Saft Introduces Latest Lithium-Ion Technology with Optus D3

Saft Introduces Latest Lithium-Ion Technology with Optus D3
November/December 2009
Saft Introduces Latest Lithium-Ion Technology with
Optus D3 Communications Satellite Launch
The recent launch of the Optus D3 communications
satellite marks the first flight of Saft's newest lithiumion (Li-ion) technology. The VES 180 cells provide an
additional 30 percent of energy (40 Wh), in the same
package size, as the previous version (VES 140). Saft
developed the VES 180 cell with the help of the European Space Agency and The Centre National d'Etudes
Spatiales (CNES) to offer the highest energy and en-
ergy density cells available for space applications.
Built for Australia-based Optus Networks Pty Limited by Orbital Sciences Corp., the Optus D3 will provide
Ku-band fixed communications and direct television
broadcasting services to Australia and New Zealand.
The satellite is based on the flight-proven STAR bus
and is among the most powerful GEO communications
satellites ever built by Orbital, generating nearly 5.0
kilowatts of payload power. The satellite carries 24
active Ku-band transponders on a platform suited
for telephony, data and broadcasting applications.
The rechargeable Li-Ion batteries will deliver
satellite power during two eclipse seasons per
year when the spacecraft is blocked from the sun,
allowing Orbital to significantly decrease the satellite's weight.
This approximately 30 to 50 percent weight
savings on the battery allows Orbital to produce a
more powerful satellite by dedicating more of its
crucial mass to the payload, or revenue generating
part of the spacecraft.
Saft provided two Li-ion batteries with VES
180 cells in the 4P9S configuration, each delivering 50 Ah.
In addition to the Optus D3, Saft has provided
batteries for several Orbital-built satellites, including the MEASAT-3a, which launched in June, and
both the Optus D1 and Optus D2 satellites that
launched in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Saft also
supplied its Li-ion technology for Orbital's Horizons-2 and THOR 5 satellites, both launched in
2008. Orbital's KOREASAT 6 is currently being
manufactured with Saft Li-ion batteries on-board
and is scheduled for launch in 2010.
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NEMA Urges Compliance with Regulations, Opposes Proposal
To Ban Lithium Batteries
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) called on US authorities to take full advantage of current safety regulations on air shipments of lithium
batteries and cited as unnecessary a recent proposal by the airline pilots union to ban
lithium batteries from being shipped as cargo on US passenger and cargo aircraft.
NEMA cited the additional burden such a measure that would impose on battery users,
consumers and industry.
Before it considers adding new requirements that have not been fully vetted, the
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the US Department of Transportation should proceed with its plan to propose updating the US regulations to account for changes made by international authorities since 2007, NEMA
wrote in a letter to PHMSA.
According to Kyle Pitsor, NEMA vice president of Government Relations, the recent incidents cited by the pilots union appear to be instances of non-compliance with
existing US regulations, not due to a lack of regulations.
NEMA’s Dry Battery Section represents major manufacturers of portable primary
batteries of many chemistries, including lithium. Military, aerospace, biomedical and
consumer applications have been made possible, and even driven by, the development
of lithium batteries. Non-rechargeable lithium metal batteries are produced in a wide
variety of sizes, from coin cells to cylindrical batteries and are used in a wide variety
of everyday items. They also serve as memory back-up in numerous consumer and
critical safety applications. Lithium metal batteries are currently banned by US authorities as cargo on passenger aircraft.
Volume 13, Issue 6
Thin Printed Carbon-Zinc
Batteries Galvanizing
Portable, “Green” Product
p 10
Advancements in WaterBased Processing for Large
Format Lithium Ion Cells
p 12
Reserve Power Hybrid
Systems Deliver Cost
Savings for Growing
Demand in
p 14
Battery Welding Solutions
Using Laser and
Resistance Technologies
p 15
Developments in the
Battery Market:
An Overview
p 22
New Batteries
On the Market
Integrated Circuits &
Charging & Testing
Battery Components
Power Supplies
p 9
Industry News p 17
Calendar of Events
p 23
p 23
New Products | 3
From the Editor
Editor & Publisher • David Webster
Director of Content • Shannon Given
Associate Editor • Nick Depperschmidt
Assistant Editors • Heather Krier,
Joanna Larez
News Editors • Jeremy Fleming,
Jessi Albers, Sue Hannebrink,
Laura Mayo
Manager of Administration
Marsha Grillo
Advertising, Sales and Marketing
Jessi Albers, Director of Sales
Jeremy Fleming, Account Executive
Jennifer Graham, Marketing Assistant
Julie Hammond, Production Manager
Director of Support Services
Marc Vang
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There are some exciting changes on the horizon for
Battery Power magazine. Starting with the January/February 2010 issue, we are changing our name
to simply Battery Power, and we are changing our
format from a tabloid sized publication to a standard
size publication. The evolution of the magazine will
still feature new products and technologies entering
the market, but will also have expanded editorial coverage with more feature articles, application stories
and guest columnists.
As always, the magazine is focused to help keep our
readers stay abreast of the latest trends and developments in the battery industry.
So keep your eye out for the new size and look of
Battery Power magazine!
Shannon Given
Director of Content
New Batteries on the Market
Imara Corp Launches Its First High-Power
Lithium-Ion Battery Cell
Imara Corp., a manufacturer of high-performance next-generation lithium-ion batteries, has introduced high-power cells
for the power tool, outdoor
power equipment and transportation markets.
Imara’s technology
breaks through conventional
battery technology barriers
that require a trade off between fast power discharge
and high energy density for
extended run time.
Imara’s technology
enables a new class of green
applications. An hour of
use of a typical four-stroke
gas-powered lawnmower
replaced with Imara battery
power eliminates the emissions equivalent to 11 SUV’s driving
on the highway for an hour. Replacing one two-stroke weedwhacker or leaf blower with Imara battery power is equivalent
to taking 17 SUVs off the road.
Trojan Battery Announces the New T105-RE
Renewable Energy Battery
Trojan Battery Company has introduced the T105-RE renewable energy battery. The existing RE series is built on deep
cycle batteries to deliver improved life, durability and charge
efficiency for renewable energy applications. The T105-RE
battery is built on Trojan’s 6-volt deep cycle battery, featuring
a compact size, enhanced
performance and five-year
worldwide warranty.
The T105-RE features
DuraGrid technology for an
eight-year design life and
charge efficiency, Maxguard
XL Advanced Design Separator, which is 30 percent
thicker and stronger, resists
stratification, extends life
and lowers overall maintenance costs.
Energizer’s Rechargeable AA Battery
Gets a Makeover
Energizer has introduced its Energizer Rechargeable AA
battery. As a result of advances in rechargeable technology,
Energizer has increased the capabilities of its AA rechargeable
battery. Consumers will see the benefits in increased charge
cycles and longer charge retention while holding capacity at a
high rate.
The Rechargeable AA now can be charged up to 500 times,
up to 150 more charging cycles than previous Energizer 2,450
mAh Rechargeable AA. The new battery will continue to last
up to four times longer than Energizer Max batteries in digital
Battery Power Products & Technology
cameras, but now holds more charge at six months than previous Energizer Rechargeable AA. These improvements make the
new Energizer Rechargeable AA battery well suited for high
drain devices like digital cameras and also a good solution for
use in low drain devices, such as remotes and flashlights.
PowerGenix Taps into Green Consumer
Market With Eco-Friendly Batteries
PowerGenix, a developer and manufacturer of nontoxic,
high performance Nickel-Zinc (NiZn) rechargeable batteries,
has introduced its AA NiZn batteries. The batteries are the first
to bare the PowerGenix
brand name, and provide
advanced performance
and leading environmental
credentials to satisfy green
gadget users and ecomoms alike.
The limited performance
capabilities of rechargeable
AA batteries has historically hampered their market
acceptance, as portable
consumer electronic devices, such as cameras and
flashlights, are designed
for optimal use with more
powerful disposable batteries. PowerGenix’s Nickel-Zinc AA’s are the first rechargeable
to deliver power equivalent to primary, single-use batteries, a
30 percent increase compared to conventional AA rechargeable
battery technologies.
In addition to offering advanced rechargeable battery performance, PowerGenix’s NiZn batteries are also safe, non-combustible and nontoxic. Certified by independent third party testing
to meet Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) standards,
PowerGenix’s batteries contain no heavy metals such as lead,
cadmium or mercury.
PowerGenix’s NiZn also represents the most recyclable
rechargeable chemistry on the market and has received certification from the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp. (RBRC)
for collection and recycling at its more than 30,000 drop-off
points in North America.
BatteryJack’s PowerStar PS12-230
BatteryJack’s sealed lead division, PowerStar, has developed
an extreme performance, high drain deep cycle battery used in
many back-up power and solar applications. The lead-calcium
alloy plates inside ensures improved performance and longlife.
The sealed, maintenance free technology keeps users from
having to monitor water and acid levels, while allowing them
to mount the battery in any position. The 12 V 230 AH battery
measures at 20.55 inches by 9.45 inches by 8.58 inches and
weighs 141 lbs. The PS12-230 is a green energy alternative to
the hazardous wet-cell batteries.
November/December 2009
4 | New Products
Integrated Circuits & Semiconductors
Highly Flexible Battery Chargers with Battery Detection and
Overvoltage-Protected Outputs
Maxim Integrated Products has introduced the MAX8844/MAX8845 28 V, dual-/
single-input, linear Li+ battery chargers with battery detection and overvoltageprotected outputs. These devices enhance flexibility by providing resistor-adjustable
fast-charge and top-off current
thresholds. To further increase
flexibility, an autobooting assistant circuit distinguishes input
sources and battery connection,
and also provides an enable
signal for system booting. The
MAX8844/MAX8845 are well
suited for space-constrained
applications such as cell phones
and smartphones.
The MAX8844 has two
overvoltage-protected LDO
outputs for supplying low-voltage-rated USB or charger inputs,
while the MAX8845 has a single
overvoltage-protected LDO output. This integration eliminates the need for external
overvoltage-protection ICs. Both devices integrate a battery-pack detection circuit that
disables the charger when the battery pack is absent.
The MAX8844 is packaged in a 3 mm by 3 mm, 14-pin TDFN, while the MAX8845
is available in a 3 mm by 3 mm, 12-pin TQFN package. Prices start at $1.42 (1,000-up,
FOB USA). User-friendly evaluation kits are available to speed designs.
The MCP73113 and MCP73114 LiIon, and MCP73123 LiFePO4 single-cell
chargers feature high-accuracy voltage
regulation of 0.5 percent; the dual-cell
MCP73213 Li-Ion and MCP73223
LiFePO4 devices 0.6 percent. These accuracy levels of regulation enable longer
battery life per charge, ultimately allowing
portable products to run for longer periods
of time between charges. Additionally, all
of the chargers feature an integrated pass
transistor, which eliminates the need for an
external FET, and reduces overall design
cost, size and complexity.
With their unique combination of features
and chemistry, the new chargers are well suited
for devices in the consumer, medical and industrial markets.
Microchip also announced two evaluation boards to support the new chargers. The
MCP73113 OVP single-cell Li-Ion battery charger evaluation board provides users
with a platform to test the basic functionality of single-cell Li-Ion battery charging at
4.2 V, with 6.5 V overvoltage protection. The MCP73213 Evaluation Board enables
users to test the basic functionality of a dual-cell Li-Ion battery charging at 8.4 V, with
13 V overvoltage protection.
Summit Introduces 10 Amp Synchronous DC/DC Controller
With Digital Power Control
Single- and Dual-Cell Li-Ion and LiFePO4 Chargers with OVP
Enable Safer, Longer-Lasting Portable Devices
Summit Microelectronics has expanded its family of programmable power manager
(PPM) integrated circuits (ICs) with the SMB211 single-channel, synchronous DC/
DC controller. The SMB211 continues Summit’s approach to power supply design by
Microchip Technology, Inc., a provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, has announced two families of charge-management controllers featuring overvolt- combining flexibility, features and performance with ease-of-use. With a serial digital
interface, the SMB211 can be easage protection (OVP), which prevents overheating and damage to the battery-charger
ily configured during development
circuit from input-voltage spikes. The MCP73113, MCP73114 and MCP73213
(on-board, non-volatile memory) and
Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion); and MCP73123, MCP73223 Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)
re-programmed in system by host
chargers feature high-accuracy voltage regulation and an integrated pass transistor. The
software. The result is a high-percombination of features enables smaller, safer portable electronic device designs with
formance digitally controlled power
longer run times for the consumer, medical and industrial markets.
supply design that is easily customizMicrochip’s new chargers address increased consumer focus on the safety and effiable without tedious hardware design
ciency of battery-powered applications. All of the new devices have a maximum input
cycles or complex microcontrollervoltage of 18 V and come with one of two OVP set points: 5.8 V and 6.5 V for the sinstyle software coding.
gle-cell MCP73114 and MCP73113/23 chargers; or 13 V for the dual-cell MCP73213
The SMB211 combines highand MCP73123 chargers. Additionally, the MCP73113, MCP73114 and MCP73213
power conversion and
devices provide a variety of charging-voltage options for Li-Ion batteries: 4.1 to 4.4
in a single, spaceV for the single-cell and 8.2 to 8.8 V for the dual-cell devices. The MCP73123 and
eliminates external
MCP73223 devices target LiFePO4 batteries, and offer charging-voltage options of 3.6
developV and 7.2 V, respectively.
ment time. Summit’s non-volatile configurable technology enables the implementation
of flexible “platform solutions” that can be
easily modified for different designs without any hardware changes.
The SMB211 integrates a synchronous
Maximize Battery Life with Easy-to-Use IXYS SolarBitsTM
DC-DC step-down (buck) converter with
a useful set of digital control functions.
