Battery Match Battery Match

CBI Technical Program results: better batteries on the road 

Did you know that there is a lead battery in nearly every vehicle on the road today? Lead batteries are crucial for the automotive industry, with 12 V lead batteries being used for SLI (starting, lighting and ignition), start-stop and micro-hybrid applications. According to Avicenne Energy (CBI’s Market Report 2023), the 12 V lead battery market for automotive applications is expected to grow from US$ 16 Bn in 2020 to almost US$ 25 Bn in 2030.  


The Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) contributes to the growing demand for high-performing lead batteries by funding pre-competitive research as part of our Technical Program, based on research priorities defined on CBI’s Technical Roadmap. For automotive applications, research focus is on the following performance metrics and electrochemical properties: 

Dynamic charge acceptance (DCA): the ability of a battery to accept instantaneous energy during charging 
Hydrogen evolution reaction (HER): the side reaction occurring on a negative electrode surface which accelerates water loss 
Cold cranking amperage (CCA): the high discharge pulse power responsible for starting a car, rated at -18 °C for 30 seconds 
High-temperature durability: the ability of a battery to perform at higher temperatures, measured by standardised overcharge tests typically above 60 °C 


In the project Investigations on the effect of carbon surface functional groups on electrochemical behavior of lead-carbon electrodes, finalised in March 2023, Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research and Wrocław University of Science and Technology have collaborated to investigate the influence of different types of carbon additives on the performance of negative electrodes in advanced lead batteries. The base of this study was the application of chemical modifications to two different amorphous carbons with low and high external surface areas to obtain a range of acidic and basic carbons for testing. Their key finding was that specific surface functional groups of carbon can increase DCA while lowering HER activity and improving CCA

Completed in September 2023, the project Best practices of cell testing for EFB regarding DCA and high-temperature durability brough together four German partners – Technical University of Berlin, Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research, Moll Batterien and Ford Aachen – in a collaborative effort to establish improvements to laboratory test methods for 2V lead battery test cells during battery use in automotive applications. They have successfully defined best practices for measuring weight loss and electrolyte decomposition with 2V laboratory cells during standard tests, and for test cell design and sealing to account for the harsh conditions at high temperatures. These results provide guidance for better optimization of active material formulation for automotive batteries

Lessons learned from previous projects about carbon surface functional groups and laboratory cells are not only relevant to 12 V lead batteries, but also for the growing use of lead batteries in auxiliary mode. Because of the nonstop evolution in automotive technology, auxiliary batteries have been increasingly employed for safety back-up and supply power to specific electronic features, being a significant opportunity for low-voltage lead battery systems. 

Helping to build up that knowledge for this significant emerging market, one new project kicked off in 2023 focusing specifically on auxiliary automotive use. The project In Situ Imaging and Phase Analysis of Live Cell Lead Battery Materials for Auxiliary Battery Cycling Regimes is investigating processes occurring at microscopic level during representative tests for auxiliary batteries to understand how positive and negative electrodes change during different charge conditions. This study will link laboratory findings to commercial lead battery products, having large potential to improve performance metrics of lead batteries used in auxiliary applications.  


If you want to know more about the findings of pre-competitive research projects supported by CBI, the full detailing of results is available for CBI members. 

Energy transition and critical raw materials: time for investment

A recent Brussels meeting emphasized the need to address the priority for a long-term strategy for Critical Raw Materials in Europe.  Following the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, not only war came back to our continent after the end of WW II, but we also witnessed adverse effects, such as soaring inflation, geopolitical tensions, and surging energy costs, significantly impacting our everyday lives. Alongside, with growing consequences of the climate crisis, there is no other action than to transition towards renewable energy sources to lower carbon dioxide emissions and make energy more efficient.  In this scenario, the Critical Raw Material Act (CRM) sets out an ambitious vision for Europe that seems to fall short when it comes to financing its promises. 

By Nicola Filizola

As I attended the Eurometaux rally on April 18th, discussing Critical Raw Materials, I couldn't help but ponder the complex challenges confronting the global scene today.

The Ukrainian-Russian conflict and its aftermath had unforeseeable consequences.

Inflation, international tensions, embargoes, and a dramatic increase in energy costs have affected every aspect of our lives. Electricity bills have soared, fuel prices have spiked, and industries are facing unexpected cost increases, occasionally leading to business failures.

As this was not enough, in the face of these economic challenges, we are also obliged to confront a harsh reality we’ve long ignored—the climate crisis and its severe implications for our planet and its inhabitants.

Photo from Stanford University adaptation

Consider this, annually, air pollution from fossil fuels and biomass burning is responsible for 7 million deaths worldwide, with associated costs nearing $30 trillion. By 2050, the financial impact of global warming could reach $25-30 trillion yearly. Shockingly, 90% of this pollution originates from energy sources, highlighting its grave impact on human health and the environment (Jacobson M., 2024, Clean, Renewable Energy & Storage for a Sustainable Future, Stanford University). Our dependence on fossil fuels not only raises pollution levels and keeps energy efficiency low, but also introduces risks of price volatility and geopolitical instability. 

There is no way out, humanity stands at a crossroads: take decisive actions to protect our planet and future generations or passively face increasingly catastrophic events. 

However, there is hope in this ugly scenario. The power to shape our future is in our hands. Embracing renewable energies such as wind, water, and solar is pivotal to electrifying our homes, industries, and transportation systems. But this shift demands innovation, investment, and political will.

If we are to do that decisively, Europe's green transition is expected to boost the demand for critical raw materials. European companies largely depend on imports for these minerals, with a significant amount coming from China. Therefore, this concentration in supply chains places Europe's climate and green industrial policies at considerable geopolitical risk.

The CRM, a new regulation of the European Commission, is part of the broader Green Industrial Plan and is aligned with the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA). It emerges as a vital element in this transition, ensuring the responsible extraction and processing of materials crucial for renewable technologies. 

The Act, for instance, aims to diversify supply chains. It has set benchmarks for domestic capacities by 2030: at least 10% of raw materials must be sourced domestically, with targets of 40% for processing and 15% for recycling, reducing dependency on single suppliers.

While the CRM represents a positive and very ambitious step for Europe's strategic autonomy, it doesn’t fully tackle the vastness of the challenge. The Act aims to develop a European supply chain for critical raw materials by simplifying permitting processes, yet it needs to allocate additional funding. There’s no doubt private investment is crucial. However, as demonstrated by the US Inflation Reduction Act ($783 billion in provisions relating to energy security and climate change) mechanisms such as tax credits, grants, and loans can greatly bolster the confidence needed for sustained private investment in decarbonising the industrial sector.

To truly enhance resilience and reduce vulnerabilities, the EU must recognise building such resilience comes with a cost. This implies committing to substantial European funding and administrative support, setting realistic diversification targets for European companies through regulations, and ensuring that necessary resources support external trade and partnership strategies.

Long-duration energy storage with advanced lead-carbon battery system in southeastern China

Batteries provide up to 10 hours of power to local energy intensive industries and help to keep the grid stable




About the case study

This long-duration energy storage (LDES) system made of advanced lead-carbon batteries is currently the largest of its kind in the world.

Connected to Huzhou's main electricity grid since March 2023, the installation is helping to reduce energy costs to industries and citizens by providing an alternative power source at peak rates. These systems bring significant advantages such as low investment cost and rapid return on investment, and low carbon footprint with long design life and material with high recycling rates.


Technical Summary

LocationHuzhou, Zhejiang Province, China
Project launchMarch 2023
Construction time3 months
Size of the system1000 MWh (1 GWh) energy, 100 MW power; 10 hour system
Battery type3 million 2 V advanced lead-carbon AGM batteries
Battery providerbatteries were made in China, by Tianneng Power


LDES system made of advanced lead-carbon batteries in Huzhou, China. Source: China Daily



View CBI's Interactive Map of energy storage case studies

Living the future: Energy storage in our daily lives 

We live in an era when smart homes have become part of our everyday lives and energy storage systems are changing the way we think about energy. 

Growing up, many of us were captivated by the portrayal of modern and futuristic homes on television. Each depiction was unique, yet they all shared a common charm—a certain "wow" factor that held our gaze, sparking imagination about the endless possibilities technology could bring to the future. Although we may not have parking spots for family spaceships in our backyards just yet, the vision of the future we once admired is closer to reality than we might think. 

Today, we live in an era when smart homes have become part of our everyday lives. Our houses now integrate various inventions, all harmoniously working together. By integrating smart technologies that make our homes more energy efficient, we're taking steps towards preserving our planet and addressing the ongoing climate crisis.

Technology meets sustainability

An example of such smart technology is a battery energy storage system. This modern yet increasingly common technology enables us to capture and store energy for later use, marking a shift in how we power our homes. This article takes you on a journey through the modern home, exploring practical and innovative uses of energy storage systems. Transforming what may once have appeared as science fiction into part of the solution for a greener, more sustainable lifestyle, energy storage systems are changing the way we think about energy. 

The tour already begins outside the house, where the renewable energy narrative forms under the open sky. Solar panels, discreetly placed on the roof, capture and convert the sun's warmth. This stored energy then finds its way back into the house, supplying hot water for daily use or heating indoor spaces, making every drop of sunlight count. This highlights how sustainability and modern living go hand in hand, showing that even our garden can play a role in powering the home. 

As we enter the house and step into the living room, the last rays of daylight fade into the soothing glow of several desk lamps, all backed up by energy stored from today's sunshine. The television, gaming consoles, and even the WiFi router sip electricity from the reservoir of clean energy. This seamless integration of energy storage systems allows us to relax in front of the television after a long day or cosy up on the sofa with a favourite novel under the warm light of the lamp without giving a moment's thought to outside energy constraints.

Smart energy in action

Moving into the kitchen, the narrative of energy efficiency continues. Here, everyday activities continue as usual but with a green twist. Appliances, backed up by an innovative energy storage system, manage power usage with precision. The refrigerator hums quietly to keep the food fresh while the oven preheats for dinner, and the dishwasher stands ready, all running on stored energy. The effortless way the kitchen incorporates and utilises stored energy highlights the real-life benefits of energy storage systems, seamlessly blending functionality and sustainability. 

Moving further into the house, we find ourselves in the utility area. Here, the air thrums with the quiet power of energy storage systems, balancing the home's temperature through a clever heat pump paired with batteries. These systems allow solar energy to efficiently power the heat pump, which can then be used to keep the house warm or provide hot water, even long after the sun has set. 

Heading to the garage, the connection between energy management and mobility can be seen in action. An electric vehicle has become an essential part of the home's energy system, quietly charging and preparing for its next journey. Here, the vehicle-to-home power-sharing concept comes to life, allowing energy to flow back into the house during peak times or unexpected outages.

Green future with energy storage

Concluding the journey through the house, we can see energy storage systems integrated into our daily routines as a glimpse into a more sustainable future. From the warm comfort of the living room through the bustling kitchen and out into the garden, we see a snapshot of what could become the norm. 

