Battery Energy has approximately twenty-five years of experience in manufacturing gel lead–acid batteries that use technology developed in collaboration with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Using a unique ‘in-jar formation process’, the products are manufactured in a cost-effective manner with a deliberately extended cycle-life. This strategy has proven highly successful over many years of field operation under Australia’s harsh conditions, thereby demonstrating that highly competitive gel products can be manufactured for a modest capital expenditure.
This presentation contrasts gel to other battery types. Topics include a comparison between (i) absorptive glass microfibre (AGM) and gel, (ii) different gel manufacturing processes, (iii) controlling thixotropy, and (iv) plate form-factor (flat vs tubular). We also present specific research and development efforts that have led to a demonstrable improvement in gel technology. Finally, using Battery Energy’s in jar formation method, we will discuss the cost of energy storage over the life of the gel battery, taking into account depth-of-discharge, cycle-life, and manufacturing costs.
Dr David Brown has over 45 years working with batteries. After obtaining his first degree and PhD he spent 4 years doing postdoctoral research in Germany and France. He then moved to Lucas Research Centre, heading a large EV team, involving Ni/Zn/Cd technology. This was followed by Technical Manager for Besco batteries in Australia, then setting up Battery Energy in 1987 to manufacture industrial lead acid batteries. He has remained with the company, currently as a consultant, responsible for all technical developments, including advanced gel technology with CSIRO and setting up of production in China under licence.
Russell Newnham has been a chief scientist at Electric Applications Incorporated (EAI) since 2013 and oversees the application, development and testing of battery energy storage. Prior to this, he was at Electric Transportation Applications where he developed battery technologies for remote-area power-supply systems, electric vehicles, and hybrid-electric vehicles. He was also a technical manager at the NorthStar Battery Company in 2004-2005, and before this a scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) researching batteries for 17 years. He earned his Ph.D. and Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry from Monash University in 1988 and 1982, respectively.