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:
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 ».
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.
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.
Notes to editors:
1: For more information please contact Hywel Jarman in the CBI media office on +44 7718 483887. Visit www.batteryinnovation.org.
They are the future of the lead battery industry: highly-educated, motivated and brimming with new ideas and ambition. CBI spoke to three talented scientists, new to the lead battery industry, to find out more about their perceptions of the workplace and to hear their suggestions about how the industry can continue to attract the brightest and the best.
Max Parker, a PhD Student at Warwick University (United Kingdom); Miguel Rodríguez Gómez, PhD Student at INMA (Spain) and Grace Rocha, a Scientist at ITEMM (Brazil). From industry’s first impressions, learning new areas for innovation and crucial for our future, to the industry’s urgent effort to attract more young talents, they are the voices of a new generation inside the lead battery industry and here’s how they feel about it.
CBI : Tell us a bit about when you first joined this industry. What were your expectations ?
Max : « Batteries are an exciting area with a lot of areas to look at and lots of different things to analyse. Before joining the industry I didn’t really know what made one battery better than the next, why this one can charge faster than the other or why this one lasts longer than the other. Lead batteries are interesting because they have been around for such a long time, but there is still so much more to look at, and still so much more to learn. »
Grace : « To be really honest I didn’t think very much about the whole Lead Battery industry. I just wanted to be part of a great industry with a great social impact, which everybody near around knows Moura does to the city and to the state. Now, I am truly surprised with how much I enjoy working on the field. I see that there is a excitingopportunity for progress learning and development in every area of lead battery technology. »
Miguel : « I had just finished my masters degree and I was looking for research into something related to the energy or climate crisis. Energy storage is essential to be able to cover the off-peak hours of renewable production, and to move away from fossil fuels (which also have rapidly diminishing reserves). So, I started to look for research lines related to batteries. The truth is that I knew almost nothing about lead batteries, I thought there were only in cars and little else, but when I learned a little more and discovered that they can be used for many things and above all that recycling is very high, I decided to go for it.”
CBI : And now that you’ve been working for the industry, what’s your current perception ?
Max : « I think that there are lots of challenges ahead for the world of lead batteries. I would like to see more innovation to meeting these challenges, especially in the energy storage sector, which will be a big part of the future of lead batteries. Innovation is constant, and constantly necessary, because the use cases of lead batteries are changing. We need to be providing the new and innovative batteries of not just today but also the future. »
Miguel : « There is still much to discover and improve, and I think that since the materials of the batteries are cheap and abundant (but also safe and resistant), it will be very important in the years to come. On the other hand I think that production is too focused on the automotive industry. There is less and less demand for cars worldwide and energy is becoming more and more expensive, so I am convinced that the future is energy storage and back up systems. »
CBI : What can you learn from working with professionals who have been in the industry for a long time? What do you learn from each other in your projects ?
Max : « Professionals with a lot of experience have a wealth of knowledge and, but it is up to them to pass that on. I started from zero knowledge and having an experienced professional to provide guidance would have been of great help to ensure that I wasn’t misunderstanding things. Since being involved with the CBI, it has enabled contact with battery experts within companies and other universities. Some of them can share knowledge that is not as well known or written about in technical literature. And this leads to better experiments, better understanding and better development. »
Grace : « One of my favorite things about my job is the opportunity to network with everybody in the global lead battery chain. I’ve noticed that there is so much contribution on the field. For example, every time I have a call with a supplier, a partner, a specialist, I learn something new. And I feel they are always willing to help, they are so welcoming to answer my questions (and I do have lots of questions !). The Lead battery is not a technology that you learn through on college here in Brazil. So everything I know so far, I’ve learned from their experience. I’m really glad to see how some of the ideas I’ve given actually worked and contributed with the development of the projects. »
CBI : What things would you like to happen in the industry to attract more talent ?