As the European Union strides towards a greener future with initiatives such as the Green Deal, homes equipped with battery energy storage systems are helping us get closer to energy independence. The battery energy storage market is predicted to grow significantly, and all battery technologies will play an important role. In light of the pressing need for climate action, these systems represent vital components of sustainable living and a greener, technologically advanced world.

Propelling a new design for European cities: Energy storage for a more sustainable future

Uncovering the key role of energy storage in Europe's green revolution

As we step into a new year marked by record-breaking temperatures, the urgency to address climate change intensifies. A recent analysis has confirmed 2023 as the warmest year on record, with over 200 days setting new daily temperature records. 

​​It is crucial that cities join the shared drive to mitigate the climate crisis and transition to greener, more sustainable energy. This was emphasised at COP28, where fossil fuels were officially recognised as the primary cause of climate change for the first time after 28 years. Within Europe, the European Commission is leading the way by introducing ambitious initiatives such as the Fit for 55 package and Effort Sharing Regulation to shift towards a low-carbon economy. These initiatives have sparked innovation and collaboration among European cities as they strive to embrace a more sustainable path. 

The second part of our series on sustainable cities highlights the transformative efforts of three European cities – Helsinki, Ljubljana, and Sofia – in embracing energy storage to spearhead their sustainability goals. These cities serve as examples of how local governments can initiate a transition towards renewable energy, sustainable transportation, and emission reduction.

Embracing sustainable energy solutions

In the northern part of Europe, Helsinki is a pioneer in sustainability. The Finnish capital has embraced energy storage as a key element in achieving its goal of carbon neutrality by 2030. The city has launched an inventive project in collaboration with its energy provider to integrate battery energy storage into electric vehicle charging stations. The initiative taps into the potential of electric vehicles as mobile energy storage units, capable of storing excess energy generated from renewable sources. This energy can power the vehicles or be returned to the grid, making the energy ecosystem more connected and resilient. 

According to the city's mayor, Juhana Vartianten, building a sustainable future is the most pressing issue we face today. "Helsinki wants to encourage cities around the world to embrace sustainability work and take concrete action. The coming years will determine the direction humanity takes, " said Vartiainen in the 2023 Voluntary Local Review, "That is why we must act now, and we must act together. We still have a long way to go, but fortunately, we are heading in the right direction." 

Sofia, the vibrant capital of Bulgaria, is another city that has made sustainability a cornerstone of its urban development strategy. The city has implemented a number of innovative projects that are helping to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and improve energy efficiency. 

One of Sofia's most notable initiatives involves the installation of intelligent batteries throughout the city's public transportation network. These batteries act as mobile energy storage units, allowing buses and trams to store energy while braking or coasting downhill. The captured energy can then power the vehicles as they climb uphill or accelerate. This approach has shown promising results during its trial phase, with an expected 10-15% reduction in fuel usage and a 30% decrease in harmful carbon emissions, contributing to cleaner air and a more sustainable transportation system. 

In addition to the environmental benefits, Sofia's battery storage project also streamlines the public transportation system, reducing the need for frequent recharging. The batteries provide a clean source of energy that can be used during peak hours, allowing passengers to rely on a more efficient public transportation system.

Harnessing the power of energy storage

Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is known for its eco-friendliness and sustainable urban development. The city is taking steps to make its buildings sustainable while preserving its rich cultural heritage. One way Ljubljana is achieving this balance is by implementing energy storage systems in public buildings and infrastructure. The Ljubljana City Hall is equipped with a battery storage system that can store energy from the sun. Moreover, Ljubljana aims to expand its energy-saving efforts beyond City Hall by installing energy storage systems in public buildings such as schools, libraries, and other facilities. 

Integrating energy storage systems into public buildings is a win-win solution for both cities and citizens. By doing so, the city enhances energy security, lowers energy expenses, and provides backup power during grid outages. This not only reduces the city's environmental footprint, but also provides its citizens with reliable access to energy. 

In a world where climate change looms, Helsinki, Ljubljana, and Sofia are examples of how innovation and energy storage can shape a sustainable future. These cities have set the bar high by adopting measures that align with the EU's Green Deal goals, aiming to reduce carbon emissions and switch to renewable energy sources.  

Helsinki's electric vehicle charging stations, Ljubljana's public buildings integrated with battery systems, and Sofia's intelligent battery storage for public transportation all show how technology can help create a cleaner, more resilient planet. By reducing carbon emissions and embracing renewable energy sources, these cities are leading the way in the fight against climate change. 

How CBI is propelling the role of advanced lead batteries in the green energy revolution

Batteries are a fundamental driver of the green energy revolution. It is estimated that our society’s energy needs represent over 70% of all carbon emissions, with the largest shares coming from electricity and heat sources and transportation systems. The push to achieve net-zero is evident from numerous governmental initiatives such as the EU's commitment to cut carbon emissions by more than half by 2030, and global pacts such as the recent COP28 deliberations. To reach these goals means to effectively decarbonise the energy sector, and batteries will support the rollout of renewable energy infrastructure by providing energy storage capacity and reduce transport-related emissions by powering electric vehicles.  

Batteries in energy markets are currently dominated by lithium-ion technology, but their employment in electric vehicles is given priority due to this technology’s unrivalled properties for this end use. This opens space for different technologies in other applications. Energy storage is a notable example, with battery energy storage capacity expected to grow twentyfold by 2030. All viable battery technologies will be needed to fulfil this soaring demand, and research & innovation to improve consolidated technologies is identified as an important way forward

Lead batteries are currently the only other technology with well-established manufacturing and recycling infrastructure across the globe. But even if today's advanced lead batteries have come a long way from classic lead-acid car batteries in terms of overall performance, there are still various pathways for further improvements being discovered and explored. 

The Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) is the only global lead battery pre-competitive research organisation. Our goals are to help deliver the advanced lead batteries needed for the energy transition and to demonstrate their power to bring real change. We do so by assessing market needs to define concrete research goals, by providing financial support to breakthrough projects through our Technical Program, and by establishing partnerships to develop pioneering advanced lead battery-based solutions.  

In this overview, we discuss how some of our projects are paving the way to unlock the full potential of advanced lead batteries for the green energy transition. 



The indispensable low-voltage ally  

Electric vehicles are key for a decarbonised transport. As the nonstop evolution in automotive technology requires more and more from the main lithium-ion battery, smaller auxiliary batteries, also called low-voltage EV batteries, have been increasingly employed for safety back-up and supply power to specific electronic features. This means advanced lead batteries can work alongside lithium-ion batteries to ensure our future decarbonised road transport fleet is also safe.  

CBI’s Technical Program has been supporting projects focused on automotive lead battery optimisation for start-stop, microhybrid and auxiliary use. Some encouraging results include improvements in the methodology of laboratory cell testing to investigate key parameters for automotive applications, and valuable insights on the role of additive formulations to enhance automotive battery performance. Ongoing studies, such as the investigation on microscopic changes in positive and negative electrodes during different charge conditions, along with future projects, will continue to provide guidance for better active material formulation and performance metrics. 

CBI supports research towards better batteries on the road.



Taking energy storage capability to the next level 

The shift to renewable energy is just getting started, and more extensive rollout will be closely followed by a sharp increase in the need for energy storage systems to compensate for the intermittent nature of these energy sources. Global performance targets are aggressive and require different battery technologies with long lifetimes, high total energy throughput and low acquisition cost to meet technoeconomic needs. Our industry is focused on delivering longer lasting and more energy dense batteries to help meet the demand for utility, commercial, residential, and industrial energy storage applications.  

Different projects supported by CBI’s Technical Program have been investigating advanced lead battery enhancements specifically for energy storage applications. Key findings so far include insights into barium sulphate additive configurations that can bring benefits to overall cycle life, and in-situ analyses during battery operation to understand charge and discharge processes and their products. More exciting results will come from projects and initiatives starting in 2024, including CBI’s involvement in the U.S. National Consortium for the Advancement of Long Duration Energy Storage Technologies. This will keep adding to our growing knowledge base and contributing to advanced lead battery performance improvement for energy storage. 

CBI's projects and initiatives improve advanced lead batteries for energy storage.



Powering a just transition 

The lack of access to both electricity and clean cooking, known as energy poverty, remains a pressing global issue. It is estimated that 775 million people lack access to electricity and 2.2 billion people lack access to clean cooking fuels, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia. Providing universal clean energy access leaving no one behind is essential for a successful green energy transition. But the rollout of renewable energy in areas with no or incipient grid infrastructure is challenging, and lowering investment costs is a must. Through ongoing partnerships, we are demonstrating that the combination of microgrids and advanced lead battery storage is an excellent solution to provide clean and affordable energy for remote communities.  

In an ongoing initiative funded by Horizon Europe, we are helping to develop a deployable clean energy solution with provision of electricity through prosumer-based solar microgrid coupled with an energy storage system made of advanced lead batteries. One core innovation in this battery energy storage system is the addition of an electrolyser to produce green hydrogen, which can be used as clean cooking fuel. By the end of the project in 2026, the team will deploy two full-scale pilots of this pioneering energy solution, one in Côte d'Ivoire and one in Zambia. 

CBI is also contributing to another smart solution, this one already in testing phase: a solar energy microgrid with a combined micro electric tractor. Advanced lead batteries power both the microgrid energy storage system and the tractor. The project, funded by Innovate UK, aims to bring a 2-in-1 solution for rural communities by providing clean energy and optimising land preparation. Recent field demonstrations have shown the potential of the micro electric tractor to significantly increase crop yields, which will help to increase smallholder incomes. The solution has been selected as one of the finalists of a prestigious international green energy prize.  

Novel solutions like these not only alleviate energy poverty issues but also provide a pathway toward citizen empowerment. They can substantially contribute to universal access to modern energy and to achieve other Sustainable Development Goals regarding poverty reduction, health and education. 

CBI's partnerships demonstrate the positive impact of advanced lead battery solutions.



This is why we believe the future is bright and green and we will continue to drive advanced lead battery innovation for sustainable development and a climate-resilient future.  

CBI experts discuss lead batteries and future of energy on Beyond Lithium podcast

Our colleagues Matt Raiford, CBI's Senior Technical Manager, and Alyssa McQuilling, CBI's Research and Innovation Manager, were featured in the latest Beyond Lithium podcast episode hosted by Nate Kirchhofer from BioZen Batteries. The discussion revolved around the work of CBI, research and innovations driving the industry, exciting new projects, unique features of advanced lead batteries and the future of energy storage. 

CBI's projects and mission

Matt kicks off the conversation by outlining CBI's mission as a pre-competitive global research organisation with over 130 members worldwide. According to Matt, the priority of pre-competitive research lies in CBI's focus on applications and innovations benefiting the entire lead battery industry. "It's like taking a step back and looking at first principles," Nate summarises, as both guests noted. 

