Hammond paste additives position firm for new regulatory readiness

Hammond Group’s latest developments in paste additive technology will allow the firm to stay at the forefront of conservation efforts to cut carbon emissions, customer service manager Stephan Bolanowski told BESB in early June.

Policies already adopted by some US states that reduce the amount of overcharge allowed for lead-acid batteries could be adopted nationwide by the Department of Energy by 2018. For deep cycle lead batteries to remain economically viable their charging efficiency will have to increase, says Bolanowski.

At the moment, deep cycle batteries need up to 20% overcharge to provide optimum performance — but Bolanowski says the group’s positive and negative paste additives have been proved to increase energy capacity by 62%, even when the overcharge is limited to 5%.

This, says Bolanowski, will mean less than a 1% increase in production costs for battery makers.

Hammond’s technology was entered into the Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz innovation awards at the BCI conference at the beginning of May, a year after its Advanced Expander and state-of-the-art lead-acid battery laboratory won the award.

The firm says that idle load electricity consumption wastes more than 150 billion kilowatt hours of electricity each year — the equivalent of 50 large power plants. In financial terms this equates to more than $19 billion, and in emissions, 100 million tonnes of CO2.

Another benefit of Hammond’s paste is the improved charge efficiency during formation, resulting in higher initial capacity, full conversion and long cycle life, says Bolanowski.

By adding the additives to the paste, the plate surface area is doubled, which in turn enhances charge acceptance.

“Hammond is committed to reducing carbon emissions,” says Bolanowski. “Through innovation and partnership with customers we can achieve this – we are ready to assist manufacturers, who have to be first. We are right up there with them.

“We have had several customers who are using additives in their full production. It’s being adapted in the industry, it’s still relatively early on but there are definitely several companies using it and using it successfully.”

Bolanowski says there is plenty of innovation going on in the lead-acid battery industry, and Hammond’s laboratory is expanding its own research.

“Our general thesis is that lead’s here to stay and lead can play in more markets than was previously believed. More people than ever understand that lead is virtually 100% recyclable and that lithium doesn’t have a full recycling stream that works.”