design and implementation phase of new projects. Before he joined Microporous LLC, he previously worked at Northeastern University as Assistant Professor, after doing his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota and the postdoc at Georgia Tech. He is currently enhancing and developing further Microporous’ portfolio of technical separator products using his fundamental understanding of membrane technology and 17 years of R&D experience,