SolarBitsTM are a surface mountable assembly of IXYS
The device’s high current drive capability allows more than 10 A of output, while
Solar Cells - no wire bonding or special handling required!
using a wide variety of industry-standard
Extend the battery life of Portable Electronic Products
MOSFETs. The SMB211 can operate at
four different, programmable frequencies
(music player, mobile phone, camera, PDA, and more)
(250 kHz, 500 kHz, 750 kHz and 1 MHz)
Replace batteries or power supplies in hazardous environments
allowing optimization of efficiency and
component size. Soft-start and power-on
Power for wireless sensors and transmitters
delays are also selectable to address various
system requirements, especially in multipower supply applications.
The SMB211’s output voltage accuracy is better than ±1 percent and supports
dynamic voltage scaling as well as margin
high/low control via the serial digital interFor part numbers and more information, go to
Gate Driver
Eval Boards Available
face. The output voltage can be digitally set
from 0.5 V to 2.5 V in 10 mV steps, or from
1.0 V to 5.0 V in 20 mV steps. The output
Forr technical
information, call Gib Bates at
voltage is monitored for both over- and
under-voltage conditions, thereby increas(970) 493-1902 ext. 22
ing system reliability. A configurable logic
November/December 2009
Battery Power Products & Technology
New Products | 5
Integrated Circuits & Semiconductors
output that can be used as a RESET, POWER GOOD or SMBAlert output signal, is
also available for notifying the system of out-of-regulation conditions. The device can
operate in forced-PWM for noise-sensitive applications, as well as in automatic PWM/
PFM mode for maximum light-load efficiency.
The SMB211 incorporates a pulse-by-pulse current limit by monitoring the voltage
drop across the upper N-FET. Various current limit thresholds as well as several overcurrent response modes are available for maximum design flexibility. An Enable input
allows the SMB211 to enter a low-power shutdown mode (less than 10 uA). A standby
mode, via an I2C command, is also available for reducing current consumption while
keeping the serial interface active. Additionally, the SMB211 provides complete power
system diagnostics by digitally flagging a variety of fault conditions (output OVLO,
output UVLO, IC temperature, over-current, input UVLO and others).
The SMB211 operates directly from an input voltage of 4.5 V to 13.5 V, however
the external FETs can be powered from a lower voltage supply, as low as 3.3 V, if
necessary. The rated operating temperature range is -30˚C to 85˚C. Programming
is achieved via an industry-standard serial interface and configuration data is safely
stored in non-volatile OTP memory.
The SMB211 is offered in a thermally-enhanced, lead-free 4 mm by 4 mm, 24-pad
QFN. Available now in production quantities, the SMB211 is priced at $0.66 each for
the QFN package in quantities of 10,000 units.
Battery-Monitoring IC from STMicroelectronics Delivers High
Accuracy and Extra Features for a Better Handheld Experience
STMicroelectronics has introduced a battery-condition monitoring IC enabling increased accuracy for fuel-gauge style indicators showing the operating time remaining.
The device will improve the user experience for owners of products such as mobile
handsets, portable navigation devices, digital cameras and personal media players.
The STC3100 battery-monitor IC can be located in the battery pack or in the
handheld device, and integrates functions to monitor the battery voltage, current and
temperature. It has a built-in Coulomb counter to calculate battery charge, and stores
the data at 16-bit resolution for retrieval by the system controller. Access is via an
industry-standard I2C interface, enabling the controller to create an accurate graphical
representation of remaining battery-operating time.
The device supports extra functionality by providing one external pin for use as a
Day Time
It’s Cellcorder® Time.
Avoid downtime
with Albér.
Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) has introduced
the TPS6507x family of single-chip, power
management integrated circuits for portable
electronics. The TPS65070 and TPS65073
devices result in a 50 percent smaller DC/
DC implementation versus a discrete design
by integrating three highly efficient, 2.25
MHz, 1.5 A DC/DC step-down converters
that support core processor, memory and
I/O voltages; two general purpose, 200 mA
LDOs; white LED backlighting to support up
to 5-inch LCD displays; I2C communications
interface; 10-bit analog-to-digital converter; touch-screen interface and an integrated
1.5-A linear battery charger.
The TPS65070 and TPS65073 devices are available in volume production from TI
and its authorized distributors. The devices come in a 6 mm by 6 mm by 0.4 mm, 48pin, leadless, thermally enhanced QFN package with a suggested resale price of $3.95
in 1,000-unit quantities.
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about to expire. Check your status in the colored box located in the mailing
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I Measures 3 Critical Parameters:
Down Time
Single-Chip Power Management Units for Portable Electronics
Cut Board Space in Half
I Fast battery test results you can trust.
Night Time
detector input or to drive an LED indicator. Each IC is also pre-programmed with a
unique 64-bit identifier, which enables traceability of individual battery packs or subsystems. In addition, 32 bytes of accessible RAM allow storage of battery history or
application-related information throughout the lifetime of the battery.
There are also two package options, giving designers the choice of a small-outline
MiniSO-8 leaded package or a 1 mm-high DFN8 leadless package with 3 mm by 3
mm overall footprint. The STC3100 is in mass production, and available at $1.20 in
quantities of 1,000 units.
Voltage, Resistance, Internal
Cell Resistance
The Alber Cellcorder CRT-400
uses the patented DC Internal
Cell Resistance test method.
The Cellcorder allows trending over
time to detect problems before they
Results are unaffected by noise and ripple.
Software has versatility to be elementary
or advanced depending on your needs.
Many connection options allow ease of
use for any battery configuration.
Bluetooth option relays voice test status
to speed up testing.
Streamlined design makes carrying easy.
Custom carrying case holds accessories
such as lighted probes, different jaw
options, Bluetooth headset and printer.
Contact: Jennifer Stryker at Albér for
Optional hydrometer sends data to
more info [email protected]
Cellcorder software for easy exporting
+1-954-623-6660 or 800-851-4632
to Excel.
[email protected] | | 3103 N Andrews Ave. Ext Pompano Beach, FL 33064
Battery Power Products & Technology
November/December 2009
6 | New Products
Integrated Circuits & Semiconductors
Low Cost, Intelligent Battery Charger for Sealed
Lead Acid Batteries
Aimed at developers of equipment with sealed lead acid (SLA)
battery back-up, such as security,
fire/safety and telecom/ datacom
equipment, Silver Telecom has
launched the first environmentally
friendly SLA battery charger module
capable of maximizing battery life
and providing the user with a battery
status output.
The challenge for equipment
developers using SLA batteries has
been providing the three-state charging necessary to achieve maximum
battery life. Three state charging requires providing constant-current bulk charge,
constant voltage bulk charge and constant voltage trickle charge to the battery, depending on its charge state. Additional difficulties arise when battery temperature is taken
into account as this can alter the charging voltages applied to the battery.
The Ag102 module has the ability to detect battery condition and temperature and
automatically provide the correct voltage levels and type of charge. This maximizes
battery life, and provides the most efficient way of charging, with the added benefits of
relaying battery status back to the user.
Packaged in a small footprint SIL module, Ag102 is a low cost solution that can
also convey significant design time savings, as well as savings in PCB real estate.
Designed and manufactured in the UK, and fully RoHS and WEEE compliant, the
Ag102 supplements Silver Telecom’s extensive range of power, datacom and telecom products.
Micro Power Introduces SMC-65 Battery Charger Module
Micro Power, has announced a SMC-65 battery charger module for Li-Ion batteries.
The module is an open frame charger assembly that provides efficient, reliable battery
charging in a small footprint that can be easily integrated into industrial, medical and
military OEM products.
The SMC-65 module operates from a wide range DC input, so it can be used in
desktop (via an external AC/DC converter), mobile automotive and military vehicular
applications. It will safely charge most popular battery types and pack voltages (up to
19 volts). The 65 watt module has two battery interface configurations; digital (for smart batteries)
Power Integrations Supports Smart-Grid Metering Engineers with
and analog (batteries with no communications).
New Technical Microsite and Reference Designs
The SMC-65 module utilizes a programmable
microprocessor charge control system with algoAccording to Silvestro Fimiani, product marketing
Power Integrations has launched a new technical microrithms capable of charging Li-ion battery packs
manager at Power Integrations, “A reliable, high-efficiency
site,, focusing on energywith or without fuel gauges. The SMC-65 modpower supply is absolutely essential for supporting the netefficient power supply solutions for utility meters used in
ule supports SMBus communications (SBS Level
working and control electronics
smart-grid energy networks.
III) and can optionally accommodate DQ and
used in smart meters and control
Utility companies are investHDQ communication protocols. Other features
equipment. Our new microsite
ing in the so-called smart grid as
include variable rate charging and input/output
delivers several power supply soa way of monitoring, controlling,
reverse polarity protection.
lutions that are ideal for the next
and managing electric power
generation of smart meters. For
consumption in homes and busiexample, using our LinkSwitch- Atmel Launches Safe Battery
nesses. The smart grid requires
Management Solution for
CV primary-side control IC,
advanced metering solutions that
designers can eliminate unrelican communicate with both the
Automotive and Industrial High-Cellable optocouplers from their
power company and the consumCount Li-Ion Battery Packs
power supplies and minimize the
er, providing real-time informaAtmel Corp. has released the availability of a
number of components required. new Li-Ion battery management chipset for hightion on energy use and cost.
Power Integrations’ Design Idea cell-count automotive and industrial applications
Smart meters help balance energy
demand by allowing the supplier to implement incentive
DER-213 describes a supply that delivers both 5-volt and
such as electrical/hybrid vehicles, e-bikes or
programs, such as variable pricing based on peak network
12-volt outputs from a universal 85- to 265-volt input, with uninterruptible power supplies. Atmel is currently
loading. Utilities are also installing innovative network-con- high efficiency and conducted EMI meeting CISPR22B/
the only supplier to provide a complete two-chip
nected devices that manage end-user power consumption.
EN55022B specifications.”
protection solution including all necessary funcCustomers are given pricing concessions in exchange for
tionalities with the highest safety level.
granting the supplier control of certain non-critical circuits.
The ATA6870/71 chipset requires less external
components than comparable solutions because
it includes a hot plug-in capability, six integrated
AD converters with a cut-off frequency lower
than 30 Hz, saving external filters and a stackable
microcontroller power supply. With Atmel's costefficient 30-V CMOS technology, these features
allow cost savings of up to 60 percent, compared
to existing solutions.
The ATA6870 is the industry's first battery
management IC to include all functionalities required to control a high-cell-count Li-Ion battery
including six precise 12-bit AD converters for
voltage monitoring, cell balancing, cell temperature measuring, and unique features such as stackable integrated power supply for a microcontroller
or hot plug-in capability.
Since Li-Ion batteries are very sensitive against
overcharging and deep discharge, they may burn
or explode. To prevent this, Atmel provides a special safety strategy with its secondary protection
device, the ATA6871. This monitors the battery
cells' voltage and temperature and prevents Li-Ion
batteries from thermal runaway or exploding. If
either of these were to occur in a battery cell, it
can then be switched off by the emergency relays.
Send New Product Announcements to
Shannon Given, Director of Content, at
[email protected]
November/December 2009
Battery Power Products & Technology
New Products | 7
Charging & Testing
Konarka Announces Solar Panels for Portable
Charging Applications
Konarka Technologies, Inc. has
unveiled a line of solar panels for use
in a variety of portable charging applications that will be available worldwide in the fourth quarter of this year.
Commercial products incorporating
Konarka Power Plastic 20 series material, which include battery chargers for
lighting, mobile phones and devices,
carry bags and café umbrellas, will be
available through the company’s qualified resellers and partners program.
The Konarka Power Plastic 20 series includes the Power Plastic 120 (1-watt), Power
Plastic 320 (3-watt) and Power Plastic 620 (7-watt) products. The panels vary in size
and are available with and without integrated connectors, ready to be used or integrated into a manufacturer’s device or product.
These solar panels are being made available for delivery in the fourth quarter of this
year. Next year, the company will increase its portfolio with additional products for
both higher and lower voltage applications.
Philadelphia Scientific Introduces TwinCharge Battery
Charger Sequencer
Philadelphia Scientific has introduced TwinCharge, a battery charger sequencer
that allows two industrial batteries to be charged sequentially from the same charger.
TwinCharge enables warehouses and distribution centers to maximize battery charging capability, particularly when battery room charger slots are limited. This is often a
problem, for example, when rental trucks are being used or a facility is being expanded. The new battery charger sequencer also provides significant savings for companies that may be considering the purchase of SCR or high frequency chargers, as the
addition of a TwinCharge sequencer may be more cost effective than the purchase of a
second SCR or high frequency charger.
When two batteries are plugged into TwinCharge’s two output cables, one battery
automatically starts to charge. When the charge is completed, the first battery is safely isolated from the charger,
preventing potential sparks during disconnection. The
TwinCharge sequencer then automatically switches over
and begins charging the second battery without operator
input. The status of each battery is clearly displayed on the
control panel as “connected,” “charging” or “ready.” The
TwinCharge sequencer is powered from the battery that is
being charged, so no additional A/C lines are required to
power it.
The TwinCharge sequencer is also compliant with the
Philadelphia Scientific Intelligent Battery Organizing System (iBOS) and comes ready to be connected to an iBOS
system if desired. The sequencer can be connected to an
existing or newly installed iBOS system so that each battery is individually monitored
and will be dispatched in the order that its charge is completed.
Automotive Battery Chargers, Battery Maintainers and
Battery Testers
Granite Digital has introduced its new line of Save A Battery 12 volt chargers,
maintainers and testers. Designed to support all lead acid, AGM and Gel Cell batteries,
they not only charge and maintain automotive type batteries but they also test, monitor,
audible alarm, rejuvenate, condition, power cycle and diagnose electrical and charging systems. The built-in digital LCD display works as a voltmeter to pinpoint most
electrical and charging system problems.