The conversation reveals CBI's projects, showcasing an advanced lead battery technology for different applications. Matt and Alyssa shed light on CBI's involvement in global government funding opportunities, with recent projects spanning Europe and the UK. Alyssa introduces the current LoCEL-H2 project, featuring the unique battery-electrolyser. The technology stores energy to produce electricity on demand and utilises initially unwanted side reactions to produce hydrogen for cooking purposes. Another noteworthy project, Aftrak, showcases a solar advanced lead battery-powered tractor for deep-farming piloted in Africa. "These projects highlight something really important about batteries in general, that they can enable a whole new way of living," noted Matt. 

A closer look at lead batteries

The podcast takes a turn as the team delves into the chemistry of lead batteries. "Lead batteries have been around for a hundred years, and they've been doing a lot of work," Nate acknowledges, addressing the never-ending question of getting people excited about lead. Dispelling misconceptions around lead batteries, Matt and Alyssa passionately discuss their unique benefits, including sustainability, an increasingly relevant factor in today's society. "Lead is the most recyclable product in the world," Matt emphasises, "This results in a recycling rate of over 99% in the US and Europe." 

Energy storage takes centre stage in the conversation, as it has been emerging prominently in political dialogues worldwide. According to Matt, the performance rate of lead batteries is the main driver for energy storage. First invented in a French man's backyard, lead batteries evolved drastically into well-adapted products. As a scientist, Matt wondered how this technology didn't advance when he came across it years ago. The explanation is simple: there was no market driver. Nowadays, there is one. "That's what we're doing at the CBI. A lot of our research is inspired by the needs of the market," Matt explains.

The future of energy storage

"We need a lot of energy storage integrated into the grid as we decarbonise and electrify more," Alyssa states, touching on the need for diverse technologies to meet the escalating need for clean energy. This offers countless opportunities across sectors. The demand for energy storage and battery innovations go hand in hand. Improvements in cycle life and battery materials are a few examples of research in national labs, where new technologies and techniques are involved to better understand batteries at a fundamental level.  

The podcast concludes with a forward-looking perspective on the future of energy storage. The energy storage sector's scale and pace of development promise a huge demand for batteries. "We see a steady growth for lead. For energy storage, the sky's a limit. We're talking about terawatt-hours batteries needed by 2030," Matt says, highlighting the increasing need for diverse technologies to coexist harmoniously. "We just have to create a cheap battery that lasts a long time," he concludes with a smile. 

A special thanks to our colleagues, Matt Raiford and Alyssa McQuilling, for this insightful conversation, showcasing the work at CBI and providing valuable insights into the role of lead batteries in shaping a sustainable and energy-efficient future. Listen to the full podcast on the Beyond Lithium website.

Energy storage takes centre stage at COP28 in Dubai 

The COP28 conference marked an important moment in the global conversation about energy storage and batteries. While signalling the need to move away from fossil fuels, it emphasised the potential of energy storage to shape a sustainable energy future significantly.

The 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was held in Dubai from 30th November to 12th December. The conference brought together global leaders, experts, and stakeholders to address the pressing issue of climate change. The theme of COP28 was "Building a Resilient Future," focusing on accelerating global action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. 

Despite the scepticism that preceded the conference, particularly surrounding the host nation, Dubai, a major oil producer, COP28 emerged as a revolutionary climate change summit. For the first time in 28 years, fossil fuels were formally recognised as the primary driver of climate change. This acknowledgement, a significant shift from the previous COPs, marked a turning point in the international community’s approach to climate change. It challenged the long-held narrative that fossil fuels were necessary for the energy mix and laid the foundation for a faster transition to a low-carbon economy. This formal recognition of fossil fuels’ role in climate change was not just a symbolic gesture but led to a series of bold decisions and commitments to accelerate the global transition to clean energy sources. Over 100 countries pledged to phase-out coal power by 2030, which is a huge milestone in decarbonising the energy sector. 

Energy storage for green transition

COP28 provided an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the complexities of energy storage technologies and their potential to contribute to a more sustainable energy future. The discussions focused on integrating renewable energy sources, enhancing the stability of power grids, and addressing the issue of energy poverty. COP28 witnessed several notable developments related to energy storage, including the launch of the Supercharging Battery Storage Initiative and the Multilateral Consortium for Battery Storage. 

Member governments of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), including the European Commission, Australia, Canada, and the United States, announced the launch of the Supercharging Battery Storage Initiative in Dubai. This initiative aims to increase the capacity of battery storage in the power grid while ensuring a transparent, resilient, and sustainable energy system. It is focused on reducing technology costs, as batteries play a crucial role in creating a flexible and reliable energy system. Through this initiative, member governments of the CEM are committed to a cleaner and more accessible energy future. “Battery storage will be the backbone of the green transition with an essential role in decarbonising transport and energy. It will enable a truly decentralised and integrated energy system based on efficient use and renewable generation,” said Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission. 

Bridging the energy gap

The Global Leadership Council announced the formation of the Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) Consortium, with participation from 11 African countries. The consortium has pledged to deploy a minimum of 5GW of battery storage systems in Africa by 2030. The initiative seeks to tackle energy poverty and improve access to reliable electricity in low- and middle-income nations on the continent. Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, the President of The Rockefeller Foundation and Co-chair of the GLC, highlighted the need for transformative initiatives. He stated that "Without sufficient storage capacity, countries will be unable to add renewable energy to their grids at the scale needed to reduce emissions and create economic opportunity. The BESS Consortium is an example of the sort of big, bold action required to break down the barriers that are preventing people and communities from joining the ongoing climate transformations." 

As part of the COP28 agreements on energy storage, the United States and partner countries of the Net Zero World initiative have announced significant progress in building clean and secure energy systems in emerging economies. This includes helping Ukraine deploy distributed renewable energy and storage systems for critical infrastructure. Participants of COP28 have also called for increased investment in research and development for energy storage technologies. The aim is to accelerate innovation, improve performance, and reduce costs, making energy storage more accessible and cost-effective.

Advancing a cleaner future

The decisions and commitments made at COP28 are a step forward in the global effort to combat climate change. By acknowledging the role of fossil fuels in climate change and committing to a rapid transition towards a low-carbon economy, COP28 has set a new course for the international community. 

Moreover, the conference marked an important moment in the global conversation about energy storage. COP28 emphasised the potential of energy storage to significantly shape a sustainable energy future. Initiatives such as the Supercharging Battery Storage Initiative, BESS Consortium, and Net Zero World all point in one direction, addressing energy poverty, promoting sustainability, and achieving clean energy goals. To achieve this, we need all battery chemistries.

The conference's outcomes indicate a renewed commitment to accelerating the development and deployment of these technologies. As energy storage becomes more widespread and cost-effective, it will play a critical role in addressing climate change, ensuring energy access, and creating a more resilient and sustainable energy system. 

The Consortium for Battery Innovation is actively involved in the rollout of advanced lead battery energy storage systems to contribute to global climate goals. In two ongoing energy storage projects, LoCEL-H2 and Aftrak, we are helping develop BESS combined with solar microgrids to provide a sustainable, reliable, low-cost energy system for remote communities. These projects also demonstrate how energy storage solutions are key to achieving a just transition, helping to increase food access, health outcomes and gender equality. With more energy storage projects underway, CBI will continue to support sustainable development for a climate-resilient future.

Call for papers opens ahead of ELBC in Milan

NEWS RELEASE - 21 November 2023

The ELBC battery innovation conference has issued a call for papers ahead of the event which takes place in Milan, between September 16-19. 

Jointly organised by the International Lead Association and Consortium for Battery Innovation, the event’s technical committee is seeking abstracts on all aspects of lead battery technology with a specific focus on: 

Dr Alistair Davidson, Director of the Consortium for Battery Innovation, said: “This is always a much-anticipated event for the lead and lead battery industries and we’re looking for high quality submissions that showcase recent innovations and all the latest lead battery research.”

Abstracts can be submitted online by visiting www.elbcexpo.org

More than 1000 attendees are expected at the event in Milan which includes an expo with up to 140 exhibitors from across the lead battery value chain.

About the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) 
For more than 25 years, CBI has delivered cutting-edge research taking lead batteries to a new level for energy storage and automotive applications. With an expert panel made up of the world’s leading battery manufacturers and research specialists, CBI is setting the standard for advanced lead batteries and the next generation of energy storage.

Europe’s green revolution: Renewable energy at the front 

Europe's commitment to renewable energy in the face of climate change

Climate change is happening right before our eyes and presenting new challenges for the world. European communities are grappling with increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather events that have profound impacts and demand our attention. The consequences are severe, from urban areas transformed into fiery landscapes during sweltering heat to towns inundated by floods. 

The root cause of the climate crisis is our heavy reliance on fossil fuels. Burning these fuels releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, trapping heat and warming the planet. This disturbs the delicate balance of our climate system and intensifies the occurrence of extreme weather events. To face this crisis, we need to move towards a cleaner future with renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. In addition to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, renewable energy is essential for strengthening community resilience. This aligns with the European Union’s Green Deal, which outlines a comprehensive set of policies aimed to achieve a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. 

European summer of extremes

This summer, Europe experienced a series of record heatwaves and devastating wildfires that have swept across the continent. The European Forest Fire Information System reports that up to 41% of the area burned in the EU is in Natura 2000 protected sites. In 2023 alone, wildfires have released more than 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, exceeding the European average over the last two decades.   

The Mediterranean region was hit hardest by this year's heat waves. The streets in Greece's ancient port town of Gytheio shimmered as temperatures climbed to an astonishing 46.4 degrees Celsius, setting a new record since record-keeping began in 2006. Life stood still in the sweltering heat, and the streets remained deserted. The heatwave also triggered a wave of wildfires that ravaged the countryside. Nearly 20,000 tourists abandoned Rhodes hotels due to the threat of wildfires, marking the largest evacuation of its kind in the country's history. The intensity of the heatwave caused widespread power outages and plunged towns into darkness. Hospitals struggled to maintain patient care, and businesses were forced to shut their doors. 

In May 2023, Italy found itself in the grip of unforgiving weather. The tranquil rivers of Tuscany turned into raging torrents that surged through towns and villages, leaving destruction in their wake. Homes vanished beneath the rising waters, and critical infrastructure crumbled under the weight of the deluge. The downpours lasted 80 hours of relentless rainfall over six days, causing flooding and infrastructure collapse, leaving the affected areas in darkness. Over 20,000 citizens were forced to evacuate and seek refuge in temporary shelters such as schools, sports halls, and gyms. 

Not only floods but also severe storms with strong winds are becoming a pressing concern in Europe. This year, Norway faced several relentless storms marked by a historic amount of rainfall. The Norwegian meteorological institute reported extremely heavy rainfall in parts of Norway, marking the strongest in the last 25 years. As winds and heavy rain swept across the region, trees were uprooted, flights faced delays, ferries stopped running, and power lines scummed to disruption. In cities like Oslo, people were urged to work from home. Meanwhile, in the small village of Bagn, nested in the heart of a valley surrounded by forests, landslides wreaked havoc, severing its residents from the outside world.  

