12 June 2019 - Dr Matt Raiford

Car companies and battery manufacturers collaborate on new technology breakthroughs

Car companies and battery manufacturers collaborate on new technology breakthroughs

Engineers from European car companies met in Bruges, Belgium, to explore advances in lead battery technology specific for future low emission vehicles.

The workshop, organized by the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) in co-ordination with CENELEC, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, brought together nearly 100 global technical experts from across the advanced lead battery and automotive industries on 22 and 23 May.

Eckhard Karden from Ford presents at the EFB & Heat workshop

Advanced lead batteries already enable start-stop technology which has helped cut emissions from cars in Europe and the US by up to 10%.

Now, engineers hope to reduce heat and water loss and improve battery performance further as they prepare the next generation of low emission vehicles.

Delegates from around the globe arrived in Bruges to attend the EFB & Heat technical workshop, exploring high-temperature durability tests for advanced lead 12 V batteries.

Test batteries provided by Akkumulatorenfabrik Moll Batterien for the interactive, technical breakout sessions

The benefits of carbon additives have been widely studied and been shown to improve dynamic charge acceptance (DCA) of lead batteries. However, current test standards indicate that the increased use of carbon for micro and mild-hybrids may result in high-temperature durability issues.

Lead batteries are the dominant automotive battery technology, with virtually every vehicle on the road today containing a lead battery. Automotive market dominance has been maintained through recent performance improvements that have been spurred by research and innovation by the lead battery industry, which has included studies into a range of additives such as carbon.

Delegates in the breakout session looking at cell design and NAM additives.

Encouragingly, recent research conducted by CBI members under real-world conditions has indicated that the side effects of carbon additives may be significantly overestimated and may be a result of the ways in which batteries are tested.

Significant new opportunities in micro and mild-hybrid vehicles are available for lead battery technology if these issues can be addressed and overcome through continued research, innovation and collaboration within the industry.

Following successful meetings in Eberbach and Alcalá, the workshop in Bruges facilitated the interaction between OEM engineers and lead battery scientists from around the world to work and plan collaborative projects and experiments focused on exploring high-temperature durability improvements and water loss mechanisms in lead batteries.

Battery expert Eberhard Meissner leads a discussion in breakout session: Water loss and oxygen cycle in EFB real-world operation.

A series of plenary talks outlined current and possible methods used to continue improvement in advanced lead battery technology. Water loss mechanisms, new gas monitoring instrument development, research methods for new additives, and new tests developed to study these issues were just some of the topics covered in the intensive 2-day technical workshop.

The lead battery industry, through collaborative CBI technical workshops such as the EFB & Heat workshop, is continuously researching and striving to improve and innovate in lead battery technology to meet the future demands of automotive applications. The workshop in Bruges is the latest partnership between CBI, CENELEC and the European car industry to support lead battery innovation.

The workshop was attended by many CBI members and partners, including researchers from TU Berlin, Fraunhofer ISC and RWTH Aachen.

The work of CBI and its members does not end in Bruges. Working groups have been established in collaboration with important industry organizations to focus on unique issues that will be developed over the coming year. The lead battery industry will continue to research and innovate to propel automotive lead battery technology into the future.

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