The Modular Cable System (supplied with all models) offers versatile connection
styles including battery terminal, battery clip-on and cigarette lighter connections in
both short or long cable lengths. Gold contacts are used to provide better conductivity
in harsh garage and shop environments. All cable ends have a simple attaching loop
that makes it easy to permanently fasten them to just about anything and moisture covers to keep the contacts clean.
A unique mounting system allows the chargers, maintainers and testers to be
mounted on a wall or in a vehicle. The units can be removed and used remotely and
then slipped back on the mounting bracket for long-term monitoring and maintaining.
Battery Power Products & Technology
November/December 2009
8 | New Products
Battery Components
Rugged, 1/3 N Lithium Battery Holders
Keystone Electronics Corp. has introduced a new selection of rugged 1/3 N lithium
battery holders for surface or through-hole mounting. These battery holders are supplied with durable, heat resistant, UL 94V-0 rated Nylon housings well suited for all
soldering and reflow operations. The SMT version features Gold-Plated Phosphor
Bronze contacts. The THM version incorporates Tin-Plated Phosphor Bronze contacts and the heat resistant Nylon housings. The THM types mount directly on PCB’s,
securely positioned during wave soldering and placement.
Both holders accept 1/3N 3-volt cell Lithium batteries from major manufacturers
and are part of the company’s continuing growth selection of battery hardware specialties including contacts, holders, retainers and straps in a variety of materials for coin
cell, button cell and cylindrical batteries.
Ioxus Launches Ultracapacitors with High Power Densities for
Military, Transportation and Alternative Energy Industries
Ioxus, Inc., developer, manufacturer and commercializer of innovative ultracapacitor technologies for a wide range of energy storage markets, has launched its first
family of electric double layer capacitors (EDLCs) and power modules for military,
transportation and alternative energy applications. Ioxus’ family of ultracapacitors
provides smaller-sized solutions with more capacitance and greater power densities
over competitors.
Ioxus’ ultracapacitors provide energy storage to improve the efficiency of hybrid
electric vehicles by recycling the energy captured during braking and lowering peak
power requirements on hybrid-diesel, fuel cell or battery-based vehicles. By stabilizing the power output of these systems with ultracapacitors, fuel-cell and battery-based
applications realize significant increases in life cycles. When used in combination with
batteries or other energy sources, Ioxus EDLCs reduce power drain from the energy
source and extend its available life up to 400 percent.
Li-Ion 18650 Battery Holders
MPD has introduced its new line of Lithium Ion battery holders for 18650 protected
cells. These holders accept from one to four 3.7 volt batteries and are suitable for
consumer or industrial products. First on the market is part number, BK-18650-PC2, it
accepts one of the new Li-Ion rechargeable batteries with built in circuit protection.
BK-18650-PC2 has large nickel plated stainless steel pressure contacts with pc pins
tails that are 1.5 mm wide. While offering low resistance and by keeping a keep a tight
connection with the cell by design your assured of a long term trouble free connection.
The UL94V-0 plastic body is light in weight yet combined with high strength for a
long service life under natural conditions found in electronic equipment. The holder
size is 77 long by 21 wide and under 22 mm high. The holder has two mounting holes
for hard mounting or it can be bonded down with adhesive or double sided tapes.
Built in circuit protection eliminates the drawbacks associated with standard Li-Ion
18650 batteries. Standard 18650 cells are only supplied to manufacturers of battery
packs because of concerns that batteries could overheat, potentially causing burns, an
explosion or a fire. Protected 18650 cells have 2,400 to 3,000 mAh and are available
from several well known companies. List price for 1,000 pieces is $1.57 each and
volume discounts are available.
Compact Electronic Unit Prolongs Battery Life in All Vehicles
Cole Hersee has introduced its SureStart low voltage disconnect (LVD) switch
48513. The Cole Hersee SureStart low voltage disconnect switch electronically senses
battery voltage and conserves starting power by disconnecting non-critical loads, prolonging battery life by preventing battery damage due to excessive discharge.
This switch is well suited for utility and delivery vehicles, as well as vehicles with
ancillary on-board equipment, such as snowplows, hoists, pumps and floodlights, as
well as in-cab amenities such as A/C. When
battery drain occurs, there are substantial costs
associated with downtime, vehicle recovery, and
battery damage due to over-discharge. These
costs can be eliminated when a Cole Hersee’s
SureStart LVD switch is used.
The switch has a rating of 100 A at 12 V or 24
VDC. Its service life exceeds 1,000,000 on/off
cycles, and it also features a manual override that
allows users to connect or disconnect the switch
when needed, regardless of voltage.
The SureStart LVD switch features a compact
size (4.5 inches by 4 inches by 4.27 inches),
which makes it easy to install into a new or old vehicle. Unlike many voltage monitoring devices, the SureStart LVD switch does not require a separate solenoid to control
high current, increasing reliability and simplifying installation. The switch’s resistance to moisture, salt spray, vibration and shock make it a versatile device that can be
implemented into any vehicle or environment.
Pressurex Pressure Indicating Sensor Film Minimizes Defects
And Improves Quality in Battery Lamination
Pressurexfilm, from Sensor Products, Inc., is an economical, accurate and easyto-use tool that reveals the distribution and magnitude of surface contact pressure
in battery lamination and calendaring presses. Difficult to detect pressure variations
across the surface of battery laminators and calendar presses can be easily detected and
corrected through use of the sensor film.
When placed between lamination platens or calendar rolls, Pressurex instantaneously and permanently changes color directly proportional to the actual pressure applied.
Precise pressure magnitude is then easily determined by comparing the resultant color
intensity to a standardized color correlation chart (conceptually similar to using Litmus
paper). No training or instrumentation is required.
Pressurex helps to ensure uniform alignment of mating rollers and lamination platens. If the contacting rollers and platens are not parallel, uneven compression could
result in delamination during battery discharge or poor contact between the electrodes
and their current collectors. Electrodes could also have uneven thicknesses reducing
contact area, which is a major problem for cylindrical Li-Ion and Li/MnO2 cells and prismatic
cells. In addition, uneven contact in heat seal
presses could cause leakages in pouch cells.
During calendaring operations, positive and
negative electrodes for Li-Ion cells and the
MnO2 electrode in Li/MnO2 cells are densified
using calendering equipment. The electrodes
are passed through heavy calender rollers in a
continuous process.
Pressurex measures pressures from 2 to 43,200
PSI (0.14 to 3,000 kg/cm2). The pressure-indicating film is very thin (4 mil or 8 mil thick) and can
be hand or laser-cut to any size or dimension. It
is flexible and conforms to curved surfaces and
invasive intolerant environments.
The film is coated on a Mylar sheet and is
physically similar to a standard sheet of paper.
Pressurex is available in eight pressure ranges.
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November/December 2009
Battery Power Products & Technology
New Products | 9
Power Supplies
New 100 Amp Three-Phase DIN Rail
Power Supply
DC/DC Converters for Medical Equipment
MEGA M1WG(H) and M2WG(H) series of
1 W and 2W DC/DC converters are designed
to provide a 6 kV isolation barrier between
input and output circuits, making them well
suited for all medical and dental instruments
that come into patient contact. The converters
are tested for one minute, which equates to a
rating of 7.5 kV if tested at one second, which
is the lesser and more common test standard.
Some models carry UL listings.
Automation Systems Interconnect, Inc. has
introduced the newest addition to their line of power
supplies, the 100 amp Three Phase Switching power
supply. This compact power supply features “universal auto-ranging input,” which means that the same
part can be used with 340 to 550 VAC and provide a
24 VDC output. This new power supply is designed
for use in SELV and PELV circuitry.
Additional features such as front panel LED status
indication, adjustable output, and 100 percent factory tested make this ASI power supply well suited
for industrial control applications.
XP Power Introduces 250 Watt
AC/DC Power Supply to Hit 95
Percent Efficiency
XP Power has announced a new 250 W AC/
DC power supply, the CCM250, which achieves
up to 95 percent efficiency, dramatically cutting
the heat generated in medical, IT and industrial
systems. Rival products typically operate at 90
percent maximum efficiency, with 10 percent of
the input energy being converted to waste heat
that needs to be removed. The 5 percent improvement in efficiency offered by the CCM250 means
that it dissipates only half the heat, reducing or
eliminating the requirement for heatsinks, or fans
for forced-air cooling.
Removing the need for fans greatly increases
reliability while reducing cost, audible noise,
system complexity and size. Avoiding audible
noise is particularly important in medical applications, where it disturbs patients. Both conducted and radiated emissions are below Class B
limits as defined by EN55011, another important
consideration in achieving type approval for
medical equipment.
The power supply delivers full output with
convection cooling over input voltages from 90 to
275 VAC, and 200 watts from 80 VAC, in ambient temperatures of -10˚C to 50˚C. It measures 6
inches by 4 inches by 1.54 inches, making it well
suited for fitting in 1U enclosures. Where shortterm peak power is needed, for example in motor
start-up, the power supply will deliver up to 300
W for 500 ms.
The units have a full feature set for controlling
the supply and external monitoring and control
equipment. This includes a 5 V standby rail, remote on/off switching and power fail signals.
The design of the CCM250 combines conventional and novel design techniques to achieve a
step-function in power density and efficiency.
A three-stage converter using an interleaved,
resonant, half-bridge, means that two relatively
small transformers can replace one large one,
saving board space. A zero current, virtually lossless switching topology for the main converter
ensures high efficiency over a wide load range
and contributes to exceptional EMI performance.
A crystal-controlled clock and digitally generated
drive signals are used to ensure accurate, fixedfrequency timing for switching transistors. The
power supply’s footprint is minimized through
innovative mechanical construction. Heat-generating parts are bonded directly to the U-channel
chassis, and magnetic components are conduction-cooled, enabling the use of smaller parts.
The CCM250 is available in sample quantities
now, priced from $195 each in OEM quantities
from Newark or direct from XP Power.
Top quality battery
materials & equipment
for lab & factory
When everything depends on quality:
Specialty battery materials for the Mars Lander
and Rover were supplied by Pred Materials.
Illustration: Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech
red Materials supplies battery materials and equipment for labs and full scale
production. Our battery product line offers lab scientists and production teams
the quality and technology they need for demanding applications. Some examples:
Manual Coin Crimpers U Cylindrical Can Crimpers U Electrode Powders
Coin Cell Disassemblers U Semi-Automatic Winders U Metal Foils
Manual Punches U Electrolyte Filling Machines U Aluminum Laminate Packaging
For the
h llab:
b Manuall Crimper, Coin Cellll Disassembler
For the
h ffactory: Forming Machine,
Hohsen Corp. of Japan and Pred Materials, its exclusive North American distributor, are proud
to offer large-scale battery manufacturing equipment made by Hi-Mecha and other top quality
producers, in addition to Hohsen’s comprehensive line of battery lab tools and components.
T - 212.286.0068
F - 212.286.0072
Pred Materials International, Inc.
60 East 42nd Street, Suite 1456
New York, New York 10165
Battery Power Products & Technology
[email protected]
November/December 2009
10 | Printed Batteries
Thin Printed Carbon-Zinc Batteries Galvanizing Portable,
“Green” Product Development
Matt Ream, Marketing Manager
Blue Spark Technologies
Research Group recently predicted that RFID revenues in 2009 are on track to grow
nearly 10 percent over 2008 levels.
According to industry analysts, the commercialization of printed electronics is projected to revolutionize major segments of the portable electronics industry. Printed electronics describe the printing of electronic devices on common media, such as paper,
plastic or textiles, using traditional printing processes. Devices now being produced
in this way are programmable chips/integrated circuits (ICs), RFID antennas and tags,
printed displays and thin printed batteries, which provide a low-voltage, eco-friendly
power source to activate the device’s functionality.
Aiding this growth is battery-assisted passive (BAP) RFID, sometimes termed
semi-passive. BAP RFID can extend read ranges and improve RFID tag readability,
especially in applications involving RFID-unfriendly materials, such as liquids and
metals or applications in which individual tagged items are densely packed or stacked.
Well-designed BAP RFID systems can also provide extended memory capabilities, as
well as increased security and data protection.
Industry analyst IDTechEx forecasts the market potential for printed electronics will
be more than $35 billion by 2018. NanoMarkets predicts that sales of thin film and
printed batteries will exceed $5 billion by 2015.
The growth of printed electronics is being driven by leading developers and integrators who are forming alliances to exploit the technology’s unique capabilities to create
products and systems that generate business value. We are already starting to see
exciting innovations in printed electronics in the industrial, financial, security, food,
pharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer markets.
The Role of Thin Printed Batteries
At the heart of many of these new products are thin, flexible printed carbon-zinc batteries that function as primary battery cells. They are not rechargeable; however, they
are relatively low in cost
and offer a broad range of
capabilities. Batteries may be
safely stored in cold storage
to slow the chemical reaction
in the battery, extending its
shelf life. Power generation
in the battery results from a
chemical reaction between
the electrolyte liquid and
other materials.
Most standard printed
carbon-zinc batteries generate 1.5 volts and are capable
Blue Spark Technologies’ customizable 1.5-volt carof delivering peak drain
bon-zinc batteries provide a reliable, eco-friendly power
currents of at least 1 mA.
Voltages above 1.5 V can be source for numerous applications. The company’s
supplied by integrating mul- battery technology is built on patented intellectual
tiple 1.5 V cells in series into property acquired from the Eveready Battery Company
a single package. Depending (now Energizer).
on the application, customizable versions can also be designed. With conventional printing, production is faster
and less costly, so new designs can be prototyped quickly and economically. Additional advantages of printed batteries over traditional button or coin cells include:
• Thin, Flexible, Form Factor: Thickness profiles ranging from 700 microns (0.027
inch) to ultra-thin 500 microns (0.020 inch) allow printed batteries to share a thin, flexible substrate with other small form factor electronics. This helps to streamline assembly and reduces the time and cost of integrating “smart electronics” into new products.