Researchers at Newcastle University predict extreme weather events will become more frequent due to the climate crisis. "Alongside drastically cutting emissions, countries must build more resilient infrastructure," the researchers said.

Renewable energy and climate resilience

In the face of a changing climate, Europe is at a crossroads. Floods, wildfires, and storms dominate the headlines. As extreme weather events become more frequent, the transition to renewable energy is necessary. The European Union recognises this need and has adopted bold initiatives such as the European Green Deal, a comprehensive roadmap to reach climate neutrality by 2050. Central to this strategy is the Fit for 55 initiative, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Additionally, the RePower EU plan aims to decrease the dependency of the European Union on Russian fossil fuels and promote green energy. 

These initiatives address the challenges highlighted by the extreme weather events. By transitioning to renewable energy, Europe reduces its dependence on fossil fuels and mitigates the effects of climate change. Renewable energy, coupled with energy storage systems, can enhance communities' resilience and help them withstand increasingly severe weather events. Renewable energy ensures a reliable electricity supply amid widespread damage from floods, provides backup power to fire stations during wildfires, and restores power to villages cut off during severe storms. As Europe navigates through new climate challenges, transitioning to clean energy becomes a vital tool to help us ensure a safer and more sustainable future in the face of these extreme weather events. 

Want to know more about CBI’s work to achieve a carbon neutral economy in Europe? Subscribe to our newsletter here.

U.S. Military microgrid 

Funding: U.S. Department of Defense
Duration: January 2021 - May 2023
Project partners: Consortium for Battery Innovation, Paragon Solutions, Inc.
Objective: Develop transportable and robust lead battery energy storage systems that can be integrated into tactical microgrids

 

Aftrak

Green energy for Africa supported by micro electric agriculture

Funding: Innovate UK

Duration: April 2023 – April 2024

Project partners: Consortium for Battery Innovation, Loughborough University, Tiyeni

Aftrak aims to develop a green electricity solution for rural communities combining a solar energy microgrid with a micro electric tractor to mechanise land preparation. Advanced lead batteries inbuilt in the micro electric tractor play a central role in this green energy system, storing solar energy and providing it during land preparation activities. 

The micro electric tractor also aids the implementation of Deep Bed Farming, an agricultural methodology especially designed for Malawian soils developed by project partner Tiyeni. This system can provide a significant agricultural revenue boost to sustain microgrid-related costs and encourage further energy access investments.  

The project reached the final of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy, and an extra field demonstration of the system will be carried out South Africa. 

 

For more information visit project's website: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/research/aftrak/

Open call for research projects on advanced lead batteries for energy storage 

NEWS RELEASE - 17 November 2023

A new call for research proposals to support advanced lead battery innovation for energy storage systems (ESS) has been launched by the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI), the world’s only pre-competitive lead battery research consortium. 

We are seeing an unprecedented effort to implement climate targets across the globe, led by the ambitious commitments by the European Union to become climate-neutral by 2050 and by the US to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030. According to Avicenne Energy (CBI’s Market Report 2023), the ESS market is forecasted to grow from 237 GWh in 2022 to 616 GWh in 2030. Batteries stand out as one of the big facilitators of this global shift to clean energy considering any scale of implementation, from industries to residences.  

Recent analyses agree that a significant increase in battery demand will occur by 2030. Noteworthy examples are the forecast by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) that cumulative global renewable energy battery storage capacity will increase from 17 GW in 2020 to 359 GW in 2030 and estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA) showing battery storage capacity for solar power integration only will increase at least five times by 2030. Demand will be so large it cannot be met by one battery technology alone. Such prognoses are a significant opportunity for growth of the lead battery market as a potential technology that can meet all the technical requirements on a mass market scale. 

Building on the research priorities and research and innovation pathways defined on CBI’s Technical Roadmap, this call for proposals aims to stimulate projects further demonstrating improvements in lead battery performance for ESS applications. Dr Matthew Raiford, Senior Manager of CBI’s technical program, said: “The growth of the battery energy storage market is a great opportunity for advanced lead batteries, and the industry is committed to showing progress toward batteries that last longer and have higher energy density. CBI’s research program and this new request for proposals will directly contribute to that goal.” 

CBI’s open call specifies two work proposal possibilities consisting of a) technoeconomic analyses of lead battery ESS or b) material science studies of failure of lead batteries in ESS. Submission of proposals is open until 22nd January 2024. More information on the desired work and guidelines for proposals is available here.  

Batteries stand out as one of the big facilitators of this global shift to clean energy and CBI’s new RFP seeks research bids focused on cutting-edge innovation in advanced lead batteries for energy storage systems.



About the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) 
For more than 25 years, CBI has delivered cutting-edge research taking lead batteries to a new level for energy storage and automotive applications. With an expert panel made up of the world’s leading battery manufacturers and research specialists, CBI is setting the standard for advanced lead batteries and the next generation of energy storage. For more information, visit our website: http://www.batteryinnovation.org

Dr. Matthew Raiford is available for interview. For more information, please contact CBI’s media contact: Nicola Filizola, +32 489 17 76 60; nicola.filizola@batteryinnovation.org 

Advanced lead battery-based energy system for rural communities reaches final of global green energy innovation competition

Press release
Brussels, 9 November 2023


A system using advanced lead batteries to power a micro electric tractor tailored to the African market was selected as one of the finalists of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy.

This innovative tractor design is being developed in Aftrak, a groundbreaking project funded by Innovate UK. The initiative brings together expertise from the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI), Loughborough University and UK- & Malawi-based charity Tiyeni, and the support of lead battery manufacturer VARTA.

Microgrid solutions for off-grid rural communities have high costs of implementation and maintenance that often cannot be covered by the communities, dissuading infrastructure investments. Aftrak is addressing this challenge by combining a solar energy microgrid with a micro electric tractor to mechanise land preparation. The tractor accelerates the implementation of Deep Bed Farming, an agricultural methodology developed by Tiyeni especially designed for Malawian soils. This system can provide a significant agricultural revenue boost to sustain microgrid-related costs and encourage further energy access investments.

Lead batteries inbuilt in the micro electric tractor play a central role in this green energy system, storing solar energy and providing it during land preparation activities. Dr Carl Telford, member of the Aftrak team and CBI Senior Research and Innovation Manager, said: “This is a very promising application of lead batteries that can bring real positive impact to rural communities. Having the recognition by the Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation is an important endorsement of the viability of lead batteries in green energy solutions.”

The Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy is a global competition to reward innovators working to increase access to green, renewable energy in Africa. This year, over 160 teams from 36 countries presented their visionary ideas to the jury.

Selected as one of the five finalists, the Aftrak team will receive $70,000 in funding to further develop and test the system in a live field demonstration in South Africa in February 2024. Aftrak also remains in the competition for the final prize of $1 million, whose winner will be announced in May 2024.

The Aftrak tractor in the test site in Leicestershire. Photo from Loughborough University, https://www.lboro.ac.uk/research/aftrak/technology/dawn-to-dusk/



About the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI)
For more than 25 years, CBI has delivered cutting-edge research taking lead batteries to a new level for energy storage and automotive applications. With an expert panel made up of the world’s leading battery manufacturers and research specialists, CBI is setting the standard for advanced lead batteries and the next generation of energy storage. For more information, visit our website: http://www.batteryinnovation.org

Dr Carl Telford is available for interview. For more information, please contact CBI’s media contact: Nicola Filizola, +32 489 17 76 60; nicola.filizola@batteryinnovation.org





Surge in Renewable Energy Drives Demand for Lead Batteries

New Report Reveals How Lead Batteries are Featured in Chinese Energy Storage Systems

As the global power industry wrestles with the need to expand energy storage to accommodate renewable generation and meet soaring demand for electricity overall, a new CHR Metals Limited report states that countries like China are shifting some focus toward lead batteries over lithium for battery energy storage systems.

“The growth of lead battery energy storage systems in Asia, especially in China, is promising, driven by efforts to reduce fossil fuel use and achieve net-zero goals,” said Dr. Alistair Davidson, director of the Consortium for Battery Innovation. “With the energy storage market expected to exceed 400 GW by 2030, the CHR Metals analysis highlights significant opportunities for lead battery projects regionally and globally.”

Currently, only lithium-ion and lead batteries operate on a scale sufficient to meet demand, representing over 98 percent of the rechargeable battery market through 2030.

Lead batteries, known for their efficiency and reliability, continue to play a vital role in backup power for critical infrastructure, hybrid automotive, and motive power applications. Advanced lead batteries emerge as an ideal solution for energy storage, boasting superior performance, safety, and scalability to align with the U.S. and E.U.'s net-zero emission goals for 2050.

This week’s CHR Metals Limited Report also notes:

Contrary to misconceptions, lead batteries stand out as the most recycled and innovative products globally, minimizing the carbon footprint by utilizing recycled materials. Over 97 percent of lead batteries in North America and Europe are collected and recycled, with 85 percent of the recycled lead used in manufacturing new batteries—a testament to the circular economy in action. (Source: Association of Battery Recyclers)

Lead batteries can help deliver on climate-neutral pledges and provide energy resiliency in specific applications.

“Despite ongoing misconceptions, ongoing research and innovation have propelled advanced lead batteries to impressive strides in performance over the past decade,” added Davidson. “These advancements, including improved cycle life, lifetime, and overall energy efficiency, translate into substantial benefits in terms of total cost of ownership and reliability.”

While embracing an overall diversification of energy sources and plans to increase renewables, the versatility and proven performance of advanced lead batteries position them as a scalable and cost-effective solution to meet today's demands and future energy storage needs.

Energy Storage Integration Council (ESIC) Strategy Meeting 

September 26, 2023

By Alyssa McQuilling

The Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) Energy Storage Integration Council (ESIC) held a Strategy Meeting on September 14, 2023 at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis to focus on identifying the energy storage gaps and how ESIC can address them.  

The mission of ESIC is to advance the deployment and integration of energy storage systems through open, technical collaboration.  

This meeting was open to the technical community of energy storage stakeholders, such as electric utilities, energy storage developers and integrators, regulators, system operators, independent power producers, and research and consulting organizations.  

As the technical voice of the lead battery industry, CBI sent US Research and Innovation Manager, Dr. Alyssa McQuilling, to share and collaborate on industry insights.  

Her takeaways from the event included:  

Lastly, the six national labs have to a role to play in getting emerging technologies ‘over the hump’ in terms of development. This includes those opportunities created through Grid Storage Launchpad and ROVI (Rapid Operational Validation Initiative).

We look forward to seeing CBI’s members transform projects into products that can benefit industry and utilities in meeting their renewable integration and decarbonization goals.

How are batteries energizing the Future?  

The European Energy Transition 

By Nicola Filizola 

As the world copes with the urgent need to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Europe has been leading the charge in transitioning to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future. The European energy transition is a comprehensive shift from traditional fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal power. Among the critical components enabling this transformation, lead batteries have emerged as a key technology that plays a pivotal role in the transition's success. In this article, we will explore the energy transition in Europe and delve into the essential role that batteries are playing in shaping the continent's greener and brighter future. 

