Battery Scientists Prepare to Boost Power and Lifetime of Advanced Lead Batteries

Battery Scientists Prepare to Boost Power and Lifetime of Advanced Lead Batteries
Published: 16 October 2019 - 3:05 p.m.
By: Baset Asaba

Researchers have unveiled a program designed to produce high performance batteries in the United States (U.S.) for renewables energy storage and improved hybrid electric cars. The Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) has published the program in an innovation roadmap for advanced lead batteries which sets out research priorities for the next three years.

U.S. members of the Consortium, which include battery manufacturers, universities and research institutes, are working together on pre-competitive research to fast-track innovation. Q1 2019 saw 148.8 MW deployed by the U.S.

energy storage market, a massive 232% increase from the same period last year. The Consortium anticipates this growth record to set an upward trend in demand for battery energy storage.

The U.S. will need a range of battery technologies - including lithium and advanced lead batteries – if energy storage demand is to be met. The Consortium expects to see growth in battery energy storage in four key sectors including:

  • Renewable energy integration: supporting smart grids and remote area power supplies

  • Energy storage for homes: unlocking residential local area power systems

  • Energy storage for commercial and industrial premises: supporting power grids in factories and other commercial premises.

  • Transmission and distribution reserves: providing back up energy storage at grid level.

The plans outlined in the innovation roadmap will also help car-makers accelerate the roll out of start-stop and micro-hybrid vehicles, aiming to increase the dynamic charge acceptance of lead batteries by storing more of the energy created when a car brakes.

More than 275 million cars and trucks in the U.S. utilize lead batteries. And U.S. members of the Consortium aim to boost the lifetime of advanced lead batteries used to store energy generated by renewables by increasing cycle life and performance at partial state-of-charge. This would give them an increased cycle life of up to 5 times.

Dr. Alistair Davidson, director of the Consortium for Battery Innovation, said: “We’ve designed our research program to help meet rapidly growing demand for battery energy storage – from cars to renewable energy. That means designing longer-lasting batteries with more sophisticated technology. It’s important that we create the right conditions for battery manufacturers to innovate and expand in the U.S.”

Dr. Tim Ellis, president of RSR Technologies and chairman of CBI added: “There is no doubt that in the U.S. we will need to support a range of battery technologies to meet the needs of diverse products and applications. One of the great advantages of lead batteries is that we’re only now beginning to unlock the full potential of the technology.”

U.S. members of the Consortium include the leading players in the lead battery value chain, including battery manufacturers, lead producers, recyclers and industry suppliers.

The Consortium also partners with prestigious research institutes and universities at the forefront of lead battery research such as the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, UCLA and Missouri University of Science & Technology.

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