Miguel : « There are two main things to attract younger professionals. The first is to raise awareness of the lead battery industry, communicating its importance globally and showing that it is possible to have a fruitful career in it. The second is to communicate that it is a technology that can help with very important problems that especially (but not only) the younger generations are going to suffer, such as the climate crisis, the energy crisis and the resource crisis. For me personally, it is essential that 99% of the lead in batteries is recycled. I would not like to work with a polluting technology that ends up accumulating in landfills. I also believe that research lines focused on renewable energy storage and batteries for trains (which is the most efficient and less polluting transport, both for people and goods), should be encouraged. »
Max : « From my perspective in the world of academia, I would like to see more PhD funding, more internships, sponsorships and more university partnerships. Early career development and career paths can encourage people to join. Another option would be a summer job/internship/work experience in a battery company. Getting young people into the world of batteries requires investment in them, and guidance. With the right support and guidance a PhD student can produce some excellent research. But without the right funding they will go to do something else, or a PhD in another field. »
Grace : « I believe the answer is undergraduate students. Talking about the Brazil scenario, I would like to see the industry work more with universities. For example, investing in programs to develop new projects for undergraduate students. I think that would be a win/win situation : The students would have the opportunity to work on a real life problem and learn about the lead battery from experts ; and the company would have the opportunity to work with new researchers and a new university department. This is a great way for students to be more prepared before they join a lead battery company.
I think even quick programs like a “Battery Marathon”, something like a Hackathon, would make students curios about the area and starttheir development from college. Today, at ITEMM we are already making this approach. Recently we started the implementation of a research and innovation center in a technical college in the city, focused on developing young talent.»
CBI : Would you recommend the lead battery industry as a place to work for young scientists?
Miguel : « I recommend the lead battery industry to anyone interested in energy storage. It is a well-known technology but there is still a lot of room for improvement, and research is always interesting and fun. From my work I especially like the direct relationship with the industry, which is eager to generate more and more research projects. This year at ELBC, I have learned a lot and it has been a very rewarding experience to learn about the latest advances in research and also to see what the market trends are. »
Grace : « I do recommend. The more I work on the field the more I see there is still so much room for new ideas. It is a great time to be working in the battery field! Environmental care is one of the major concerns around the world, and batteries are key to this! One of the great things about the lead battery industry is that we are a safe technology, critical for energy storage, which helps reduce the global carbon footprint. Something people forget is that we are also an industry that has a true circular economy. »
Both Max and Miguel won this year’s CBI & EUROBAT Student Award, a great way to promote their work in the industry by bringing them to ELBC 2022 as speakers. In 2022, CBI also visited ITEMM in Brazil, where we had the chance to meet Grace and learn about her work at the Research and Development Department.
Interested about their work with CBI? Check out our blogs and videos:
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:
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.
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:
As part of CBI’s technical team, we’ve recently welcomed Begüm Bozkaya. With a BSc degree in Chemistry from the Middle East Technical University and an MSc degree in Materials Science from the Technical University of Munich, she gained extensive knowledge on the effects of carbon additives on negative plates for lead batteries, after using this as a Ph.D. research topic.
After working on several industrial projects for the past 6 years, Begüm joined CBI to gain a broader perspective on lead battery research as her role involves directly working with CBI’s global members from different companies and stages of the supply chain. She will be managing all of CBI’s European Technical projects as well as supporting CBI’s standards program.
According to her, CBI is doing what no one else in the industry is by “combining the knowledge from the industry and research institutes and collecting them in a non-competitive environment”. This means it’s possible to pool knowledge from a range of battery experts in order to advance lead battery technology for all applications, from energy storage systems to automotive.
As part of CBI’s team based in Europe, it is also important to look at the role of EU industry-research-academia partnerships in driving innovation. “We need to strongly defend the place of lead batteries. This is a well-established technology: we are cost-effective, recyclable, we have innovative research initiatives underway, and we’re committed to contributing to a cleaner future in the energy sector, especially to facilitate decarbonisation and support climate goals. It is vital that the EU includes all batteries in their future work plans”.
In that sense, the work developed by CBI through its Technical Roadmap has been essential to collect relevant information for lead battery applications and to help educate the audience regarding the future of this technology that has an enormous potential:
“If we can open new research topics and innovative ideas that can cover what we have in the roadmap, I’m sure lead batteries can still be considered a key player in the efforts to decarbonise, and developed further as a result. Research is the key point.”
When mentioning the new year and the developments that we can expect from advanced lead batteries, Bozkaya said that bipolar or advanced PbC batteries “can bring new research topics” for the industry and that these are “great candidates for EU initiatives”:
“There’s a bright future for advanced lead batteries and a lot of great research projects being developed as a result of CBI’s work, so I believe that in the near future we will be able to show even more how committed the industry is to Europe’s climate goals and, therefore be more involved with EU initiatives through lead battery research projects”.
For more information on CBI’s innovative technical program, click here.
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'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”.
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.
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 solutions – the 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.