The Growth of Renewable Energy in Europe 

The European Union (EU) has been at the forefront of advocating for clean energy and sustainability. Through initiatives like the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement, EU member states are committed to reducing their carbon emissions, fostering innovation in clean technologies, and achieving climate neutrality by 2050. 

One of the main challenges of integrating renewable energy sources into the existing energy infrastructure is their intermittency. Solar and wind power, for instance, depend on weather conditions and daylight availability. To ensure a stable and reliable energy supply, an efficient energy storage system is essential, and that's where batteries come into the picture. 

The Challenge of Intermittency 

Unlike conventional power plants that can provide a consistent energy output, solar and wind power are dependent on weather conditions and natural variations. Cloudy days and calm winds can lead to a drop in power generation, causing fluctuations in the grid. This intermittency poses challenges to grid stability, and the power supply must be balanced in real-time to meet demand. If renewable energy sources are to dominate the energy mix, an effective and efficient energy storage solution is imperative to address this variability. 

Batteries: The Key to Storing Renewable Energy 

Batteries are essential components of the energy transition as they serve as a bridge between renewable energy generation and consumption. These energy storage systems can store surplus electricity when generation exceeds demand and release it when demand surpasses generation. In essence, batteries help to smooth out the intermittent nature of renewables and provide a stable supply of electricity to the grid. 

  1. Enhancing Grid Stability 

Batteries act as buffers, absorbing excess energy during periods of high generation and releasing it when generation dips. By doing so, they stabilize the grid and ensure a steady supply of electricity, reducing the risk of blackouts and power disturbances. Moreover, batteries can respond rapidly to fluctuations in demand, providing grid operators with a valuable tool to manage the grid effectively. 

  1. Empowering Decentralization 

The energy transition in Europe is also characterized by a shift towards decentralization, with an increasing number of small-scale renewable energy installations, such as rooftop solar panels and community wind farms. Batteries play a vital role in this decentralized energy landscape by enabling consumers to store and manage their locally generated energy. This promotes energy autonomy, reducing the reliance on centralized power plants and enhancing energy security. 

  1. Enabling Renewable Integration 

Batteries make it possible to integrate a higher share of renewables into the grid. By storing excess energy during periods of high generation, batteries ensure that the energy is not wasted and can be used during times of low generation. This feature is particularly crucial during seasonal variations when renewable output may vary significantly. 

  1. Facilitating Electric Vehicle Adoption 

Batteries also play a significant role in electrifying transportation, another essential aspect of the energy transition. The growth of electric vehicles (EVs) is dependent on advanced battery technology, allowing for longer driving ranges and faster charging times. Widespread EV adoption not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector but also opens up the possibility of using EV batteries for grid storage through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. 

In conclusion 

The energy transition in Europe represents a monumental effort to combat climate change and create a sustainable energy future. The integration of renewable energy sources is a crucial step in this journey, but their intermittent nature presents challenges that must be addressed. Lead batteries, together with other technologies, emerge as the silent protagonists, providing a robust and reliable energy storage solution. From enhancing grid stability and enabling renewable integration to empowering decentralized energy systems and fostering electric vehicle adoption, lead batteries will play a multifaceted role in reshaping Europe's energy landscape. As technology advances and costs continue to decline, the potential of batteries will only grow, propelling Europe towards a cleaner, greener, and more resilient energy future. 

CBI Spoke to Batteries International about the Status of the Energy Storage Market

The lead battery industry could be in line for a $10 billion share of the burgeoning energy storage market within the next decade.

Research into upcoming projects and opportunities indicated that the ESS landscape is forecast to be 550GWh by 2030 with a value of $30-$50 billion for all battery technologies.

The lead battery industry has set its sights on securing 100GWh of that potentially lucrative ESS market.

CBI launched its first technical roadmap in 2019 setting specific goals for the end of 2022.

“It was all really market-driven. We used those targets to select our program. And the result of the

projects that we funded have pretty much shown that we delivered on these goals that we set.”

There are now batteries on the market, primarily from our members in the US and Asia, that meet that criteria.

This means there are now have advanced lead batteries on the market-oriented toward ESS that have an impressive globalized cost of ownership for the system, says Raiford.

“The way we view it as battery scientists is cycle life — most key stakeholders look at it from total cost of ownership.

“So we see stationary batteries now that really perform along the lines of lithium.”

Read the full article from Batteries International

CBI Connects at 20ABC and Recycle100

The Consortium for Battery Innovation connected with over 730 attendees from 42 different countries representing 319 different organizations in Siem Reap, Cambodia for the 20th Asian Battery Conference (20ABC) and the Recycle 100 International Secondary Lead Conference and Exhibition that featured global discussions on the world of lead, recycling, lead-acid batteries and energy storage.

CBI Senior Technical Manager, Dr. Matt Raiford said that lead batteries are made and produced in over 100 countries, and the Asian Battery Conference was a great venue to see how Asia, Africa, and other areas of the world are innovating and improving lead battery technology.  For instance, CBI member companies, Hammond and Borregard, demonstrated deeper understandings of additive chemistry as a low threshold method to improve lead batteries for many different applications.

CBI participated in the line-up of over 45+ conference speakers during 20ABC to share our technical battery knowledge and insights with attendees with presentations that included:

The 20th Asian Battery Conference provided a chance to join several technical sessions providing valuable insights from industry leaders, market analysts and technical experts about the lead battery industry. Several speakers including CBI member companies presented innovations and advancements, such as new active material formulations and improvements in the manufacturing process, for several applications of lead batteries.

Dr. Begüm Bozkaya, CBI’s Technical Manager, shared that there are definitely future opportunities for lead battery technology in Asia and other continents of the world via the implementation of new developments to deliver cost-efficient, safe, and sustainable battery solutions.

8th International Secondary Lead & Battery Recycling Conference covered several aspects of lead recycling industry in Asia and Africa. Bozkaya shared that many of the speakers addressed the current issues related to environmental challenges, financial, and social risks in the secondary lead industry. It was beneficial for attendees as some of the ILA & CBI members also illustrated their new techniques and developments in recycling of lead batteries.

Recycle 100 illustrated the ins and outs of running battery recycling centers - the heart of lead battery sustainability. Raiford was intrigued by ongoing improvements at Asian recycling operations, especially in increasing recycling efficiency - and how these improvements were presented to representatives from dozens of countries.

The city of Siem Reap, Cambodia was an amazing host and we enjoyed seeing all the beautiful areas in that region. The 20ABC was a successful event from all angles – including the achievement from the event’s charity initiative. The "ONE Minute Giveback", exceeded organizer’s and sponsor Sorfin Yoshimura’s expectations, by raising over $22,000.00 USD to help fund a bed in the Oncology Department of Angkor Hospital for Children.

We look forward to next year’s events and continuing the technical conversations around lead batteries.

Unprecedented Time for Energy Storage Development

The Department of Energy (DOE) held its Energy Storage Grand Challenge Summit (ESGC) online and in Atlanta, GA on July 25-27, 2023.

Dr. Alyssa McQuilling, CBI’s U.S. Research and Innovation Manager, shared her thoughts and key takeaways from the event.

McQuilling noted that this is an unprecedented time for the development of energy storage with historic investments being made by the federal government to aid in commercialization.

As the DOE and other agencies are taking an “all of the above" approach to meeting the demands of a modern grid; there’s room for all the technologies to meet customers’ needs for a reliable grid (while also maintaining affordability).

At CBI, we encourage participation from all technologies to meet the growing global energy storage demand. CBI organized a response from the U.S. industry, and DOE ESGC efforts used the feedback from CBI members in a DOE Lead Battery Lift-off Report. 

In this report, an in-depth analysis of lead battery innovation pathways was conducted, resulting in portfolios of lead battery improvements capable of helping the DOE reach the 0.05$/kWh/energy throughput goal outlined in the ESGC. These improvements include advanced manufacturing, improving cycle life, advanced control algorithms, standardization of devices and protocols, and demonstration projects to understand the impact of scaling on cost. 

At the same time, we recognize how well-suited lead batteries are because they are a cost-effective, safe, and reliable solution. DOE recognizes lead batteries for this value as part of the energy storage solution as they currently represent much of the market.

Another takeaway is the ongoing emphasis on U.S. manufacturing, jobs, and ensuring that historically underserved communities also benefit through adopting energy storage technologies.

As a result, it will become increasingly important to make new connections that can accelerate growth in the industry because (again) the speed at which things are developing is unprecedented. These connections are critical and include collaboration and working across industries.

In the last session of the summit, the discussion focused on ROVI, or Rapid Operational Validation Initiative, (part of a collaborative effort from 6 national labs) to figure out how to model system performance/degradation/failure for different battery technologies by combining approximately one year of system data with machine learning/AI modeling approaches to figure out how the system will perform over a 15 to 20 year lifetime.

CBI is answering the many DOE opportunities by utilizing the breadth and expertise of our membership and bringing in key institutions and systems providers. These collaborative teams are poised to deliver a high-performing, sustainable, domestic solution to meet the many goals of the ESGC.

Below are two Energy Storage Innovation reports that were recently released:

Opportunity Fast Charging and Improved Energy Throughput for Motive Power Applications 

CBI is working jointly with Electric Applications Incorporated and C&D Technologies and Trojan Battery Company on a project to demonstrate the improved fast charging capability and increased total energy throughput of newly developed batteries. 

“We’re looking to charge batteries faster for use in motive power applications and how it impacts AGM battery life,” said Shawn Peng, Senior Director of Energy Storage Research for C&D Technologies and Trojan Battery Company.  

Peng explained that they are trying to determine the best approach and set of procedures for fast charge of a forklift – whether for a one-hour lunch break or overnight. This will help several companies more effectively utilize their motive and mobile fleets. 

“We want to prove the best strategy for opportunity charging at 24/7 facilities, starting with a study on two different designs for a 2V battery to collect data and measure the KPIs.” 

Specifically, the R&D department at C&D Technologies led by Peng, is initiating a 2V cell study to investigate and determine the proper charging current and voltage for a fast-charging protocol.  The protocol will optimize the charging efficiency and reduce charging time through the life of batteries.  

Then a third-party testing lab, Electric Applications Incorporated, will perform electrical testing of 8V batteries 48V packs using the optimized protocol.  The 48V pack testing will be representative of what is used in motive power applications, like forklift traction batteries. 

Peng added, “We want to see how far we can go with the technology to benefit the life and cost of lead acid batteries.”   

CBI visit to Clarios HQ in Hanover, Germany

Our members are vital for CBI’s ecosystem as they help us develop messages, interventions, roadmap, and our own call for projects. This helps CBI conduct pre-competitive research that benefits all CBI members, the battery industry in general and the wider research community.

As a large battery maker, Clarios are an invaluable member. Additionally, Clarios were instrumental in setting up and supporting the work of CBI’s Research and Innovation Manager, Dr Carl Telford, in developing public funding opportunities in Europe and deliver exciting, game-changing projects.