• Eco-Friendly, Safely Disposable: Unlike batteries containing lithium, mercury
and other battery chemistries, carbon-zinc batteries are completely “green.” They are
lead-free and contain no toxic substances, fully meeting the European Union’s Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive and are safely disposable. This
is important as global environmental regulations become more and more stringent.
BAP RFID is proving valuable in numerous applications because it can significantly
extend the capabilities of passive RFID at a fraction of the cost and complexity
required to implement high-end active RFID and real-time location systems. Batteryassisted passive RFID applications and benefits include:
• Asset tracking of goods, materials or work-in-process in manufacturing plants,
warehouses and distribution centers to improve accuracy, streamline workflow and
reduce costs by increasing visibility and minimizing waste.
• Inventory management in warehouses and distribution centers, which eliminates the
need to perform time and labor intensive physical counts.
• Stock and inventory management in retail stores through the use of “smart shelf” or
“smart case” systems, which provides instant visibility of stock on hand, minimizes
overstocks and out-of-stocks.
RF-Linked Sensor and Data Logging Systems
Radio frequency-enabled time and temperature monitoring systems are becoming
increasingly popular in the food industry as a way to ensure consumer safety, maintain
quality control and reduce waste. Meat, poultry, seafood, produce, dairy and frozen
food processors and distributors can derive measurable value from such systems.
Sealed Air Corp. designed its TurboTag RFID time and temperature monitoring system that uses a sensor probe and battery-powered “smart” card to ensure cold chain
compliance. The system uses Blue Spark ST printed batteries to support the silicon
chip’s data logging functionality. The portable TurboTag system is being used to track
temperatures across the entire supply chain, from point of origin to points of delivery.
RFID sensor systems are also useful for shippers and distributors of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, biologicals and chemical products. The pharmaceutical industry is taking a closer look at temperature data loggers as an increasing number of new
drugs being developed require strict temperature control to maintain their efficacy.
Sealed Air Corp.’TurboTag RFID time and temperature monitoring
system uses an RF-enabled sensor device and battery-powered
“smart” card to ensure food and beverage cold chain compliance.
Applications are Growing
As awareness and adoption of printed electronics and printed batteries continues to
expand worldwide, the number and diversity of applications continues to increase.
Following is a sampling of product applications in which thin printed, low-voltage
carbon-zinc batteries are being tested and deployed.
Battery-Assisted Passive RFID
Industry analysts agree that RFID delivers business value and is here to stay. Closedloop RFID systems have proven exceptionally valuable in asset management, inventory control, product and people tracking and disaster and event management. VDC
November/December 2009
Other types of sensor systems could be designed to monitor ambient humidity, shock
or vibration. In all of these applications, standard low-voltage, carbon-zinc batteries can be embedded within a “smart card” or smart label form factor to provide
the power boost required for time-phased monitoring and autonomous data logging
systems. The value proposition of real-time sensor systems is high because they offer
portability, accuracy and ease of operation while providing important information.
Battery Power Products & Technology
Printed Batteries | 11
Smart Packaging, Retail Display Merchandisers
Business Value Delivered
Printed carbon-zinc batteries are well suited to a wide range of smart packaging applications and point-of-purchase merchandising displays because the batteries and
other electronics can often be printed simultaneously with the packages or displays.
According to NanoMarkets, a Virginia-based industry analyst, some niche applications for battery-powered smart packaging may include pharmaceutical compliance
packaging, case and pallet freshness monitoring devices, and tamper-proof courier
packages. Printed batteries can also be used to power an LED or voice activation device in interactive store merchandisers to drive sales and increase profits by engaging
consumer attention.
Printed electronics and thin printed batteries have enormous potential to spark the
creation of a host of dynamic new products for the industrial, consumer, financial,
security and healthcare markets.
As we move forward, this remarkable technology is expected to energize OEMs and
electronic system designers, not only to create new products, but also to simplify
existing product designs and improve their manufacturing cost structure. While still
in early days, the printed electronics “revolution” is revving up to help companies
streamline product design, prototyping, production and integration, so they can bring
products to market faster and at lower cost than ever before.
Powered or “Smart” Cards
There are an estimated four billion or “smart cards”, cards containing ICs or chips,
Matt Ream is marketing manager for Blue Spark Technologies, a developer of flexible,
being shipped annually worldwide. Trends driving this growth are an urgent need for
eco-friendly proprietary power source solutions for battery-powered printed elecincreased security and authentication, as well as the growing popularity of contactless
tronic systems. As an electronics engineer, Ream has twenty years of experience in
payments and consumer preference for wallet-size cards integrating interactive inhigh tech electronics and radio frequency identification (RFID) and has held senior
novations. Battery-powered cards can incorporate lighted or color-changing displays,
positions in engineering, product research and development and marketing.
stored value and account status information, authentication codes, and other interactive functions. Powered card applications include:
For more information visit
• One-time password (OTP) cards for secure
Internet credit transaction, access to
brokerage accounts, monetary wires, IT and
other high-value security assets
• Contactless credit and debit cards
• Stored value gift cards and municipal
transit cards
• Organization membership and retail
loyalty cards
Solutions in Lithium, secondary
• Secure identification cards and badges for
alkaline, emerging cell technologies
access control in buildings or at events
Transdermal Patches
The medical device, healthcare and cosmetics/
skincare markets are already developing and
launching products using thin printed batteries
in the design and manufacture of iontophoretic
(i.e., transdermal) patches, which can be applied directly onto the skin. The fact that printed
batteries can be customized relative to size and
shape makes them particularly attractive for this.
The role of the battery in patch applications is to
actively drive the patch’s ingredients through the
dermal layer of the skin. Batteries may also be
used to regulate consistent dosage of the patch’s
active ingredient(s). Applications include:
• Cosmetic aids (e.g., wrinkle removers and
other skin care treatments)
• Self-administered drug delivery (e.g. nicotine
patches, pain relievers)
• Therapeutic wound care for humans and pets
Lithium cell charging, protection, balancing,
gauging and safety designs in both primary
and rechargable applications.
In-house manufacturing facility provides
finished, turn-key products.
Designs from the toy market through military
applications. We work with major military prime
and sub-contractors. We know standards.
Custom Firmware design including
Benchmarq (TI) - modify standard
off-the-shelf devices for your specific needs! *
* volume requirements apply
Interactive Printed Media and
Consumer Products
Another potentially profitable market is highvolume consumer novelties. Products such as
musical and self-recorded greeting cards, and
interactive printed media, such as books, posters, games and trading cards, can be programmed
to interact with consumers via sight, sound and
touch. While the cost of manufacturing is a significant factor for producers of these items, their
mass market potential can number in the billions,
making this impulse-driven consumer market a
very attractive target for printed electronics and
thin printed batteries.
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Battery Power Products & Technology
November/December 2009
12 | Battery Manufacturing
Advancements in Water-Based Processing for
Large Format Lithium Ion Cells
Jacob Muthu, PhD, VP, Research & Development
John Battaglini, VP, Applications Development
International Battery, Inc.
• 65 percent reduction in solvent costs
• 10 percent reduction in cost per Whr
The performance, cost and safety of batteries can very often make or break an application. Nowhere is this more true than in the transportation and stationary power
markets. As electric vehicles and the smart grid transform their respective industries,
the role and significance of Lithium-Ion batteries continues to increase. Hybrid electric
vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and electric vehicles (EV) are
increasingly turning to Li-Ion batteries for their next generation vehicles. In the utility
industry, battery-based energy storage is being deployed throughout the grid ranging
from MWhr trailer systems for frequency regulation to 50 to 100 KWh systems for
community energy storage.
Historically, the science underlying the battery technology has often been criticized for
its slow growth when compared with Moore’s Law in the semiconductor industry and
rapid innovation in the computer industry. Recently, advancements in Li-Ion technology have brought considerable improvement in energy and power performance to meet
the demand of next generation vehicles and utility smart grid applications. However, the
widespread adoption of Li-Ion batteries in commercial vehicles is still limited because
of its cost and inherent safety. As such, research and development efforts are continuing to reduce Li-Ion battery costs by introducing alternative materials and processes. A
significant advancement has been made with water-based processing aimed at reducing
battery costs and protecting the environment at the same time.
Manufacturing Alternatives
Li-Ion cells consist of a positive and negative electrode separated by an electrolyte
solution. The electrodes consist of active materials, a binder (predominantly PVdF) and
additives that enhance the electronic conductivity of the active materials. Traditionally, Li-Ion electrodes are made using a slurry-based process that uses large amounts of
organic solvents to homogeneously mix the components mentioned above. The solvent
predominantly used in the Li-Ion industry is N–Methylpyrrolidone (NMP). However,
the use of organic solvents is undesirable because of the high cost associated with environmentally compliant handling and disposal, the added material and capital cost for the
manufacturing process and the toxicity of the solvent.
Additionally, building a facility with a water-based process results in:
• A radical reduction in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions
• Lower energy consumption
• Easier siting and permitting
Performance Comparisons
It is well known in the battery industry that water and Li-Ion cells do not like each
other. As such, there is a perception that a WSB process may potentially limit the
performance of the Li-Ion cell’s cycle life, shelf life and power performance. Several
research studies have been published about the satisfactory switch from a solvent-based
process to a water-based process for the graphite anode. However, very limited information is available about the cathode materials used in the Li-Ion industry. Research and
development work at International Battery has focused on addressing the stability of
the cathode materials in an aqueous media. LiFePO4 has a tendency to absorb moisture
while stored at ambient temperature. K. Zaghib et al. reported that LiFePO4 stored at
25°C, 50 percent humidity, the capacity fade is significant and it is not reversible.
To address the stability of the LiFePO4 cathode in a WSB process, electrodes were
made using a LiFePO4 cathode and a graphite anode using a WSB binder (propriety
binder). Electrodes were also made with a PVdF binder with NMP solvent. Lithium
half-cells were built for LiFePO4 cathode made using the WSB process and the solventbased process. The electrodes were thick for both WSB and PVdF electrodes. The
lithium half-cells were cycled at C/26 rate to test for capacity. The cells with the water
soluble binder and PVdF based solvent binder delivered similar capacity. The WSB
electrode had a first charge capacity of 140 mAh/g and a first discharge capacity of 125
mAh/g. The solvent-based electrode had a first charge capacity of 137 mAh/g and a
The additional manufacturing costs and environmental concerns associated with the solventbased process may limit the potential to drive the
manufacturing cost down to the level required
for widespread adoption in many applications. At
International Battery, the focus is on manufacturing
Li-Ion cells using a water soluble binder (WSB)
based process for both the cathode and anode. By
eliminating the solvent from the manufacturing
process, the material cost and capital investment
cost can be reduced considerably. The WSB process has shown not to add any material cost to manufacturing and water is abundantly available. The
WSB process uses water as a medium to dissolve
and disperse the binders and the electrode materials respectively (Figure 1). For the solvent-based
process, additional recovery equipment, hoods and
precautions are necessary.
Figure 1. Open Aire Water-Based
Coating Process Equipment
Figure 2.
November/December 2009
A recent analysis performed by International Battery compared the capital costs, operating costs and
environmental factors for building and operating
a battery manufacturing facility. One scenario
involved energy based applications (1 MWh bulk
storage for utilities) and assumed usage of large
format 160 Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) cells
(Figure 2). The other scenario involved hybrid
vehicle applications using a “smaller” cell in the 40
to 60 Ahr range.
The results of the energy scenario are summarized.
Compared to a traditional solvent-based process,
the water-based process resulted in the following
• 10 percent reduction in capital costs
• 85 percent reduction in waste management expenses
Figures 3A and 3B. Second cycle charge/discharge curves for (A) WSB process and
(B) PVdF solvent-based process. The charge/discharge curve is for the second cycle.
The cells were charged and discharged at C/26 rate for capacity determination. Cell
configuration (Lithium metal/electrolyte/LiFePo4 cathode)
Battery Power Products & Technology
Battery Manufacturing | 13
first discharge capacity of 123 mAh/g. Cells were charged to 3.6 V at C/26 rate constant
current charging and allowed to rest for 20 minutes before discharge. The cells did not
go through constant voltage charge. There was no difference between the water-based
process and solvent-based process. The WSB cells and solvent-based cells specific
discharge capacity show minimal increase during second cycle (Figure 3, A and B). The
capacity trend for thick electrodes matches well with the earlier results reported in the
literature for the water soluble binder and PVdF solvent binder electrodes.
The charge discharge curves for WSB process and solvent process are shown in Figure
3. Figure 3 shows that there is no additional electrochemical contribution except for the
theoretical voltage plateau of the LiFePO4/FePO4 redox couple. Large format cells were
made using the WSB process and the capacity of the cell is around 160 Ah. The cells
were cycled at C/3 rate at room temperature (Figure 4). The cells were cycled for about
520 cycles and the cells show very minimal capacity fade (Cycle life tests are continu-
ing to validate the cycle life). The rate performance of the cells was tested at different
temperatures and the cells show excellent capacity at low temperature and also at high
temperatures (Figure 5 A and B). The test results show that the water-based Li-ion cell
should perform well for long shelf life and cycle life.
Applications and Deployment
Large format Li-ion cells are now being manufactured and deployed using this well
tested and proven process saving both money and the environment. Applications currently using or testing large format cells include:
• Distributed energy storage and bulk energy storage for utilities
• Heavy hybrid vehicles and large scale trucks and buses
• Military vehicles on silent watch
• Backup power for critical NASA ground operations, autonomous ground vehicles
and forklifts looking to replace lead acid batteries
• Backup power for telecommunications
• Specialty medical and industrial applications
In several applications, large format cells have been deployed in the field for several years.
