Projects Underway at Brno, Sofia Kickstart 2016-18 ALABC Program
Brno Technical University's Dept. of Electrotechnology
The 2016-18 ALABC R&D Program is officially underway with the start of two new projects – one from the Brno Technical University in the Czech Republic and the other from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia – to study the effects of carbon and other additives on lead-acid battery performance. Both projects were among the first four approved by the ALABC General Assembly earlier this year for the Consortium’s technical program, with several more approved last month at the meetings in Malta.
The project under the Brno Technical University's Department of Electrotechnology (BS-CNP1) is taking a closer look at four separate additives (powdered graphite, titanium dioxide, glass fibers and organic expanders) to determine how conductive and non-conductive additives affect negative electrodes under hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) duty at a partial state-of-charge (PSoC). Another intent is determine what formulations and/or combinations can help increase the cycle life and specific energy of lead-acid batteries in HEV applications, as well as identify more specific causes of their premature capacity loss (PCL3). Most of the work will be performed at the University’s new measuring station featuring an Atom Force Microscope (AFM), an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) and X-ray diffraction analyzer (XRD). The first progress report is expected to be available to members in early 2017.
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences' IEES
Project BS-CNPWLET undertaken by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Electrochemistry and Energy Systems (IEES), Lead-Acid Batteries Department (LABD), will also study carbon additives (carbon black, activated carbon and graphite) in lead-acid batteries’ negative active material (NAM) under the high operating temperatures common in PSoC. The focus of this project, however, is to observe how the additives affect water loss within the battery and exploring strategies to reduce water loss – one of the primary objectives of the 2016-18 program – through varying 1) the paste formulation and ratio of the positive and negative active material, 2) the concentration of lignosulfonates, and 3) the NAM density.
The project is the latest contribution from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, which has been one of the most diligent R&D institutions involved in ALABC research. Members can expect to see the first progress report in early 2017.
Several more projects have been approved by membership and others are still under consideration for the 1618 program. For more information, visit the ALABC website at www.alabc.org.
EUROBAT Issues Position on EC Roadmap for Batteries Directive
In a recent announcement, EUROBAT (the association for European manufacturers automotive, industrial and energy storage batteries) stated its position on the European Commission’s evaluation of the Batteries Directive, which is one of the central pieces of EU legislation for the battery sector. The statement reinforces the point that decisions about which battery chemistry to use for a given application should be left to the markets, particularly producers of batteries and those using them. Any decision to substitute one battery chemistry for another must first include consideration of required performance (as these products are often used as back-up equipment providing safety functionalities), an analysis of the environmental impact from cradle-to-grave, along with a consideration of socio-economic aspects.