CBI team visited Clarios HQ in Hanover, Germany, to strengthen this collaboration and to learn more about their current R&D work.

« We have developed the Start-Stop technology in AGM to become the benchmark technology for premium cars with micro-hybrid functionalit. Innovation in process technology like the Clarios Power frame technology has been leading the way and is presently the standard in the industry. For the future, we see a lot of life left in Lead technology. We see further innovation potential in charge acceptance and cycle life to further improve the technology » (Dr Christian Rosenkranz - Vice President Industry and Governmental Relations EMEA at Clarios & Chairman at CBI)

Watch the first video from CBI's visit to Clarios:

Exide’s Portuguese sites are reducing carbon emissions with PV and a BESS using lead batteries

The CBI team visited Castanheira do Ribatejo, in Portugal, to meet with Exide Technologies and to find out more about its facilities.

Exide operates two state-of-the-art solar installations at its battery production (in Castanheira do Ribatejo) and battery recycling facilities (in Azambuja), using lead batteries (see our case study here).

José Barreiros (Director Product Development Industrial EMEA at Exide) explained how it works in detail:

« We have a combined capacity of 4.5 MWp, with overall 11.250 solar panels installed. This is enough energy to supply more than 1.500 households. With these solar parks, we have reduced the carbon emission by more than 20% across both sites.

In our production plant, the PV installation is combined with our own battery energy storage system (BESS). It contains 70 inverters and 290 Sonnenschein Solar battery cells, with an available stored energy of around 500kWh.  The battery storage system is part of a ‘Green Social Building’. It operates as an island for the factory workers, where the solar panels provide energy during the day and the batteries provide power at night ».

BESS using lead batteries at Exide in Castanheira do Ribatejo, Portugal.

The type of lead batteries used in this Battey Energy Storage System (BESS) are Exide’s very own Sonnenschein Solar gel batteries. This battery range « has been used in complex, large-scale network power applications across the world for many decades », José continued:

« With their proven reliability, maintenance-free and first-class safety features, gel batteries offer a long service life and protection against deep discharge. Also, since lead batteries are fully recyclable at the end-of-life, our Sonnenschein Solar range provides added sustainability for renewable energy storage applications ».

For CBI, energy storage applications utilising battery technology is an increasingly important market-key to help governments around the world meet future electrification and decarbonisation targets and Exide’s Product Development Director agrees:

« As a global player of battery and energy systems, Exide Technologies is in prime position to inspire today’s and tomorrow’s generations with smart energy storage solutions, as we recognize the need to both preserve and energize the world. Exide Technologies offers smart energy storage solutions to support the transition from fossil energy to renewable energy sources. We focus on storage systems and solutions for greenhouse gas reduction and the optimization of TCO in energy-intensive industries.

Our energy storage solutions will enable businesses to become ‘greener’, more productive and in control of their energy usage and costs ».

Another benefit of this project is its unique and innovative Battery Management System (BMS) for lead batteries:

«Our installation is utilizing the battery management system to control the voltage of each cell and the temperature on each string, via four probes, assuring a tight control of the depth of discharge and charge on each string.

Taking into consideration that the battery operates on one cycle per day, this will allow deeper control of the state of health of the cells and act as soon as needed. It also predicts the available energy of the system depending on the power», concluded José.

This installation is one of many worldwide energy storage systems using lead batteries. If you’re interested in more projects like this one, please explore our Interactive Map.

Military power: U.S. Army chooses resilient lead batteries “to deploy energy storage systems anywhere in the world”

NEWS RELEASE

The U.S. Army has chosen advanced lead battery energy storage systems to enhance its operational effectiveness in disaster zones and in combat.

A project led by Paragon Solutions, Inc., and the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) is providing a new set of systems that can provide power for critical military operations anywhere in the world.

Paragon, a woman-owned engineering firm, and a member of the Consortium for Energy, Environment, and Demilitarization (CEED), partnered with CBI, a global lead battery research hub, to develop the winning proposal in response to a request issued to CEED members by the Consortium Management Group (CMG). The effort is sponsored by the U.S. Government under an Other Transaction Agreement between CMG and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.*

Paragon and CBI will develop transportable, robust, lead battery energy storage systems that can be integrated into tactical microgrids and demonstrated at the Contingency Basing Integration Training Evaluation Center (CBITEC) at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The CBITEC site is managed by the U.S Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL).

The eighteen-month $3.5 million program also seeks to demonstrate how U.S. Army units can use lead batteries sourced from the Department of Defense supply system and from locally available sources such as vehicles, while increasing the lifecycle for certain battery types to meet battlefield energy demands.

Retired U.S. Army Captain and government technical lead for this project, Tom Decker, said: “This is an important project to the Army because in any type of contingency environment, while in combat situations or following a natural disaster, it all falls back on the Army Corps of Engineers to provide power to continue operations. And this is where lead batteries come in.”

“By being able to use lead batteries that are available on the ground and make an energy resource out of them, we have the ability to continue whatever mission we’re on, be it disaster relief or engaging in combat.”

“This just adds to our capabilities. The durability of lead batteries has been proven over many decades so we know what we’re getting when we use the technology. But then we get the added value of the advanced lead battery systems which the industry supplies, and this is the technology that makes the systems viable.”

“Lead batteries give us the ability to deploy energy storage systems anywhere in the world, enhancing our resiliency. And one of the current US administration’s priorities is reducing carbon footprint, so by decreasing our use of fuel and adopting more innovative energy storage systems, we’re reducing our carbon footprint too.”

Implementation of the systems will be done to NATO specifications, and if successful, would allow for deployment in many different countries. This solution aims to overcome issues with host nation power grids by designing an energy storage system that accepts host nation power, stores it, and then provides it in a form that is compatible with U.S. Army equipment.

The resiliency, safety and reliability of power supplies are priorities for military operations. Lead batteries have been chosen for the project as the technology of choice because of their inherent safety and robustness in extreme weather as well as their availability in the field. Using lead batteries would provide Army Commanders with local sources of batteries in vehicles and telecommunications towers around the world.

The Paragon/CBI team will develop energy storage systems providing between 125kWh to 250kWh of critical energy using three different lead battery technologies provided by US-based battery manufacturers, Advanced Battery Concepts (ABC), East Penn Manufacturing and EnerSys. These operational workhorses will be transportable, easy to operate by military personnel, and can be integrated into tactical  microgrids to provide power for critical loads.

The project team will also develop a ‘plug-and-play’ 30 kWh energy storage system, which will give soldiers the ability to plug into an energy storage source made up of used lead batteries found in locally available sources, such as vehicles. Marcus Ferguson, ERDC-CERL project officer, and manager of the CBITEC site said: “After Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in 2017, approximately 130,000 damaged vehicles were lying unused with an untapped energy source: lead batteries. If this energy could be harvested, future disaster relief and other military operations, wherever they are in the world, could be provided with reliable, low-cost energy”.

The prototype lead battery energy storage systems will be constructed and tested in various simulated duty cycles to recreate typical field conditions for military operations. The aim is to develop systems that could be rolled out across the U.S. Army. Furthermore, when the lead battery ESS prototypes are connected to Army tactical quiet generators (TQGs) the systems will provide low heat signature and quiet energy assets - essential requirements for U.S. Army activities in the field.

Dr. Matt Raiford, CBI project manager, added: “Lead batteries have been chosen for this important project based on their resilience, consistent performance at all temperatures and their accessibility. This will set a benchmark for smaller microgrids providing essential power and security in a range of settings from remote rural areas to larger military installations.”

Raiford continued: “CBI is committed to developing advanced lead batteries for energy storage applications and the recognition that this mainstay technology has been chosen to support U.S. Army operations is testament to the inherent safety, reliability and sustainability of the technology.”

*Effort sponsored by the U.S. Government under Other Transaction number W9132T209D001 between the Consortium Management Group, Inc., and the Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon.

The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Government.

END

Notes to editors:

 1: For more information please contact Hywel Jarman in the CBI media office on +44 7718 483887. Visit www.batteryinnovation.org.

Electrification drives automotive lead battery enhancements

A key goal of CBI’s Technical Roadmap to improve the DCA of lead batteries, a technical parameter highly relevant for the automotive industry which encompasses lower emission vehicles such as start-stop, micro-hybrids and electric vehicles.

The CBI-funded project "Best practice of cell testing for EFB regarding DCA and high-temperature durability" delivers a significant improvement of DCA while also delivering uncompromised water consumption and improved corrosion durability.

With project partners from across the European value chain – universities TU Berlin and Fraunhofer ISC, car company Ford and battery manufacturer Moll in– this project encompasses the diverse players involved in Europe’s innovative lead battery industry.

As the automotive industry continues to move towards decarbonisation and electrification, new functions are required to increase safety and comfort.  “These trends impose growing demands on the energy storage devices used within automobiles. In order to take advantage of these opportunities and defend against competition from other technologies, the lead battery must continue to adapt and improve”, explains Sophia Bauknecht from TU Berlin.

This project in particular is essential for the growing start-stop and micro-hybrid market as “Dynamic Charge Acceptance (DCA) and water loss are critical factors for the efficiency and lifetime of start-stop batteries, and they need to be improved to stay competitive with other battery technologies”, says Prof. Dr Julia Kowal from TU Berlin.

“Changes in the material synthesis and preparation are needed for cost-efficient and faster material developments. Especially if it works to measure the DCA from a simple measurement of a reduced size cell, improvement of DCA can become much faster because only small cells are needed for material screening and then only the promising materials need to be scaled up to complete batteries”, she continued.

Lead batteries are a vital part of automotive applications, including SLI, start-stop and micro-hybrid applications. As the industry shifts towards electrification, this technology will continue to evolve and adapt in order to provide better safety and security features through secondary low-voltage EV batteries, EFB and AGM batteries.

Pre-competitive research projects underway through CBI’s Technical Program, like this one, not only help CBI to develop better practices for the industry, but also strengthen the collaborative work between automotive manufacturers and battery application specialists to continue the innovation push driven by CBI.

Watch Part II video of CBI's visit to TU Berlin

Interested in related topics ?

We are hiring a Research & Innovation Manager based in North Carolina – Position Closed

About the job

CBI Research and Innovation Manager Position

Location Durham, North Carolina preferred

Contract Initial contract 18 months

Hours 35 (full time)

Job Summary

The Consortium for Battery Innovation, a rapidly growing global battery research consortium, is seeking candidates for an 18-month position as CBI Research and Innovation to be based at its North American office in Durham, North Carolina.

The successful candidate will have excellent scientific knowledge, ideally including battery technologies, in addition to strong communications and interpersonal skills. The candidate is expected to efficiently manage a diverse portfolio of technical activities working independently.

Required Qualifications

Preferred Qualifications

Job Responsibilities

This role will involve regular North American, European and Asian travel.

Compensation

The salary and benefits package will be commensurate with education and experience.

