A global battery consortium charged with advancing lead battery technology has re-launched as it prepares to unveil a raft of new research designed to take the technology to the next level. The , which includes more than 90 member companies worldwide supporting pre-competitive research into lead battery technology, is preparing for a in the next decade.
Since it was formed as the ALABC 25 years ago, the Consortium has ushered in major breakthroughs including start-stop batteries. Now, the Consortium for Battery Innovation has stepped-up its work by preparing a new technical roadmap designed to extend the performance and lifetime of the core battery technology.
“There are many factors driving this demand, including decarbonization and electrification,” said Dr Alistair Davidson, Director of the Consortium for Battery Innovation. “Excitingly, lead batteries are now becoming more common as energy storage for renewables, such as solar and wind, as local grids and independent electricity systems come on line. Cost, recycling, safety, and reliability, as well as performance, are all important factors for these systems, which play to the strengths of lead batteries.”
The program, which will be unveiled later this year, will fund projects designed to increase the cycle life of advanced lead batteries and further improve their ability to operate in applications such as start-stop and micro-hybrid applications. Other areas highlighted for future study include in-depth research into the addition of elements such as carbon aimed at extending lifetime and performance.
One of the Consortium’s is already underway in the United States in partnership with the Argonne National Laboratory. It uses the laboratory’s synchrotron x-ray source to study the chemical changes occurring during charge and discharge reactions in real time, something not previously conducted with lead batteries.
“I expect worldwide demand for energy storage to jump significantly in the next decade,” said Davidson. “In Europe alone demand is set to jump by up to 10 times by 2050. So advanced lead batteries will be critical to meeting that requirement, which is over and above existing uses such as start-stop batteries and back-up for mobile networks and emergency power.”
He added: “Overall there is of course an ever-present need for better performance and longer lifetime, so our next set of research priorities will amount to a big leap in the technology’s capability to help meet this surge in demand.
The Consortium includes an advisory panel made up of global battery experts who help define, assess and guide research.