Performance results and cost analyses by International Battery indicate that water-based
processing and new large format form factors are now available to help drive widespread Li-ion adoption in many key industries. Customer adoption and deployment
of large format cells continues to increase and new applications are being identified
to utilize the technology. In particular, as the energy content for electric vehicles and
smart grid applications continues to increase, lower cost and environmentally friendly
manufacturing processes will be pivotal for those industries going forward.
Contact International Battery, Inc. at
Figure 4. Cycle life room temperature at C/3 rate. Charge cut-off voltage 4.0 V and
discharge cut-off voltage 2.5 V. Percent capacity fade 1.61 over last 213 cycles.
Figure 5A and 5B. Rate performance of the 160 Ah LFP cells (A) cell discharge at
different rate at 0°C. and charged at C/3 (constant current and constant voltage). (B)
Rate performance at different temperature and at different rates.
Battery Power Products & Technology
November/December 2009
14 | Battery Hybrid Systems
Reserve Power Hybrid Systems Deliver Cost Savings for
Growing Demand in Telecommunication Applications
Mike Kulesky, Marketing Director for Telecommunications
In remote areas across the globe such as on the continent of Africa and in the Caribbean, the demand for wireless communications is growing faster than the telecommunications companies can update their obsolete infrastructures. Unlike their counterparts
in well-developed areas, the companies have poor power grids that make expanding
the networks difficult.
Fortunately, recent advancements in technology have opened the door for new hybrid
applications that deliver off-grid power to households and telecom base transceiver
stations (BTS), or cell sites where main grid network quality is poor or non-existent.
These applications often rely on diesel generators to provide either the partial or entire
power supply.
“It’s really a new frontier. We can connect people through reliable cell phone service
in remote areas of the world; something that the rest of us take for granted,” said Bob
Rader, director of sales for South America and the Caribbean at EnerSys.
Today’s technology has made it possible to deliver better performing batteries that support hybrid systems. In areas where the grid network is reliable, a hybrid application
is characterized by a stationary battery that is working in parallel with another power
source such as a diesel generator, PV panels or wind turbines. Stationary batteries by
design are slightly overcharged and remain in the “float” charge mode. If an outage
occurs, they can provide all of their stored energy.
In unreliable service areas, however, new stationary battery technologies that are
designed to be discharged and recharged daily are a better choice for remote hybrid
systems, according to John Gagge, senior director of Engineering and Quality Assurance at EnerSys. For remote off-grid telecom sites, hybrid systems that use high cycle
batteries in conjunction with another power source can help reduce fuel consumption
and save overall operating costs.
“With rising fuel costs, telecom companies are welcoming ways to cut down the amount
of time they are running generators to achieve greater cost efficiencies,” said Gagge.
For example, a hybrid system using a quick-charge battery would alternate a 16-hour
cycle of generator power with an eight-hour cycle of battery power. In the first cycle,
the generator runs to supply the power load, which simultaneously recharges the battery. In the next eight-hour cycle, the battery supplies the load while the generator is
shut down. In hybrid quick-charge applications, cyclic control is necessary to allow the
battery to achieve its eight-hour discharge and fully recharge from the generator in 16
hours, so it is ready for the next discharge.
New Technology Permits Greater Control
Depending on the application, battery requirements can vary drastically. For instance,
powering a stand-alone hybrid application system is a much different animal than supplying backup power with the traditional valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) standby
battery. For efficient systems, it’s important to select the battery and design the system
carefully while considering the characteristics of each unique operating environment.
To meet the output demands and be available for any potential power failures, analyzing the unique requirements of the network is critical when choosing the battery. In
many cases, remote off-grid telecom applications use two diesel generators to give constant power to the systems. Some applications have a battery for backup power when
generators break down or run out of fuel, leaving the operator minimal time to react.
Hybrid Systems Generate Cost Savings
Site operators have found tremendous cost savings when the battery has a major role
as an energy source. Rader noted that the major benefits cited by telecom operators are
reduced generator run-time, lower fuel costs and less frequent maintenance for generators, especially since many sites only need one generator rather than two.
Site operators ideally would run exclusively on grid power with a back up solution
of batteries and eliminate the costs of fuel and equipment. However, in many parts of
the world, quality electric grid service is a luxury. Within these areas, there are several
aspects to consider in order to achieve the battery’s expected lifetime and to meet the
needs of the network. Here are the four major points to determine if the standby application will provide ample power.
1. Cycle Life, Effect of Deep Discharge
This is a key parameter to correctly size a system. VRLA battery cycle life depends on
the amount of energy discharged at each cycle. While every battery design varies, as a
general rule, a battery is capable of providing a finite amount of amp hours in its whole
life. If a certain amount is discharged at every cycle, the battery can provide many
cycles, whereas depleting the whole capacity at each cycle results in a shorter cycle life.
2. Time to Recharge, End of Charge Detection
The systems often use many battery elements or blocs in series. To achieve the expected cycle life, they have to be fully recharged and homogenous at each cycle. So
using float charging voltages that are commonly used in stationary applications is not
suitable. If a typical stationary battery that is on float charge has been discharged to 80
percent of its rated capacity, it needs 24 hours to fully recharge. Recharge time can be
reduced even lower (two to three times) with alternative batteries using thin plate pure
lead technology, if the available current is sufficient.
3. Available Charge Current
There is a minimum current to properly charge a battery at each cycle. To optimize the
hybrid system, it’s ideal to use the generator for the minimum time to recharge the battery. The generator size is important yet in many cases, an oversized generator already
exists at many sites and is being underutilized. When the generator is operating, it normally has excess power that ideally could be used for proper or quick-charge methods.
4. End of Discharge Detection
Overcharging affects the cycle life, so it’s important to detect the end of discharge
by measuring the amount of amp hours the system used. This isn’t an option in older
power generation systems, so the battery manufacturers often estimate the cut-off
voltage to a given depth of discharge. The estimation method is not recommended for
quick-charging since there is a risk of over- or under-charging the batteries.
The New Hybrid is a Success
Through the latest technologies in manufacturing capabilities and process control,
manufacturers can produce more cycles from every battery. Network engineers benefit
from newer, more intelligent power equipment that gives them more accurate measurements and control of charging and discharging batteries through proprietary algorithms.
Using hybrid systems in remote areas of the world is gaining traction. They provide a
cost-effective and environmentally-conscious means for creating a renewable independent power source in areas that would otherwise have unreliable service or no
power at all.
“Hybrid systems that offer quick-charge methods combined with our SBS EON
technology for off-grid power are the best choice for supplying power to remote areas,
which is typically not how traditional VRLA batteries have been used,” said Gagge.
“When the batteries are built with enhancements like SBS EON technology, they can
support quick-charging methods that are commonly used in motive power applications.
It’s a new frontier in hybrid systems.”
In one application in North Africa, the hybrid powered a wireless cell tower. By day, it
ran on battery power for four to eight hours. At night, the generator ran to keep the cell
tower in operation.
Meeting Demand for Remote Applications
In the case of remote applications using a hybrid system, VRLA stationary standby
batteries are actually used as one of the main sources of power. In stand-alone hybrid
applications, the batteries work more like those in motive power lift trucks or handling
trucks because the standby batteries are discharged daily. The charging method is the
key to achieving the full life expectancy of the battery.
November/December 2009
“The cost savings in fuel alone justified the site’s investment in the hybrid,” said
Gagge. Another company reported an approximate 20 percent savings due to better
fuel efficiencies. “The new hybrids are becoming popular tools to manage power loads,
give extended runtime solutions and make positive green-minded decisions.”
A telecom business veteran of more than 10 years, Mike Kulesky is director of Marketing for Telecommunications at EnerSys. Previously, he worked at Lucent Technologies,
supporting a wide range of power projects and products.
Battery Power Products & Technology
Contact EnerSys at
Battery Manufactuing | 15
Battery Welding Solutions
Using Laser and Resistance Technologies
Geoff Shannon
Miyachi Unitek Corp.
The ever-increasing demand for portable electronic devices, cordless power tools, energy storage and hybrid and EV cars has become an integral part of everyday life, driving the need to produce batteries and battery packs to meet these needs. That, in turn,
drives the call to manufacture batteries that meet or exceed the quality and production
requirements of the same.
In battery manufacturing, there are a number of materials joining requirements. Depending on the specific type, size and capacity of the battery these may include internal
terminal connections, can and fill plug sealing, tab to terminal connections and external
electrical connections. There are a number of joining options that can be considered for
each of the requirements including resistance, ultrasonic and laser welding. Ultrasonic
welding is commonly used for the joining of the internal electrode battery materials
that are usually constructed of thin foils of aluminum and copper. The remaining joining requirements, including the connections inside the can and external terminal tab
connections, are well suited to both resistance and laser welding; the decision to use
one or the other is generally dictated by the specific type of weld required and production requirements. For can and plug applications (seam sealing) laser welding is the
joining technology of choice.
other variations in the weld process (e.g. electrode wear, cabling, etc.), these systems
can automatically maintain constant power and consistent heating profiles at the weld
nugget. As a result, inverter controls using constant power feedback are able to deliver
dramatically increased yields while simultaneously eliminating the inefficiencies and
inconsistencies of operator-dependent process tweaking. Among the most significant
benefits is the expansion of the effective process window from only 15 minutes between schedule updates for AC controls, to as long as 72 hours without any necessary
operator adjustments for the inverter.
High Speed Seam and Plug Sealing of
Battery Cans
Laser welding is an excellent method for seam sealing, resulting in a high speed, high
quality hermetic seams in both steel and aluminum. Laser welding offers significant
advantages over mechanical clinching and adhesive methods based on joint reliability,
joining speed and ease of manufacturing. As laser welding is an extremely efficient
joining process, the heat input into the battery is minimized.
Resistance welding has been an established joining technology for more than 40 years
and has been used in the battery industry for almost as long. Since then, a steady
stream of advances in resistance welding systems has given users significantly improved capabilities to control various aspects of the process. For example, the introduction of DC inverter power supplies with basic closed-loop electrical modes provided the
ability to accommodate changes in the secondary to specifically address part resistance.
Also, polarity switching for capacitance discharge supplies to enable balancing of the
weld nuggets, and more recently, the addition of displacement and electrode force measurement, provide manufacturers with more tools to ensure weld quality.
Laser welding is a newer technology, introduced in the manufacturing marketplace in
the mid-1980s. As laser technology has matured, and the awareness thereof spread,
it has become an established process so that today, it is simply another tool in the
manufacturing engineer’s toolbox to be used and implemented as needed. The laser
provides a high intensity light source that can be focused down to very small diameters
(0.01 inch). The concentration of light energy is sufficient to melt metals rapidly, forming an instantaneous weld nugget. The process is non contact, has no consumables,
offers instantaneous welding once positioned at the weld point location, provides
sufficient control over the process to size the weld nugget according to requirements,
and provides a number of implementation methods that can be geared toward individual manufacturing requirements. Laser welding enables joining of many materials
and material combinations, can weld thick parts, and has no limitation on proximity of
weld spots. There are two types of laser that provide solutions for battery applications:
pulsed Nd:YAG and fiber. Both of these lasers offer different joining characteristics
that can be selected as appropriate.
Figure 1. Seam welding of aluminum cans for various
battery sizes with weld cross section, and ball and
plug sealing application example.
Welding Tabs to Terminals
From a welding perspective, the important aspects of tab welding are the thickness and
material of both the tab and the terminal. Resistance welding is extremely well suited
to welding nickel tab material up to 0.015 inch thickness, and nickel or steel clad copper tab material to around 0.012 inch thickness to a wide variety of terminal materials.
Due to a different welding mechanism, laser welding is able to weld both thin and
thick tab materials, with a capability of welding copper based or bi-metal tab material
above and beyond 0.04 inch thickness.
Miyachi Unitek Continued on Page 16
Reserve Power
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telecoms and IT, railway, power generation, UPS backup and emergency standby power, whatever your application, HOPPECKE has a fail-safe
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you total peace of mind.
Lead Acid Batteries
The manufacture of reliable, high-performance lead-acid batteries for use in demanding automotive, marine and storage applications poses significant challenges. The
welding application requires that a series of lead castings (tombstones), which constitute the cores of the individual battery cells, be joined. These lead tombstones must
be linked together using consistent and precisely controlled weld nuggets in order to
assure the proper operation and long-life of the final battery assembly.
The welding challenge arises due to the high level of resistance variability that occurs
based on the age of the lead, and these variations happen over a period of less than
72 hours. Controlling batch parts according to age, therefore, is not viable in production. The resistance variation makes it very difficult to achieve consistent results with
traditional AC resistance welding, which is susceptible to current spikes and inherent
variability in the welding process. Even the use of advanced AC weld controls, which
have a more consistent secondary current output, is not sufficient; operators must continually adjust weld parameters to maintain acceptable welds.
The most effective approach to the unique challenges of lead-acid battery welding is
to use advanced inverter (DC) solutions that combine precision controlled secondary
power (V x I) with comprehensive monitoring and real time feedback mechanisms.
By sensing and adapting for differences in resistance in the lead castings, as well as
Since 1927, we have been developing and manufacturing high
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Make y s
HOPPECKE Batteries Inc.
1960 Old Cuthbert Road,
Suite 130, Cherry Hill,
NJ 08034 Tel:+1 856 616 0032
Fax:+1 856 616 0132
E-mail: [email protected]
Battery Power Products & Technology
November/December 2009
16 | Battery Manufacturing
Figure 2. A few examples from the wide range of resistance tab
welding applications.