About CBI

The Consortium for Battery Innovation is a global innovation hub which supports cutting-edge pre-competitive research and promotion of innovation in lead battery technology. The consortium includes more than 100 member companies and organizations worldwide, consisting of lead producers, battery manufacturers, battery users, materials suppliers and research institutions.

The candidate would be joining a vibrant and dedicated team, with offices in Brussels, North Carolina, and London. More information can be found here.

Application

Interested candidates should submit a CV and cover letter to info@batteryinnovation.org by October 16, 2022.

We are committed to equal opportunities and creating an inclusive environment for all our employees. We welcome applicants regardless of ethnic origin, national origin, gender, race, color, religious beliefs, disability, sexual orientation or age.

Communications Manager for North Carolina Office – Position Closed

About the job

The Consortium for Battery Innovation, a rapidly growing global battery research consortium is looking to appoint an experienced communication manager to support our corporate communications programme, handling the full range of disciplines including external, digital and member/internal communications.

The role will report to the CBI Director, and is an opportunity to help deliver and influence a wide range of innovative communications projects and campaigns in Europe, the US, Asia and Africa. The post will be based from the CBI office in Durham, North Carolina.

Job Title Communications Manager

Location Durham, North Carolina preferred

Contract Initial contract 18 months

Hours 35 (full time)

Required Qualifications

Job Responsibilities

This role will involve regular North American travel and occasional European and Asian travel (15-25% time)

Compensation

The salary and benefits package will be commensurate with education and experience.

About CBI

The Consortium for Battery Innovation is a global innovation hub which supports cutting-edge pre-competitive research and promotion of innovation in lead battery technology. The consortium includes more than 100 member companies and organizations worldwide, consisting of lead producers, battery manufacturers, battery users, materials suppliers and research institutions.

The candidate would be joining a vibrant and dedicated team, with offices in North Carolina, and London. More information can be found here.

Application

Interested candidates should submit a CV and cover letter to info@batteryinnovation.org by October 21, 2022.

We are committed to equal opportunities and creating an inclusive environment for all our employees. We welcome applicants regardless of ethnic origin, national origin, gender, race, color, religious beliefs, disability, sexual orientation or age.

CBI North American Workshop (Durham, NC)

The next North American CBI Technical Workshop will be held at the Durham Convention Center, Durham, North Carolina from 14-16 November 2022.  The workshop will start at 2pm on the 14th November and finish at 1pm on the 16thNovember.

This workshop will cover:

Workshop only for CBI members. For more info about the event and CBI membership, please contact Anita Wright at anita.wright@batteryinnovation.org

Energy Storage, E-mobility & Environment are the focus of CBI’s co-organised event in India

CBI is co-organising an event with the India Lead Zinc Development Association (ILZDA), International Lead Association (ILA), International Lead Zinc Study Group (ILZSG), Indian Battery Manufacturers Association (IBMA) and the Recycling and  Environment  Industry Association of India (REIAI) to discuss the role of the lead industry in Energy Storage, E-mobility and Environment.

The International Conference on Lead & Lead Batteries will take place in New Delhi, India from 5-6 December 2022 and CBI’s Director, Dr Alistair Davidson, will talk about innovation for lead batteries and CBI's exciting new projects coming up involving energy storage systems.

This world class event is a great opportunity for stakeholders of the lead and lead battery industry to learn more about the latest technology developments and trends.

Alignment between Europe’s car industry and battery specialists through research

One of the highest priority goals set out in CBI’s Technical Roadmap is improving DCA –Dynamic Charge Acceptance for automotive lead batteries.

It’s a key area of work that CBI works with universities, research institutes, battery companies and car manufacturers around the world to tackle.

At TU Berlin, an ongoing research project has identified that on a battery level “single-pulse test for DCA and continuous overcharging for water consumption bear only weak correlation with results obtained under field conditions, particularly when most advanced (high DCA) battery technologies are addressed”, says Sophia Baucknecht, Graduate Research Scientist from TU Berlin.

As part of the research team made up of TU Berlin, Fraunhofer ISC, Ford and Moll, Sophia’s research aims for a better alignment and co-operation between car makers and battery application specialists.

With what aim? To establish best practice cell-testing for EFB regarding DCA and high-temperature durability.

These two metrics are vital for the enhanced performance of automotive lead batteries used across the global vehicle fleet, such as start-stop and micro-hybrids.

The research is increasing the efficiency of lead batteries by “finding out if lab-cell tests of DCA and water loss can be scaled up to a complete battery”, explains Prof. Dr Julia Kowal from TU Berlin.

If there’s higher efficiency and better charge acceptance, “less energy is lost during charging and braking and so the fuel consumption is reduced”, she continues. This is a critical step for automotive battery innovation towards decarbonisation and electrification for more fuel-efficient cars with a lower carbon footprint.

Watch the first video on CBI's visit to TU Berlin:

Interested in related topics?

ELBC 2022: CBI’S contribution to the future of the industry

The Global Lead Battery Innovation Conference and Expo (ELBC), co-organised for the first time by CBI, took place in Lyon, France (6-9 Sept).

As a warm-up to the main conference, CBI brought together lead battery industry experts from all over the world, to take part in:

On day one of ELBC, CBI’s Director (Dr Alistair Davison) set out a positive assessment of the opportunities for advanced lead batteries highlighting CBI’s roadmap, which charts a path to a new generation of batteries in a session dedicated to Markets and Trends.

And CBI technical experts, including Begüm Bozkaya, Technical Manager, outlined the CBI technical program with an insightful presentation focusing on improving energy storage systems and automotive batteries as key innovations in the industry.

To promote CBI’s Technical Roadmap and its work in driving innovation across the industry Dr Matthew Raiford, CBI’s Senior Technical Manager updated delegates. And in a major announcement, Dr Carl Telford impressed ELBC attendees with news of a 10 million Euro funding award for an innovative lead-battery powered microgrid project in Africa, brokered by CBI.

In his presentation entitled « Opportunities for Lead Batteries in Energy Storage Systems », Dr Telford spoke about the use of lead batteries for sustainable energy projects and presented for the first time this novel project funded by the European Commission that gathers lead batteries, renewables, and hydrogen.

As always at ELBC there were many networking opportunities, with delegates able to meet face to face for the first time in four years. The well-attended gala dinner took place at La Sucrière, and WGBI’s (Women in the Global Battery Industry) held its first meeting in Europe. This important initiative aims to bring more women to our industry and empower them through networking sessions, workshops, and mentoring opportunities.

CBI is very much looking forward to seeing all these fantastic attendees and delegates again at ELBC 2024 in Milan, Italy.

Watch the Event video:

Renewables, batteries and hydrogen: working together for the clean energy transition

The share of renewables for electricity generation by 2030 is expected to grow to 35%, and this global shift is relying on innovative technologies to harness this energy in clean, affordable and sustainable ways.

A big focus area for this shift is how to ensure that the clean energy transition fairly includes communities in parts of the world without reliable access to electricity or energy resources.

Responding to Europe’s Horizon call for funding proposals, a consortium of organizations spanning the energy, batteries, hydrogen academic and NGO sectors has joined together to develop a novel concept called LoCEL-H2.

Aiming to develop a sustainable, scalable, multi-vector energy solution to improve the lives of vulnerable communities, the project is based on renewables, battery storage and a novel hydrogen technology for cooking/fuel.

Low-cost, Circular, plug & play, off-grid Energy for remote Locations including Hydrogen, LoCEL-H2 is recognising the need for a fair energy transition across the globe and working to deploy pilots in two communities that have no access to reliable sources of energy.

Remote community in Africa (Ivory Coast).

This innovative concept includes battolyser hydrogen technology under development at Loughborough University, which will be used as cooking fuel for the communities where the modular off-grid energy solutions will be installed.

The future needs innovation. And it needs technologies to work together and complement each other to deliver innovative solutions for the clean energy transition. Bringing together different sectors, each with expertise in various technologies and energy solutions, LoCEL-H2 aims to ensure clean energy is paired with socioeconomic benefits for remote communities around the world.

See Press Release here.

Watch the first video about the project:

Using neutron diffraction to improve the lifetime of energy storage lead batteries

There are clear goals from the EU to decarbonize and decrease the reliance on fossil fuels. Understanding the fundamental contributors to lead battery failure at a molecular level will enable stronger cycling performance of lead batteries in all applications, such as microhybrid and energy storage applications. Batteries in these applications serve as the main tool to decarbonize the European utility grid and automotive fleet, the most important areas underpinning the EU Green Deal.

The main objective of this project is to analyze the different electrochemical processes and reactions that take place inside the battery electrodes during operation. To this end, CBI, INMA, and Exide Group are using, for the first time, in-operando neutron scattering techniques by placing real operating cells, built using the same components as in the factories, in a neutron instrument and collecting diffraction patterns and images from inside the cell, with both spatial and time resolutions, during the charge and discharge processes.

Also using neutrons because its penetration capacity in matter is much higher than that of other particles, as X-rays or electrons, used until now for battery analyses. In this way, it's possible to study real thick cells, about one centimeter in thickness, in real operating conditions.

This is an approach never used before in lead cells.

INMA's laboratory

Learn more about this project through our project update video:

Celebrating Earth Day

Every year since 1970 people all over the globe celebrate Earth Day to support the dialogue and actions taken towards the preservation of our planet, its environment, sustainability, and its future.

Today at CBI, we want to celebrate this day too by sharing some of the key ways in which the potential of our technology is being unlocked through research and innovation, to contribute to the goals of Earth Day. 

Lead batteries are active in this space in two key ways: low-emission mobility and renewable energy storage.

One of our main research focuses at CBI is to expand the technology’s performance in the automotive industry, from start-stop technology to low voltage EV batteries. 

We're working with leading research institutes, battery manufacturers, and car companies to drive forward this progress to improve dynamic charge acceptance (DCA). You can read more about these projects here

Renewable energy storage also has a major role in the current energy transition across the globe, delivering clean, reliable power. Some of the recent examples we've added to our interactive map of energy storage projects, which showcases our members in all regions of the world providing advanced lead battery storage, are below:

This is just a snapshot of how the global lead battery industry is underpinning the clean energy transition in diverse sectors, from science and safari to manufacturing.

Innovation is key to sustainability. Technology progress is supported by fundamental scientific research into the chemistry, to help make better batteries, and CBI’s 2022 Request for Proposals is calling on industry, scientists, and researchers to join us on this innovation journey.

From energy storage systems using renewable energy to cutting-edge research developments, these are some of the highlights of our recognition of the importance of Earth Day, every day. As our mission to support the energy transition grows, CBI will continue to work with the global lead battery industry to ensure lead batteries are ready to meet future opportunities

Key enablers of Europe’s climate-neutral goals: energy storage and batteries

The 4th edition of EASE’s Energy Storage Global Conference took place last week (19 – 21 October) in Brussels and online. With the support of the European Commission, the event provided three days of talks and discussions around the future of energy storage, its current market, policy frameworks and the latest trends in technology. 

