15 March 2021

Boom in utility energy storage demand drives advanced battery research

Boom in utility energy storage demand drives advanced battery research

NEWS RELEASE - 15 March 2021

DURHAM, N.C. – March 15, 2021 - As part of the new suite of energy storage research projects launched by the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI), Hammond Group Inc. and East Penn Manufacturing have teamed up to meet the needs of the utility storage market.

Increased demand for energy storage in the utility sector has resulted in a broad spectrum of application developments for advanced batteries, with the global grid-scale stationary battery market predicted to exceed $40 Billion by 2030.

We are in the age of the battery. From frequency regulation where electricity grids are provided with higher levels of stability, to residential demand reduction to manage the cost of energy use, there is an extraordinary demand for batteries. By increasing flexibility in power systems, energy storage batteries are fundamental for the integration of renewable energy into the grid.

Enqin Gao, Chief Engineer of R&D, observes the voltages of battery cells during the PSoC Cycling test in Hammond Group's state-of-the-art lead battery lab.

From North America and Europe to Asia, advanced lead batteries are being used by utilities to provide critical energy storage needs. And as a technology always innovating, the ground-breaking research collaboration with Hammond and East Penn will directly feed into market demand by studying vital electrode components in lead batteries to explore how they impact new performance needs.

For utility companies switching to batteries for storage, the key technical parameters required are enhanced cycle life and high performance at energy storage system duty cycles. For energy storage system applications, lead batteries are utilized at both partial-state-of-charge (PSoC) and in high depth-of-discharge (DOD), a demanding profile for any battery technology.

One of the key ways lead battery performance has been enhanced over its 150-year history to meet enhanced technical demand is through the use of expander additives in the electrode, such as barium sulfate. Hammond and East Penn’s research will explore how the additive size, treatment and morphology can be adapted to benefit duty cycles in a typical energy storage system.

Dr. Matt Raiford, Technical Manager at CBI, said: “This exciting research will be critical to increasing the cycle life of batteries developed to match those commonly used in energy storage systems. By studying the impact of different barium sulfate expander additives on electrode behaviour, new insights will be delivered into maximizing the performance of energy storage lead batteries.

“This will be critical for the expansion of lead battery uptake by utilities and renewable energy companies across the globe looking to add battery storage to their systems.”

As a global Consortium, the work of CBI is dedicated to fostering innovation in advanced lead batteries for the benefit of its membership and for wider market needs as identified in our technical roadmap. This novel research will deliver the best expander for energy storage applications, with a direct ripple-effect in contributing to the enhanced product performance for CBI’s membership. 

Through synergy between research and manufacturing, the lead battery industry is innovating to adapt to evolving market demand and technical needs of societies across the globe. With rising demand for utility energy storage, the role of advanced lead batteries continues to be central for the global shift to a low carbon future by supporting the decarbonisation of the energy sector. 


Notes to editors:

  1. The Consortium for Battery Innovation is the world’s only global pre-competitive research organization funding research into lead batteries for energy storage, motive and automotive applications. For more than 25 years, with its global membership of battery manufacturers, industry suppliers, research institutes and universities, CBI has delivered cutting-edge research pushing the boundaries of innovation in lead battery technology, setting the standard for advanced lead batteries and the next generation of energy storage. For more information, visit our website: www.batteryinnovation.org
  2. Dr. Matt Raiford, Technical Manager of CBI, is available for interview. For more information, please contact CBI’s media contact: Niamh Owen-McLaughlin, +44 7593 445 096; Niamh.mclaughlin@batteryinnovation.org

Watch the project video:

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