Figure 4. Examples of flexible weld placement for tailoring weld strength and weld
strength and direction of weld strength can be tailored to pack requirements. The
peel strength of (a) and (b) is 15 Ib and 60 lbs respectively.
Resistance Welding
Resistance welding is the most cost-effective method for joining tabs on a wide range
of battery types and sizes, using both DC inverter closed loop and capacitor discharge
power supplies. With fast rise times, closed loop feedback control, polarity switching,
and options for displacement and force sensing, the process can be finely tuned and
monitored to ensure both high quality and yield. For nickel tab thicknesses up to 0.007
inch the tab can be welded without modification. Beyond this thickness, and to prevent electrical shunting and excessive electrode wear, a slot and projections are placed
in the tab as part of the stamping process. The projections act not only as energy
concentrators for the weld, but also greatly increase electrode lifetimes.
Laser Welding
Although able to weld both thin and thick tab materials, laser welding is particularly
well suited to addressing the needs of high power battery welding. The tab material
used in the development of high power cells must be able to accommodate the associated higher capacities and power levels. In order to provide efficient energy transfer,
a tab thickness of 0.015 inch or greater is required, as is the use of more conductive
materials. For high power lithium ion cells, the terminal material for certain battery
manufacturers is different. Therefore the need for bi-metal and smart terminal design
solutions is required. Defining the optimal tab material may require some development work both on the welding and material costing. In these cases, the laser is an
invaluable tool that offers outstanding welding performance and flexibility.
noting that in nearly all cases if the weld strength of the joint is achieved, conductivity
follows. For more conductive materials, the weld area required for strength can be as
much as 10 times that required for conduction.
As shown in Figure 4 the placement of the weld spots on the tab is completely flexible,
and can be tuned to the strength requirements of the pack or tab. For example, peel
strength is often used as a metric for weld quality therefore the welds can be positioned
to accordingly. The time needed to add additional weld spots is very short; sufficient
tab strength can be achieved with very little impact on cycle time.
Although peel strength remains an important weld test, vibration is also important. As
vibration strength places an emphasis on having good weld strength in any direction,
the circle of weld spots shown in Figure 4 provides the solution.
Laser Welding - High Speed Solutions
As the process is non contact and the beam is steered by motion the welding speed is
determined by the tab materials and thickness and the terminal material along with the
selection of laser power. As an example shown in Figure 5 a 0.012 inch thick nickel
plated copper tab is welded to an aluminum terminal at 4”/s.
Laser Welding – Flexible Weld Pattern
As laser welding has no limitation on the proximity of the welds, the laser can place
any pattern of weld spots on the tab according to strength requirements. It is worth
Figure 5. Lithium ion battery with 0.012 inch thick
nickel plated copper tab
welded to aluminum terminal at 4”/s.
Figure 3. Laser welding examples of thick conductive tab welding. (a) Nd:YAG laser
0.02 inch thick steel clad copper tab to steel (b) fiber laser weld 0.012 inch thick
copper to thin stainless steel.
Figure 6. XY gantry laser based solution for battery
pack welding, where the pack remains stationary
and the focus head is moved.
Pack Manufacturing
When planning an automated or semi automated
solution, the primary factors to consider are
loading/unloading, motion and tooling that fit
the planned production flow and production rate.
Loading and unloading can range from manual to
conveyer or pick-and-place, motion options center
around whether the resistance/laser head or the
part will be moved, with options including XYZ
tables and gantry’s or robotic manipulators. For
tooling, resistance welding occurs by the actuation of an electrode onto the tab, and is therefore
self tooling. The laser is non contact, so tooling of
the parts can be achieved either by using a fixture
that the batteries and tabs are loaded into, or using actuated tooling that is deployed prior to the
welding process.
The most suitable technology and process for
battery pack manufacture relates to a number of
factors including the pack size, thickness and
material of the tab itself, and the necessary production rate. Both laser and resistance welding
processes enable high quality volume production,
and, as there is welding overlap of the two joining
technologies, the selection is usually made based
on the specific requirements in each situation.
November/December 2009
Battery Power Products & Technology
Industry News | 17
New Safety Requirements for Large Battery Cells and Packs to
Help Address Industry’s Concerns Regarding Public Safety
Underwriters Laboratories (UL), has announced its intent to release a new set of
requirements for large batteries in electric vehicles, UL Subject 2580. With interest
in electric vehicles on the rise, these new requirements will help mitigate the potential risk of fire and electrical hazards and enhance the overall safety of batteries for
electric vehicles. Before becoming a standard, these requirements will undergo a
comprehensive review process by a global Standard Technical Panel (STP). An STP
is a consensus body of individuals representing consumers, government agencies,
regulatory authorities, manufacturers and other knowledgeable interested parties that
develop and maintain effective product safety standards.
The use of electric vehicles is expected to increase significantly in coming years,
mainly due to the cost of traditional fuels and rising environmental concerns. Billions
of dollars are being invested globally to develop and promote this technology, including almost three billion dollars from the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery
Act. According to the international consulting firm Oliver Wyman, the estimated
number of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery-electric vehicles
(BEV) that will be on the road globally over the next decade range from 1 to 5 million new vehicles per year. Along with this rapid growth comes the potential for fire,
electric shock and other safety hazards.
“There are a number of factors in the industry that will dictate the rate of proliferation of electric vehicles on the market, which include cost, performance, durability
and safety requirements for large batteries,” said Jeff Smidt, global manager of Underwriters Laboratories Global Energy Business. “At UL, safety remains our number
one concern. With the help of our new and existing safety requirements, we are helping manufacturers get safer vehicles to the market.”
While UL Subject 2580 will not be mandated, manufacturers will have the option
of certifying to its requirements to help reduce risks. Currently, there is no UL standard for the testing of large batteries like these in electric vehicles.
In addition to developing new standards for large batteries, UL has been conducting tests and certifying to existing standards for numerous hybrid and battery-electric
vehicle components. Some of these components include motors, connectors and battery chargers. UL tests these components for overload protection, shock and flammability among other hazards. Ultimately, UL’s requirements for electric vehicle safety
help move the industry toward performance and safety standardization.
Springs Built from Nanotubes Could Provide Big Power
Storage Potential
New research by MIT scientists, led by associate professor of mechanical engineering Carol Livermore, suggests that carbon nanotubes, tube-shaped molecules of pure
carbon, could be formed into tiny springs capable of storing as much energy, pound
for pound, as state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries, and more than 1,000 times as much
as steel springs, and potentially do so more durably and reliably.
Ultimately, such springs might be used for such applications as an emergency
backup power supply or alarm system that can be left in place for many years without
losing its "charge," portable mechanical tools like leaf blowers that work without the
noise and fumes of small gasoline engines, or devices to be sent down oil wells or
into other harsh environments where the performance of ordinary batteries would be
degraded by the extremes of temperature.
Livermore and her team did a combination of mathematical analysis and smallscale laboratory testing to determine the potential of carbon nanotubes to be used as
springs for energy storage.
Livermore says that to create devices that come close to achieving the theoretically
possible high energy density of the material will require plenty of additional basic
research, followed by engineering work. Specifically, the initial lab tests used long fibers of individual carbon nanotubes joined end-to-end, but creating a practical energy
storage device will require assembling nanotubes into longer, thicker fibers without
losing their key advantages.
Proposed Ban on Air Transport of Lithium Batteries Threatens
Shipments to Hospitals and Soldiers
The Rechargeable Battery Association strongly opposes a recent request by the
Air Line Pilots Association asking the US Department of Transportation to ban the air
transport of lithium batteries.
The ALPA filing threatens both emergency shipments of batteries needed to power
life-saving medical equipment such as portable oxygen concentrators and restricts
mission-critical battery deliveries to US military installations, significantly compromising our soldiers’ ability to carry out their mission, PRBA stated in a September 4
letter to the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
ALPA’s request also “ignores the vital role that these batteries play in powering
just about every common portable electronic device,” including cell phones, notebook
computers, digital cameras, portable DVD players and just about every other ubiquitous consumer electronic product that has revolutionized the mobility of Americans,
the PRBA letter stated. “A ban on such shipments would also disrupt distribution of
many other products on which US consumers, government agencies and businesses
have come to rely.”
In its letter, PRBA urged PHMSA to strengthen its safety regulations by moving
quickly to harmonize US battery rules with the far more stringent shipping and packaging provisions applicable in the rest of the world. PHMSA and the Federal Aviation
Administration should also expand enforcement of existing US regulations.
“We would like to see FAA take a more pro-active approach on enforcing the existing regulations because they are the lead agency on air safety,” said PRBA executive
director George Kerchner.
For example, ALPA has cited three incidents to justify its call for a ban on air
shipment of lithium batteries, but in each case the shipments failed to comply with
even existing US hazardous materials regulations, including labeling and packaging
requirements, the letter noted. “Similar flaunting of the regulations has been involved
in virtually all the lithium ion battery shipping incidents over the last few years,” the
letter stated.
PRBA also takes exception to ALPA’s assertion that there are similarities between
these three incidents and the 2006 UPS plane event at the Philadelphia airport. The
National Safety Transportation Board stated that the cargo fire was initiated by an
unknown source, PRBA’s letter said.
“The ban ALPA advocates would penalize the patients, soldiers, businesses and
consumers who rely on lithium batteries
and the responsible shippers who comply
with existing requirements, without addressing the real problem that is presented. ALPA’s proposal should be rejected,”
the letter concluded.
NextGen Research Predicts a
“Power Shortage” in Batteries
And Fuel Cells
As portable devices have become
smaller in size and richer in features, their
power needs have grown, but battery
designers and manufacturers have not
been able to keep pace by squeezing more
energy into less space. Existing battery
chemistries are approaching the limits of
their energy densities, creating the potential for a “power shortage” as increasingly
smaller gadgets make growing demands
on batteries that cannot provide sufficient
sustained power to take advantage of the
latest power-hungry features.
A new study by NextGen Research,
“Batteries and Fuel Cells: Portable
Power for Portable Devices,” forecasts
that the market for such portable power
products will mirror the global economy:
contracting in 2009 and seeing negligible
growth in 2010, with more robust growth
beginning in 2012. Overall, NextGen
Research projects the global market for
batteries and fuel cells for portable products will grow from $46 billion in 2009 to
almost $64 billion in 2013.
“This is a staid, conservative market,
where developments are evolutionary,
not revolutionary,” said Larry Fisher,
research director of NextGen Research.
“This does not bode well, because
portable devices increasingly require
more power, and battery designers and
manufacturers do not have a near-term
solution to ameliorate the problem. The
latest generation of smartphones serves
as a prefect illustration, with consumers
complaining loudly about the shrinking
battery life of these devices.”
The NextGen Research market study
foresees incremental improvements
in both the primary (disposable) and
secondary (rechargeable) segments of
the market, such as faster recharge times
for lithium-ion batteries, and tweaks in
chemistries that provide performance
enhancements in both primary and
secondary batteries. However, NextGen
Research does not anticipate any major
technological developments in the near
term; lithium-ion will continue to be the
principal chemistry in secondary bat-
Battery Power Products & Technology
Effective understanding
of temperature and
voltage together gives
insight into this potential
problem. This ability to
correlate changing
readings of both is what
MEASURpoint™ does well.
Correlation of Temperature
and Voltage Measurements
Ultra-Accurate Temperature
Precision Voltage
November/December 2009
18 | Industry News
teries, while alkaline and carbon zinc will continue to dominate the primary battery
market. Much-heralded micro-fuel cells will not gain traction in the market until late
in the forecast period.
Fisher noted batteries also will be growing more eco-friendly in the coming years.
“Environmental concerns are driving manufacturers to reduce or eliminate the use
of cadmium, mercury and other dangerous substances in their batteries. At the same
time, the drive to recycle spent batteries is just beginning to take hold.”
Development of New Lightweight Battery for Electric Cars
Ricardo, Inc., the US subsidiary of Ricardo plc, has announced that $2.1 million
of funding has been made by the UK Technology Strategy Board to a consortium led
by advanced battery manufacturer Axeon and including Ricardo, which will develop
a new lightweight battery for use in electric small city cars, improving their performance, functionality and range. The aim of the project is to develop an innovative
high energy density battery system for an emission-free electric small city car. The
battery, which will use new cell chemistry that offers higher energy density, will be
lighter, smaller and therefore more efficient than those currently available, and will
offer faster charging and a higher range.
The benefits of the newer technology from improved performance, functionality
and range will be significant. These factors in turn will enhance the appeal of low
carbon electric vehicles (EVs), and if take-up is as predicted (250,000 new EVs by
2015 in Europe alone) it would contribute to a significant reduction in the UK’s CO2
emissions. In addition to Axeon and Ricardo the consortium will also include as a
member Allied Vehicles, a niche vehicle manufacturer.
Over the next 22 months, Ricardo will develop the battery management system
architecture and application software; Axeon will engineer and construct the battery
system, perform cell testing for calibration and electronic system integration; and Allied Vehicles will design, build and test the vehicle platform.
Electric Transmission Texas Signs Contract for Largest UtilityScale Battery in the US
Electric Transmission Texas LLC (ETT) has completed a contract with NGKLocke, Inc. for a state-of-the-art, sodium-sulfur 4-megawatt NAS battery system,
which will be installed in Presidio, Texas. ETT is a joint venture between American
Electric Power and Mid-American Energy Holdings Company.
The NAS battery will be the first in Texas and the largest in the US and represents
part of a $67 million overall commitment by ETT to improve transmission reliability
in Presidio and surrounding areas.
The battery, along with construction of the Gonzales substation, is currently scheduled to be completed by first quarter 2010 in time for summer peak usage. Cost of the
battery and substation is estimated at approximately $23 million. A 60-mile, 69- kilovolt transmission line from Marfa to Presidio is targeted for completion by 2012 with
an estimated cost of approximately $44 million.