For the opening session, Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, spoke about the key role of energy storage and batteries to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, while highlighting its increasing demand to answer the new targets for renewable energy and carbon emission standards.

Šefčovič mentioned the importance of innovation and competition to keep investing in current technologies, improving performance and using advanced materials: “Europe must invest, not only in improving existing solutions but also in developing next generation breakthrough technologies”.

EASE’s President, David Post, also predicted battery storage of 7.7TWh by 2030 and highlighted the importance of supporting all technologies.

The last day of the conference was focused on discovering the latest cutting-edge energy storage technologies and CBI’s Research and Innovation Manager, Dr Carl Telford, spoke in a session dedicated to “Electrochemical and Electrical Energy Storage”, presenting the work that CBI has been developing through research and innovation for advanced lead batteries.

CBI at the ESGC 2021 with Doriana Forleo from EASE
(right)

CBI's 2021 Technical Roadmap was presented to illustrate how constant performance improvement and technological advances can create limitless opportunities for the lead battery industry to help achieve global electrification and decarbonization targets.

While navigating through Europe’s funding landscape and showcasing European energy storage case studies using lead batteries (with Exide Group and Systems Sunlight SA), Dr Telford explained the challenges that the industry might face when applying through a “very complex” funding system, but also concluded with an optimistic note on the amount of opportunities that exist for energy storage and batteries in terms of public funding, proving that these are indeed necessary for the future:

“When considering the EU’s high-level goals, the speed of action required to mitigate the climate crisis, it is crucial that all energy storage solutions are not only available for deployment, but also encouraged”.


By Joana Coimbra,
Communications Officer, CBI

CBI takes part in #EUSEW: a new era for the lead battery is pushing for decarbonisation and circular economy

On October 4, CBI brought together a digital panel to discuss the critical role of batteries for Europe’s sustainable transition. As part of Europe's Sustainable Energy Week, supported by the EU Commission, the virtual event provided an open discussion around the importance of a level playing field amongst technologies in Europe and featured European case studies where advanced lead batteries are providing reliable, recyclable and safe energy storage.

CBI’s Research and Innovation Manager, Dr Carl Telford, opened the event by showcasing our recently launched Technical Roadmap, to illustrate that “sustainable economies need batteries”. If policy makers want to solve the problems of climate change and pollution, while moving from a linear to a circular economy, then industries will “need a proper deployment of battery technologies and energy storage”, and this is where Europe’s lead battery industry plays a key role.

From Exide Europe, Holger Fricke, Director Basic Research R&D EMEA, presented the benefits of Exide’s “on-site solar installation in Portugal”, that combines lead battery energy storage with renewable energy. Carbon emissions were reduced by more than 20% and energy management was improved, turning this case study into a real-world example of decarbonisation, with the installation facilities now being used as a showcase.

Peter Stevenson, Senior Technical Co-ordinator at GS Yuasa, joined the event to discuss the importance of hybrid solutions for Europe’s sustainable energy future. Using an example of the “world’s first container of dual chemistry energy storage system”, he highlighted the “complementarity and flexibility” between lead and lithium battery technologies.

While moderating the panel, Patrick Clerens, Secretary-General at EASE, reflected on the need of a level playing field between different technologies and stated that “no one can pick a technology winner”. Europe needs more batteries and new battery technologies, including hybrid ones, and through this it is possible to have “the best of both worlds”.

CBI's virtual event for #EUSEW 2021

There are already some EU industrial and research initiatives going on to demonstrate how batteries can work together to reach the energy demands, such as the European Battery Alliance, Batteries Europe, Batteries 2030+ or IPCEI's. However, it remains important to share the message that a wide array of energy storage and battery technologies are needed to address the flexibility requirements and support the energy transition and the EU green goals, including lead batteries.

By the end of the discussion, it was clear that other industries can learn from the lead battery experience since it’s a well-established industry that represents a major example of circularity in Europe. Through research and innovation, enhancing the performance of lead-based technologies will be essential for Europe’s sustainable energy future and create further opportunities for synergies with other chemistries.  

Watch the video of the event:

Download the presentations from the event below:

  1. Supporting Europe's Sustainable Energy Future: Advanced Lead Batteries
  2. Renewable Projects to Frequency Regulation: Introducing Advanced Lead Battery Energy Storage
  3. The Importance of a Level Playing Field for Batteries in Europe
  4. Case Study: Renewable Energy Storage for Manufacturing
  5. Case Study: Hybrid Battery Systems

Lead batteries are a part of the future and this is why

For the first time at the Batteries Event, held in September 2021 and organized by Avicenne Energy, there was a dedicated session for lead batteries. This is another major step for the industry demonstrating how this technology continues to evolve and is key to the current discussions within the energy sector.

Co-organized by CBI and EUROBAT, the session ‘Driving sustainable growth through LEAD BATTERY innovation’ brought up significant topics such as decarbonisation, circular economy and the work of the lead industry to upgrade and innovate for current applications such as clean energy and e-mobility.

Opening the session was EUROBAT’s Director Communications & Stewardship, Gert Meylemans, who noted that both lead and lithium will still be the dominant chemistries in the next decade.

Focusing on the numbers, lead-based technology will remain almost exclusively the preferred technology for 12V automotive applications, while continuing to be the dominant technology for UPS applications (Uninterruptible Power Supply) providing 90% of global demand and increasing by 5.5 GWh by 2030.

Our very own Research and Innovation Manager Dr Carl Telford introduced our recently launched Technical Roadmap to the audience and explored the funding opportunities for the industry within the EU.

From left to right: Gert MEYLEMANS (EUROBAT), Dr Bernhard RIEGEL (HOPPECKE) & Dr Carl TELFORD (CBI)

CBI’s new Technical Roadmap is an expansive document setting out key research priorities for the industry for all applications using lead batteries. With a special section dedicated to energy storage systems solutions where lead batteries play a major role – from utility and renewable energy storage projects to hybrid solutionsthe opportunities to enhance lead batteries through research and innovation have huge potential.

Dr Christian Rosenkranz from Clarios (also CBI’s Chairman) explored both CBI and EUROBAT Roadmaps, highlighting the “strong innovation potential of all battery technologies” and their contribution to the EU Green Deal, Fit-for-55 and net-zero pollution goals, as they:

To conclude this fantastic session, Dr Bernhard Riegel from HOPPECKE explored the innovation potential of electrochemical storage systems for industrial applications, an “ongoing process” for established technologies. High recyclability, low investment cost and low safety requirements were pointed out as the main advantages of the lead-based technology for the upcoming years.

The Batteries Event 2021 has ended but our work is now more exciting than ever with all the future opportunities for the technology and the innovation to come, driven by CBI’s Technical Roadmap.


The Green and Digital Transition: how CBI is helping lead batteries to stand out

On September 15, the EU Commission’s President made a State of the Union speech highly focused on the future: from investing in 5G, to improving research and innovation and making sure that Europe will reach the EU Green Deal goals.  Ursula Von der Leyen pointed out some of the key aspects that rule our work at CBI and our dialogue with our members and companies from the industry.

Through NextGenerationEU, the Commission is committed to “invest in 5G and digital skills” as the demand for faster and more efficient networks increases, along with the explosion of AI, EVs and many other real-time autonomous applications.

“To ensure uninterrupted access to these services, telecoms and data centre back-up demand will increase exponentially” and this is where lead batteries have an important role. As the main option for the “uninterruptible power supply (UPS) energy storage needed for data centres and network rooms” representing 90% of global demand, lead batteries are a critical player for Europe’s digital transition.

But let’s not forget about the role of this technology for hospital back-up applications, incredibly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic, by “ensuring uninterrupted power supplies”. In Italy and in the UK, FIAMM’s provided safe and reliable lead batteries to support hospital power. 

Another wish from Von der Leyen is to achieve “European tech sovereignty”, which also includes the ability to supply the entire value chain in many highly demanded technologies, such as EVs, hybrid vehicles or renewable energy storage systems. CBI recognizes that all batteries are needed to give Europe the faculty to attain green goals and, as we invest in research and innovation for advanced lead batteries and work with world-class institutes, we are here to say that this technology is a critical player in the green transition by offering “high-performance, reliability, safety and a sustainability profile including almost 100% recycling at end-of-life in Europe”.

We are demonstrating that lead batteries can make EVs safer, that our members are involved in clean energy storage projects contributing to decarbonization and that this technology is a great team player when collaborating with other batteries and using the best of both chemistries for a more efficient outcome.

As the urge for a fair green transition and a cleaner energy society increases, CBI believes that the actions to reach 2030 goals must be taken now and that the potential and opportunities for advanced lead batteries are limitless:

"To make sure that the clean energy transition is achieved, Europe should use as many lead batteries as possible, and increase investment in research and innovation for this technology".

CBI is proudly recognized as the world’s only advanced battery research group supporting EU-based companies and we believe that through collaborative research for innovation we will help the EU to achieve the ambitious, but not impossible, goals.



CBI’s « rail road » to keep supporting research and innovation for lead batteries

This year is set to be the Year of Rail in Europe and the EU is also currently celebrating its Mobility Week.

In fact, there are many reasons to keep investing and improving this sustainable, innovative and fast transport mode. Not only does it add value from an economic perspective by contributing to the EU Green goals for 2050 while creating jobs and growth (note that: only in 2015, the rail sector employed directly 577,000 people according to an EU Commission's report ), but it also has a social impact by connecting people from all member states through seamless rail networks and reducing distance when it comes to commuting.

Therefore, thinking about the future of Europe’s Rail industry also leads to the future of its sustainability in our society - possible to develop through research and innovation.

In a recent article by Dr. Bernhard Riegel, Director of Research Development at battery systems provider for train operating companies, HOPPECKE Batterien GmbH & Co. KG, he notes that lead batteries are still the most widely used technology in Central Europe for supplying power to the onboard electrical systems of trains.

With a staggering 416 billion passenger-kilometres of rail travel across Europe in 2019, the role of lead batteries is critical for train mobility.

In the article featured on Charge the Future, Dr. Riegel discusses the unique blend of benefits offering by lead batteries for rail applications. At moderate temperatures they combine low maintenance requirements, reliability and low lifecycle costs. In many European trains, lead batteries are used to protect onboard power supply systems. Whether they provide emergency power supply for passenger cars, start the diesel engine for diesel locomotives or are used for direct drive, lead batteries play an essential role for rail.

CBI’s  « rail road »  to keep supporting research and innovation for lead batteries in order to significantly contribute to the EU green goals and future climate objectives of our planet, is linked to the knowledge that lead batteries have a tremendous potential to innovate and be used in many different applications in a highly sustainable, economic and safer way.

Dr. Riegel, also highlighted the growth potential of lead batteries in this and other sectors, from providing uninterrupted power to hospitals and back-up to telecoms and stabilise grids, to backing up renewable energy supplies and supporting hybrid and electric vehicles.

As we celebrate the EU’s mobility week, we recognize the many ways lead batteries are powering low-emission mobility and contribute to Europe’s low carbon future.