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California becomes first state to introduce energy storage targets

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 16:54 -- Anonymous
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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has authored a proposed decision to install 1.325GW of energy storage across the state by 2020. Commissioner Carla Peterman has set out year-by-year procurement targets for Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E).

The installed energy storage can come from any type of technology and can be employed for a variety of functions such as capacity, ancillary services and peak shaving.

PG&E and SCE are each required to install 580 MW of capacity and SDG&E must acquire 165 MW in total by 2020. The utilities would be allowed to own some of the energy storage capacity as part of their distribution system planning process.

This is the first time energy storage has been included in a State policy, supporters hope it will create a market for electrical energy storage solutions. There has been opposition to the proposal from stakeholders, including generator set trade representatives, who believe electricity storage suppliers should compete in the capacity market with other technologies rather than being prioritised in such a way.

The first installations of capacity must be no later than December 2014.

Lithium-ion goes sub-marine

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 14:35 -- Anonymous
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General Atomics of San Diego has supplied lithium-ion batteries to the US Navy for use in mini-submarine prototypes. The mini-subs will be used to transport Navy SEALs in covert combat swim missions.

The contract, worth US$12.5M, was awarded to the battery manufacturer from the Naval Surface Warfare Centre to supply prime power aboard the submersible vehicles.

General Atomics has experience in nuclear and alternative energy, electromagnetic aircraft launch and recovery systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles that rely on battery power.

Ground broken at Europe’s biggest battery park

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 12:51 -- Anonymous
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Caspar Baumgart, Thomas Paetzold, Erwin ring Selle, Jürgen Becker, Angelika Gramkow, Clemens Triebel (left) at the groundbreaking ceremony
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Construction has begun on the site to house Europe’s largest commercial battery park. German utility company WEMAG and Berlin-based renewables expert, Younicos, have begun working on the site that is due to be online in September 2014.

The site in Schwerin, northern Germany, will house a 5MWh battery to offset short-term power fluctuations from renewable energy sources to assist with stabilising grid frequency. Samsung SDI is supplying the lithium-ion cells with an assurance of 20 years performance guaranteed.

This is part of a Germany-wide effort to increase the use of renewable energy to lessen the dependence on fossil fuel and nuclear-generated electricity.

See the full report in the Summer issue of BEST magazine (issue 41) to read more about the Younicos and WEMAG project. 

Tesla gets Samsung onboard to ramp up production

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 12:05 -- Anonymous
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The Model S goes global
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Tesla Motors is ramping up production of the Model S with the anticipation of sales reaching 21,000 in 2014. The EV manufacturer has sought out a secondary supplier of lithium-ion batteries; Samsung SDI has been announced, alongside existing supplier Panasonic.

The diversification of battery supplier shows that Tesla is confident the Model S will continue to sell in high numbers, that it is strengthening its battery supply to meet the expected numbers. Tesla is testing Samsung SDI’s batteries before the deal is confirmed.

Concurrently, a European Tesla plant has opened in Tilburg, Netherlands, to assemble cars from US-made components for the European market.

Tool from EnerSys gives insight into battery performance history

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 11:54 -- Anonymous
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Battery giant EnerSys has introduced a service-reporting tool called the Service Activity Report Management (SARM) system, which allows the company to maintain a full service profile and audit trail for its complete range of Hawker batteries and chargers for motive power applications.

Information logged on to the system during installation and service visits can be analysed to prepare detailed reports and identify maintenance trends. The SARM system gives EnerSys insight into the maintenance of its Hawker batteries and chargers in the material handling and motive power markets. It collects and records service-related information that can be made available to customers who require verification of compliance with procedures and maintenance for key performance indicator reports.

Data relating to a battery or charger is entered into SARM at commissioning and at maintenance or service sessions using unique product details to provide a complete profile of the product’s service history. The system can be accessed online to allow field engineers to update information form any location. 

NOHMs to create 162 jobs with US$5.3m lithium-sulphur battery facility in Kentucky

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 11:15 -- Anonymous
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NOHMs Technologies Inc. has chosen Lexington, Kentucky to locate a US$5.3m research, manufacturing and product development facility for military, cell phone and electric vehicle lithium-sulphur batteries.

The company, which plans to create up to 162 jobs will utilise the Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Centre and the University of Kentucky’s Spindletop Administration Building.  

