Chinese battery firms join ALABC workshop in technological renaissance
Chinese battery makers are leading a renaissance in lead acid battery science, delegates learned in February at a technical workshop organized by the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium and Narada Power Sources, in Hangzhou, Eastern China.
The workshop was attended by ALABC members (battery manufacturers and suppliers) from China, Europe and North America, as well as guests from the Chinese Battery Industry Association and leading Chinese universities.
Seven Chinese firms — Camel Group, Chaowei Power, Jinkeli Sources, Sacred Sun, Shuangdeng Group (sometimes called China Shoto), Tianneng and Narada Power Sources — are full members of the ALABC.
The firms cover all battery-related sectors in China, from grid scale storage projects championed by companies such as Narada, Sacred Sun and China Shoto, to the use of lead carbon technology by companies such as Chaowei and Tianneng, possibly the two biggest battery makers in the world for e-bikes, low speed electric vehicles, energy storage and UPS.
Charging efficiency, improving high and low temperature performance and corrosion resistance in automotive and energy storage applications were three key areas discussed at the workshop.
Alistair Davidson, who jointly led the mission with Boris Monahov the ALABC program director, told BESB that one sector that was developing quickly was batteries for low-speed vehicles.
This was given legal status last October — prompting speculation by the China Low-Speed Electric Vehicle Industry Report that demand could grow from 23,000 units in 2009 to two million by 2020. (Read more here.)
“ALABC also held a members’ meeting, hosted by Narada, where there was discussion on the latest research projects funded under the ALABC 2016-2018 programme,” said Davidson, who is also the products and sustainability director at the International Lead Association. The ALABC is a subsidiary division of the ILA.
“In addition this meeting highlighted the exciting opportunities for lead batteries in the field of utility and renewable energy storage, with China-based ALABC members presenting on a range of pilot projects utilizing lead batteries including frequency regulation, rural electrification, microgrids, and domestic use.”
He said other projects included work on frequency response, regulation and micro-grid applications. “Everyone felt that the projects were in line with the ALABC and its strategy,” he said. “They were pleased to be working with the ALABC and very positive.
Monahov said: “There is no doubt about whether the Chinese battery industry is committed to lead batteries. Lead-acid technology is the beating heart of utility and renewable electrical energy storage, telecommunications, motive power and remote power supply in China. Furthermore, it’s clear that the industry is committed to improving the environmental impact of batteries through much improved recycling.
“Chinese lead battery makers are embracing every aspect of basic research the consortium can offer and have put in place strong research teams. They also understand the value of ALABC’s pre-competitive collaborative research which has propelled the industry forward in the last 25 years.”