“Very soon, one of the oldest cities in the United States will be benefiting from one
of the world’s newest technology developments,” said Calvin Crowder, ETT president. “This battery installation will enhance electrical service for our customers in
this region, and completion of this contract will allow the Presidio area to realize its
benefits by next summer.”
November/December 2009
AEP pioneered the use of the NAS battery in the US. Following testing at its Dolan
Technology Center near Columbus, Ohio, AEP became the first US company to
deploy NAS batteries in 2002 when it installed and operated a demonstration unit in
Gahanna, Ohio. In 2006, AEP installed a 1.2-megawatt stationary NAS battery near
Charleston, W.Va. In 2008, AEP installed three, 2-megawatt NAS batteries: one in
Churubusco, Ind.; one in Balls Gap, W.Va.; and one in Bluffton, Ohio.
ETT acquires, constructs, owns and operates transmission facilities within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), primarily in and around the AEP Texas
Central Company (TCC) and AEP Texas North Company (TNC) service territories.
International Battery Awarded $2.1 Million in Federal Funding
To Develop Advanced Batteries for US Army
International Battery, a US manufacturer, designer and developer of largeformat Lithium-Ion rechargeable cells, has been awarded $2.1 million in federal
appropriations funding. This award will fund work aimed at the development for
a new Silent Watch system with high energy storage capabilities for use in US
combat tactical vehicles.
The Non Primary Power System (NPS 1160) is modeled on International Battery’s
large format Iron Phosphate cells and Battery Management System (BMS) technology manufactured in the US. The goal of this program is to test and deliver prototypes
aimed at creating increased power in military combat and silent watch vehicles.
The potential for this technology is very significant in both size and growth in these
modular systems. With the added rolling Silent Watch requirements and tight space
claims within the military, these systems offer the scalability and modularity to fit
multiple platforms.
International Battery’s US based manufacturing facility will offer several advantages in the rapid development of Iron Phosphate batteries including: clean and environmentally safe setting through the use of its water based manufacturing process; higher
energy density and longer life cycle than those achieved from current conventional
lead-acid batteries.
International Battery’s award is among an initial base contract with several options
to follow that will allow a path for International Battery’s strength of engineering and
manufacturing to lead Silent Watch technologies into the future. The total funding
package will help to create International Battery’s future capability of adding more
high-paying jobs in Allentown, Penn. This technology footprint represents additional
market growth capability for the commercial markets, such as trucks, buses and future
stationary power applications.
Blue Spark and Novalia Partner to Design and Develop
Creative, High Value, Interactive Printed Electronics Products
Blue Spark Technologies, a supplier of thin, flexible printed battery solutions, and
Novalia, a designer of printed electronics products, recently signed a joint marketing
agreement to drive the creation and launch of innovative “Interactive Printed Media”
products for the publishing, consumer, packaging, retail and other markets.
Novalia’s Interactive Printed Media (IPM) vision is based on existing printed
electronics technologies. Technologies include programmable chips (ICs) and
conductive inks, used along with traditional graphic inks, and thin, flexible “green”
batteries as a primary power source. Printed electronics, by design, can easily and
affordably be integrated into standard manufacturing processes and printed using traditional
print processes, such as screen, offset, gravure
and flexography.
Peter Kuzma, vice president of Business
Development for Blue Spark Technologies, commenting on the new partnership, said, “Novalia
has emerged as a leader and pioneer in interactive printed electronics technology. We at Blue
Spark look forward to an exciting and productive
marketing partnership that effectively leverages
Novalia’s design creativity and printed media expertise with Blue Spark’s extensive experience in
engineering, battery-powered electronic design,
prototyping and product testing.”
Dr. Kate Stone, CEO of Novalia said, “In our
world, virtually any printed item can be made
interactive, which is why we believe the market potential for Interactive Printed Media is enormous.
Novalia strives to provide customers with creative
designs and compelling applications to help them
launch high value interactive products that are
inviting and engaging for end users. Blue Spark’s
disposable printed batteries provide the ideal power
source to activate many of these products.”
Novalia has developed a compact, selfcontained printed electronics control module
consisting of a power source, integrated circuit
for I/O control and interaction flow, and a sound
Battery Power Products & Technology
Industry News | 19
transducer. The integration of the module and conductive inks enables the printed item to communicate and
interact with the end user (consumer) through the senses
of touch, sight and sound. The specific nature of that
interaction will depend on the programming of the chip.
As part of their agreement, Blue Spark and Novalia are performing customer specific seminars on the
role interactive printed media can have in increasing
sales and driving brand awareness across a number of
consumer and industrial related industries. IDTechEx
predicts the electronic packaging segment of this market
alone, to reach $7.7 billion by 2010.
The Cook-Illinois hybrid bus is a charge-depleting
system, meaning it uses battery energy stored during
overnight charging or between routes to offset fuel
costs. The hybrid bus comes with a diesel engine and a
hybrid system which work together by gathering energy
when the brakes are used, charging the battery as the
bus decelerates. This gathered energy provides additional power when the bus accelerates, allowing the diesel
engine to mostly idle while the bus increases speed. The
lithium-ion battery used in the charge-depleting hybrid
lasts five to seven years. The lifespan of a hybrid bus is
about 12 years, mirroring that of a diesel-powered bus.
Mizzou Scientist Develops a Nuclear Battery that Uses a Liquid Semiconductor
New Duracell Smart Power Initiative
Takes the Brand Beyond The Battery
Duracell has launched its new Duracell Smart Power
Batteries can power anything from small sensors to
which expands the brand’s product portfolio
large systems. While scientists are finding ways to make
traditional battery to address the everthem smaller but even more powerful, problems can
ever-changing power needs of the modern
arise when these batteries are much larger and heavier
company’s latest offerings, such as the
than the devices themselves. University of Missouri
myGrid charging pad, fall under an
researchers are developing a nuclear energy source that
of personal power solutions and
is smaller, lighter and more efficient.
to keeping today’s
“To provide enough power, we need certain methods
they need the most
with high energy density,” said Jae Kwon, assistant
professor of electrical and computer engineering at
Duracell Smart Power and its range of personal
MU. “The radioisotope battery can provide power denpower
solutions continue the company’s focus on relisity that is six orders of magnitude higher than chemiability,
performance and technological innovation but
cal batteries.”
added power efficiency allowing consumers
Kwon and his research team have been working
to live beyond the grid. More than 10 new
on building a small nuclear battery, currently the size
the start of Duracell Smart Power rangand thickness of a penny, intended to power various
to on-the-go compact power chargers,
micro/nanoelectromechanical systems (M/NEMS).
battery chargers and LED technology
Although nuclear batteries can pose concerns, Kwon
said they are safe.
According to Rick June, Duracell vice president and
“People hear the word ‘nuclear’ and think of somegeneral
manager, North America, “Our new personal
thing very dangerous,” Kwon said. “However, nuclear
allow consumers the freedom to live
power sources have already been safely powering a
the limits of staying tethered to tovariety of devices, such as pace-makers, space satellites
is charging made simple.”
and underwater systems.”
Kwon's innovation is not only in the battery’s size,
Better Place Targets Tokyo Taxis for
but also in its semiconductor. The battery uses a liquid
semiconductor rather than a solid semiconductor.
Battery Switch Application
“The critical part of using a radioactive battery is that
Better Place has received an award from the Japawhen you harvest the energy, part of the radiation energy
nese government to conduct a pilot project in Tokyo for
can damage the lattice structure of the solid semiconducthe world’s first electric taxis with switchable battertor,” Kwon said. “By using a liquid semiconductor, we
ies. Better Place will partner with Tokyo’s largest taxi
believe we can minimize that problem.”
operator, Nihon Kotsu, in the project commissioned by
Kwon has been collaborating with J. David Robertthe Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry’s Natural
son, chemistry professor and associate director of the
Resources and Energy Agency. The project, which
MU Research Reactor, and is working to build and
test the battery at the facility. In the future, they hope
to increase the battery’s power, shrink its size and try
with various other materials. Kwon said that the batThe easiest, most effective way to
tery could be thinner than the thickness of human hair.
load, lock and replace coin cell batteries
They’ve also applied for a provisional patent.
15 styles – for 10mm to 24mm coin cells
comes on the heels of the company’s successful battery
switch demonstration earlier this year in Yokohama, is
slated to begin in January 2010.
“Japan continues to be a leader in automotive engineering and innovation, and the government’s funding
of Better Place for the world’s first battery switchable
electric taxis is a testament to the country’s commitment
to sustainable transportation,” said Kiyotaka Fujii, president of Better Place Japan and Head of Business Development for Asia Pacific. “This puts the Better Place
battery switch system to use in a real-world application
involving heavy-use vehicles that drive much more than
the average passenger car. It also enables us to begin to
convert taxis to clean, zero emission transportation.”
Japanese taxis represent two percent of all passenger
vehicles on the road in Japan, yet they emit approximately 20 percent of all carbon dioxide (CO2) from vehicles due to their average distance traveled in a given
day. In Tokyo alone, there are approximately 60,000
taxis, a far greater number than in New York, Paris or
Hong Kong. The outcome of the Tokyo pilot program
for electric taxis could point to opportunities in other
urban centers. Additionally, success within the heavy
use taxi industry will help to ensure efficient technology
transfer to the mass market, where daily mileage is far
less on average.
The electric taxi pilot will showcase the everyday
use applications of the Better Place model, and will involve the construction of a Better Place battery switch
site at a location in the Roppongi Hills area in Central
Tokyo. Up to four newly modified and fully operational
electric taxis will be operated from an existing taxi lane
for environmentally-friendly vehicles at the Roppongi
Hills complex.
Tokyo R&D Co., a specialist in automotive engineering and production, will supply the EVs based on commercially available vehicles with the necessary battery
latch mechanisms and switchable batteries. Tokyo R&D
also will be involved with building the battery switch
site and provide diagnostic software for the pilot.
The vehicles will be put into standard taxi service by
the Nihon Kotsu taxi company. Battery switching duration, vehicle range and battery resistance to degradation
will be tested under actual operating conditions.
Illinois’ First Hybrid School Bus
Glide tray
into retainer
Load coin
cell to tray
it works
has landed
The largest family-owned and operated school bus
contractor in the US has purchased the first hybrid
school bus in Illinois. The new vehicle drives like a
standard school bus but comes equipped with both
hybrid and diesel systems that work in tandem to
drastically cut emissions and more than double fuel efficiency. Kickert, a Cook-Illinois Corp. subsidiary, will
transport kids to and from Huth Junior High School in
Matteson, Ill.
“School buses obviously start and stop constantly,
and this is exactly what a hybrid system needs to stay
efficient. We also think it is something that will save
fuel and provide a better environment for the children
we transport now and the children of the next generation,” explains Cook-Illinois COO John Benish, Jr.
On average, a diesel-powered school bus gets six
miles to the gallon. The hybrid gets up to 13 miles per
gallon, making it twice as efficient and cost-effective
as a diesel-powered bus. The hybrid bus is manufactured by IC Bus Corp., headquartered in Warrenville,
Ill., an affiliate of Navistar, Inc.
Utilizing a special plastic
tray that secures the coin
cell, and glides easily into
the nickel-plated phosphor
bronze retainer, the battery
is protected from polarity reversal and is assured
uninterrupted contact. Retainers come with PC pins
or can be surface mounted, and are easy to solder.
And, they provide shock and vibration resistance.
For Gliders details: write, call, fax
or visit our website
Battery Power Products & Technology
November/December 2009
20 | Industry News
DPMC Awarded Patent for an Improved System and Method
For Monitoring State of Health of Battery
Data Power Monitoring Corp. (DPMC), a provider has been awarded a US patent
for key technologies and methods for its “System and Method for Remote Monitoring
of Battery Condition.” This patent has already been commercialized by DPMC and is
in force today supporting thousands of critical backup battery systems via DPMC’s
battery automated reporting system or “BAR” managed services offering.
“Today’s society is increasingly dependent on IT systems that rely on continuous
backup power or stored energy to deliver financial transactions, reliable cell phone
service, email systems, security systems and more,” said Steve Cotton, president of
DPMC. “The BAR system serves as a foundation of DPMC’s scalable monitoring
programs and is unmatched in the way it integrates software as a service and methodologies with our skilled battery experts.”
The BAR interface works with all leading industry battery monitor offerings
and incorporates key battery related IEEE standards into DPMC’s technology and
methodologies. The BAR system is the result of over six years of development, and is
built on a UNIX platform for maximum reliability and scalability. The patent covers
technologies and methodologies related to the ability to remotely communicate with
any type of battery monitor device, and to standardize and graphically display data
collected for a common user friendly web-based interface with continual embedded
and contextually sensitive human analysis of data and recommendations by battery
experts. This combination of standardized reporting and human analysis provides
both high uptime of backup power systems as well as life extension of perishable battery assets, which save millions of dollars for each of DPMC’s customers.
“Periodic manual monitoring, as is the status quo in traditional systems, can
provide only a temporary indication of the battery condition and achieving certain
reliability requires a combination of automated data collection, storage and trending
combined with analysis by experts who knows how to interpret the data and act,”
added Cotton.
The BAR also offers cost-effective daily battery monitoring using data trending
to reduce reliance on traditional and expensive manual maintenance methods which
only provide periodic spot checks. Key performance trends are accelerated by the
BAR which stores archived data to determine various characteristics of the batteries
monitored. Trends of several data points may be monitored to indicate each individual
battery’s state of health including Ohmic (resistance or impedance) value, temperatures, voltage, or time periods for batteries used to power customers’ systems.
