Pb battolyser project gets underway in Africa

Pb battolyser project gets underway in Africa

Pb battolyser project gets underway in Africa 339 233 Batteries International

March 23, 2023: Planning has started on deploying lead battery technology at the heart of two innovative pilot energy storage systems in off-grid communities in Zambia and Ivory Coast, the Consortium for Battery Innovation announced on March 20.

The CBI revealed last September that, together with a consortium of international partners, it had won a €10 million ($9.9 million) call for the project under the EU’s flagship research and innovation funding instrument, Horizon Europe.

Now the LoCEL-H2 project, (or Low-cost, Circular, plug & play, Off-grid Energy for remote Locations including Hydrogen), is moving ahead — combining the expertise of lead battery manufacturers, academia, national laboratories, component manufacturers, and companies who are focused on integration, microgrids and renewables.

At the core of each project will be lead battery electrolyser components — the battolyser — paired with renewables for electricity generation and a hydrogen solution for cooking without burning fossil fuels in isolated communities without access to a power grid.

By combining lead batteries with wind and solar power, this project could become a template for other energy-deprived areas around the globe.

CBI research and innovation manager Carl Telford coordinated the bid alongside academic and industry partners the French atomic energy agency (CEA), Hoppecke, Hollingsworth & Vose, UNINA, Loughborough University, Sunkofa, University of Gabes, SAS Réseaux Hydrogène Décarboné RHYDE, and LUMS.

Angel Kirchev (pictured), a senior expert at CEA Tech and LoCEL-H2’s project coordinator said: “CEA looks forward to coordinating this exciting and challenging four-year project which will bring sustainable energy and green hydrogen to challenged communities.”

Meanwhile, the CBI and Loughborough University have drawn up proposals for two additional, separate projects in the East African nation of Malawi.

For Malawi, the partners plan to develop a novel hydrogen-production energy storage system that uses a battolyser.

Funding is being sought for the Modular Energy Storage with Clean Hydrogen (MESCH) project, a first unit of which would support operations at a hospital in Malawi.

MESCH will provide essential backup power and also turn excess solar power into hydrogen for cooking.

The second funding bid proposed is for the ‘AfTrac’ project — that aims to develop ‘micro tractor technology’ powered by lead batteries in support of African agriculture.

This project is being led by Loughborough University, with the CBI and another UK organization as partners.

See a video of the LoCEL-H2 ‘kick-off’ meeting here.