Founded in October 2010, NOHMs Technologies has developed a battery based on lithium-sulphur chemistry. The company’s vision is to commercialise lithium-sulphur battery technology to allow mass commercialisation of electric vehicles.

Nathan Ball, CEO of NOHMs, said: “This move will enable our company to take the next step fully to develop and commercialise our products across a variety of markets.”

Dr. Tony Hancock, executive director of the Kentucky-Argonne Center said: “NOHMs has a game-changing technology in the battery industry, and by using the world-class facilities and equipment at Kentucky-Argonne, NOHMs will be able to produce prototype quantities for testing this new technology.

“We are actively recruiting other companies such as NOHMs to move to Kentucky, use this facility and help make Kentucky the centre for battery technology.”

US funds prototype of rechargeable 'nanoelectrofuel' flow battery for EVs

Wed, 09/04/2013 - 11:52 -- Anonymous
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Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) has received a US$3.4M award from the US Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) to develop flow battery technology aimed at doubling the current range of electric vehicles (EV).

IIT and Argonne National Laboratory will develop a prototype for a rechargeable "nanoelectrofuel" flow battery that may extend the range of EVs to at least 500 miles and provide a straightforward and rapid method of refuelling. Current EV ranges are 100-200 miles, with recharging taking up to eight hours.

Flow batteries, which store chemical energy in external tanks instead of within the battery container, are generally low in energy density and therefore not used for transportation applications.

The IIT-Argonne nanoelectrofuel flow battery concept will use a high-energy density "liquid" with battery-active nanoparticles to dramatically increase energy density while ensuring stability and low-resistance flow within the battery.

The IIT award is one of 22 projects across the country awarded a total of $36 million through the ARPA-E’s Robust Affordable Next Generation EV Storage (RANGE) programme, which seeks to develop innovative EV battery chemistries, architectures and designs.

Japan invests in energy storage

Tue, 09/03/2013 - 11:49 -- Anonymous
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Large-scale energy storage
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Japanese battery development companies NGK Insulators and Sumitomo Electric Industries are working with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to find ways of driving down the costs of energy storage within the country.

Up to 75% of funding for the separate development projects will come from the government, for which 2.7 billion yen has been set aside this year. Funding will continue until 2018, however if progress is not satisfactory the companies may be asked to repay part of the subsidies.

The government is pushing energy storage development to bolster grid power and compensate for intermittent energy from renewable sources. Within the next seven years, the Japanese government wants to cut the installation cost of energy storage systems connected to renewable sources to below US$234 per kWh. 

At present, NGK, manufacturer of sodium-sulphur batteries, has production costs of 40 000 yen (US$402) per kWh, which the company is working to reduce. Sumitomo Electric of Osaka, developer of vanadium storage batteries, does not have a commercial product.

Reclassification of portable batteries gives threshold to UK recyclers

Thu, 08/22/2013 - 15:06 -- Anonymous
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The EU is to re-classify portable batteries with a single weight threshold of 3Kg to overcome discrepancies in portable and industrial battery classifications for recycling.

Recycling targets introduced in the UK in 2010 to increase recycling of portable batteries have been skewed by the inclusion of larger batteries. Collectors have included automotive and industrial lead-acid batteries in the targets, which bump up numbers.

The grey area surrounds the definition of a portable battery: anything over 10kg is industrial, under 4kg is considered portable but between these two figures producers can decide whether it is classed as portable or industrial.

This lack of clarity meant larger lead-acid batteries – that are already widely recycled – were included with the collections. In 2012, 3 000 tonnes of portable lead-acid batteries were on the market but 9 000 tonnes were reported as being collected as waste. The discrepancy of 6 000 tonnes means the recycling figures lose all credibility.

The EU has a portable battery-recycling target of 45% for 2016; to meet this in the UK will require double the current collection rate.

Batteries that are now classified as non-portable will continue to be recycled at exceptionally high rates in the UK, as in the rest of Europe. 

Tim Probert - New Editor

Tue, 08/13/2013 - 12:07 -- Anonymous

New Editor Tim Probert will be arriving to take the helm of BEST magazine from September. With many years experience reporting in the energy field, including as Editor of Critical Power magazine and online, Tim is an ideal candidate to take over at BEST as Gerry Woolf takes the full time role of Publisher. Tim will bring new insight to the magazine and a refreshed angle from industry events, of which Gerry has become a veteran.


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