Standardization Key for Wireless Charging in Handsets
The Wireless Power Consortium’s announcement of a draft standard marks a key
milestone for wireless charging technology. With a standard in place, wireless charging offers a unique product differentiator not only for mobile handsets, but for an
entire ecosystem of portable electronic devices.
Although wireless charging technology has been common in products like electronic toothbrushes and shavers for years, the technology gained significant media
attention from those covering the mobile handset market with the release of the Palm
Pre earlier this year. Now that a draft standard for the technology is in place, a key
hurdle for increased penetration in the mobile handset market has been cleared.
“The real value of the technology lies in the ability to charge a range of devices
with the same charger,” said IMS Research analyst, Chris Schreck. “While proprietary
wireless charging implementations offer some novelty for tech enthusiasts, a wireless
charger capable of recharging a consumer’s laptop, camera, personal media player,
and mobile handset offers a much better value proposition to the user.”
A standard is also critical for developing an ecosystem of chargers in more places
than just the home or office.
“The nice thing about standardization is that now, for example, a coffee shop can
consider integrating the technology into a table, which would charge your laptop
and handset when you sit down,” Schreck continued. “And one can think of any
number of places, from a conference table to an airplane tray table, where wireless
power for a portable device would be convenient. A standard makes these scenarios
more economically feasible, even if still far off in the future.”
As mobile handsets continue to evolve, and power becomes an increasingly precious commodity in handsets, wireless charging shows the potential to carve out a
niche in the handset market. IMS Research predicts over 11 percent of mobile handsets shipped in 2014 will feature wireless charging capabilities. Key to that market
penetration is the continued development of an acceptable standard that supports
penetration in a range of portable electronic devices.
H&T Waterbury, Inc. Awarded US Department of Energy
Stimulus Grant
H&T Waterbury, Inc. has released that the National Energy Technology Laboratory
has confirmed an award of $5 million in federal stimulus grant money under the US
Department of Energy Recovery Act – Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component
Manufacturing Initiative.
H&T Waterbury was one of 30 successful applicants in the category of US based
manufacturers to produce batteries and their components. H&T Waterbury, located in
Waterbury, Conn., is the headquarters of H&T Battery Components, a division of the
Heitkamp & Thumann Group, a privately held company headquartered in Dusseldorf,
Germany. The Group employs approximately 2,000 people worldwide and has global
sales of US$500 million.
H&T Battery Components is a producer of deep drawn cylindrical cans for the
consumer battery industry. H&T Waterbury operates in a 128,000 square foot plant
located in Waterbury, Conn employing 120 employees, and did business as Bouffard
Metal Goods, Inc. prior to a name change in 2006. H&T’s total investment of $10
million, subsidized by the $5 million award, will be used to expand manufacturing
capabilities for new battery technologies and increase employment at the Waterbury
Connecticut site. In addition to its Connecticut facility, H&T Battery Components has
manufacturing plants in Germany, China and Singapore. H&T Waterbury is proud to
be a part of this rapid expansion of US based battery manufacturing infrastructure.
NASA to Evaluate International Battery’s Lithium-Ion Large
Format Batteries
International Battery, a US manufacturer, designer and developer of large-format
lithium-ion rechargeable cells and batteries, has announced that NASA has awarded
International Battery a contract to build a battery prototype that will provide backup
power in support of the space shuttle program.
NASA is interested in International Battery’s large-format, high energy density,
prismatic cells that provide advanced energy storage along with the company’s
comprehensive Battery Management System (BMS). The BMS is specifically designed for large format cells and provides increased safety and performance through
individual cell monitoring and continuous cell balancing. The entire system is being
deployed as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to maintain backup power for
critical ground operations.
“This opportunity to partner with NASA further validates International Battery’s
truly large format technology,” said International Battery’s CEO, Ake Almgren.
“Our individual cells are ten to fifty times larger than those commonly labeled ‘large
format’ today. Employing fewer cells to store the same quantity of energy lowers the
cost of integrated battery systems and improves reliability and performance.”
The added feature of International Battery’s environmentally-friendly, water-based
manufacturing process is of additional significance to NASA. International Battery
is currently the only company in the US that can produce lithium batteries using a
November/December 2009
Battery Power Products & Technology
Industry News | 21
water-based process. This method does not require solvents and eliminates the need
for a costly disposal process.
The battery prototype will be tested at Kennedy Space Center by the end of 2009
and targeted for implementation at other space centers after successful integration and
testing efforts have been achieved.
The company’s Allentown, Pa., factory is the first purpose-built commercial manufacturer of next-generation large-format lithium ion batteries in the US, and is helping
to reverse the offshore flow of manufacturing capability.
dent, Ener1 Europe. "We are developing a close working relationship with Volvo
and are collaborating intimately on integration of the battery and safety in these
advanced vehicle concepts."
The new project follows a series of announcements from Ener1 in the last month
including the appointment of a new president for EnerDel and a further strengthening
of the senior management team, the creation of a new European Division, acquiring
a leading shareholder position and securing a long term supply contract with Think
Global, and being selected to receive a $118.5 million in Federal Grant Funding to
double production capacity in the US.
EnerG2 Awarded $21.3 Million in Federal Stimulus Funds
EnerG2 has been awarded $21.3 million in Federal stimulus funds allocated for
makers of advanced automotive batteries and energy storage technologies.
The funds will be used to help build the first facility in the world dedicated to the
commercial-scale production of nano-engineered synthetic high-performance carbon
electrode material. This material is an important ingredient in ultracapacitor energy
storage devices, which are used in electric and hybrid vehicles.
EnerG2 will partner with Oregon Freeze Dry, a current manufacturing partner, in
the construction of the facility in Albany, Oregon. OFD will bring deep experience
and expertise to the project and will help accelerate the benefits that the plant will
bring to the automotive industry.
“We appreciate the Department of Energy’s
confidence in us,” said Rick Luebbe, CEO of EnerG2, “and we are eager to help the next generation of clean transportation become a reality. We
are confident that our materials will improve these
vehicles’ efficiency, range and affordability.”
EnerG2’s approach to energy storage centers on
customized electrode materials that enhance energy
and power density in ultracapacitors, one of the essential engines of our clean-technology future.
Ultracapacitors store and release more energy
faster than conventional batteries. The size and
make-up of the electrodes’ surface area helps
ultracapacitors store and supply large bursts of
energy; the materials also effectively enable limitless cycle life for the device.
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ENER1 and Volvo Cars Team-Up to
Provide Lithium-Ion Power for the
New C30 Battery Electric Vehicle
ENER1, Inc., developer and manufacturer of
lithium-ion batteries to power the next generation of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric
vehicles, is teaming-up with Volvo Car Corp.
to provide American-made lithium-ion batteries for the Volvo C30 Battery Electric Vehicle
prototype. The battery is designed and developed
in the US by EnerDel, Inc., Ener1's US battery
subsidiary. This follows the recently announced
collaboration with Volvo on the plug-in hybrid
V70 demonstration vehicles being road tested
in Europe this fall, which also feature EnerDel
lithium-ion batteries.
The C30 Battery Electric Vehicle is part of
Volvo Car Corp.'s DRIVe Towards Zero Strategy
and is a mobile test bed proving that through
intelligent packaging and technology, a pure
electric vehicle can be great to drive while not
compromising on factors such as luggage space
and interior comfort.
It is designed as a zero emission, city commuter car covering the day-to-day mobility needs
of more than 90 percent of European commuters. The 95 mile range and packaging efficiency
of the vehicle is derived in a large part from the
highly efficient lithium-ion battery, designed and
manufactured by EnerDel, who produces some
of the highest energy density battery cells in the
world. The EnerDel battery for the C30 battery
electric vehicle (BEV) is custom made and is a
'split battery', with an energy content of over 24
kWh nominal energy, of which 22.7 kWh is used
to power the car.
"We are delighted to be partnering with Volvo
again on this exciting development project
which aims to test the technical solutions of a
full Volvo battery electric vehicle, in the highly
desirable Volvo C30," said Ulrik Grape,
Battery Power Products & Technology
November/December 2009
22 | Market Trends
Developments in the Battery Market: An Overview
Suba Arunkumar, Industry Analyst, Energy & Power Systems Group
Frost & Sullivan
Batteries form the energy source for most key equipment in day-to-day life. This
makes batteries one of the essential elements in everyone’s life. However, most
consumers are not always aware of the various battery chemistries powering different equipment. Every chemistry is unique and is efficient for a specific application. In a world with an increased usage of sophisticated gadgets with high power
demand, developments and advancements form the base for the right evolution of
batteries that help make life better. This article discusses some of the key developments and advancements in battery construction and design process that make
them much more efficient.
Developments and advancements in battery design and manufacturing process occur in almost all battery chemistries. Enhanced battery chemistries could offer better
performance and efficiency in their end-user application. Discussing the developments
occurring in each of the battery chemistries and the impacts on their end-user application could give a clear view on the developments in this market.
Lead-Acid Battery Chemistry
This is the oldest chemistry dating back to the 19th century; it did not witness any
major evolution for more than 100 years until the 1970s. During the 1970s, modification to the electrolyte was completed from a liquid electrolyte to a gel type and
absorbed glass matt (AGM) type. This gave rise to three different types of lead-acid
batteries, opening large avenues for the application of this chemistry. Lead-acid battery
chemistry still generates the largest revenue, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the
total global battery market revenues.
This chemistry is used in major
industrial, backup and automotive
applications. It is witnessing a revamp
from 2008 and is one of the chemistries
competing in the effort to develop the
best suited and most efficient batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs)
and electric vehicles (EVs). Some of
the most dynamic advancements in this
battery chemistry include the development of UltraBattery for which the US
Government has awarded $32.5 million
announced as part of the federal stimulus bill to EastPenn Manufacturing Company.
This funding could increase the production capacity of these batteries.
UltraBattery is a combination of a supercapacitor and lead-acid battery in a single
unit. Importance is given to this development mainly because of its features that offer
a life cycle that is at least four times longer and produces 50 percent more power than
conventional battery systems, along with the advantage of being 70 percent cheaper
than the currently available batteries used for HEVs.
Similarly, Firefly Energy, Inc. is a noteworthy participant in this chemistry, having
altered the key electrodes of lead-acid batteries and improved the energy density
and performance almost four to five times that of regular lead-acid batteries. Axion
Power International, Inc., another significant contributor to this market, developed
lead-acid batteries using patented lead carbon technology. This advancement generated interest and curiosity in the industry, which resulted in Axion Power receiving
a funding of $800,000 for testing and demonstrating these lead-acid batteries in
HEVs and EVs. This advancement was impressive and promising, which attracted
Exide Technologies (one of the global leading lead-acid battery manufacturers) to
work in joint venture with Axion Power to develop these lead carbon technologybased batteries for alternative vehicles. A key advantage of these advancements is
that these lead-acid batteries make HEVs and EVs affordable, thereby increasing the
unit volumes of vehicles across the world. This could reduce the gasoline usage and
hazardous emissions to the atmosphere.
The advanced form of thin metal-film (TMF) technology has used lead-acid chemistry as well. Development of lead-acid thin-film batteries by Bolder Technologies Corp.
(a group company of GP Batteries from Asia) makes lead-acid batteries a handy power
source with the advantage of being lightweight. These advancements in lead-acid battery chemistry is similar to an effort that makes a reliable, proven chemistry getting
prepared for competing aggressively with relatively new chemistries.
making efficient packing of electrodes and electrolytes through thin separators within
the layers. The thinner the separator, the thinner the dimension of the battery cell. This
chemistry finds consistent development with a focus on altering the cathodes to suit the
demand for a specific application. For instance, cobalt cathode is suitable for consumer
electronics such as mobile phones and laptops as it offers high energy at a steady pace.
However, phosphate or manganese is more suitable for power tools, HEVs and EVs as
these cathodes could offer sudden burst of high power.
Extensive research is being made in this chemistry to develop a safe, efficient,
lightweight, and consistent-performing battery that is suitable for all applications.
Lithium-ion batteries revolutionized the consumer electronics market, replacing nickel
cadmium and nickel metal hydride batteries to a large extent. Similarly, it is the most
expected battery chemistry, which is likely to be the key for wide spread utilization of
HEVs and EVs.
Other Chemistries Witnessing Remarkable Advancements
Other chemistries that are widely focused for research include zinc-air, silver-zinc
and zinc-bromine. ZPower, Inc. is one of the significant manufacturers developing
silver-zinc rechargeable batteries that could potentially challenge the existence of
lithium-ion batteries for consumer electronics applications. Silver-zinc batteries offer
almost 40 percent more power than lithium-ion batteries with the advantage of being
safe to use and environmentally friendly.
Similarly, ReVolt Technology is a significant manufacturer in the zinc-air market,
which is working to develop zinc-air batteries for alternative vehicles and energy
storage systems. This advancement could offer an alternative environmentally
friendly solution to the existing old chemistries, which are heavier than these new
developing technologies.
The zinc-bromine battery is also an emerging chemistry using
zinc as one of the electrodes. This chemistry is focused on the
energy storage application that is currently dominated by the
lead-acid battery chemistry. ZBB Energy Corp. is one the significant manufacturers involved in this chemistry, developing the
complete solution of Zinc Energy Storage System (ZESS) using
zinc-bromine batteries. The advanced flow battery technology
would make zinc-bromine batteries of ZBB suitable for plug-in
HEVs and EVs as well.
Apart from these established chemistries, few other battery chemistries are under trial in laboratories and are yet to be
developed and tested. This chemistry involves the rechargeable
battery developed with salt and cellulose. With raw materials for this chemistry being
so inexpensive, the end product (battery cell) is affordable for almost every consumer
and has the advantage of being environmentally friendly and completely recyclable.
However, this concept is still in the laboratories of universities and takes a long time to
become commercially available.
Another interesting battery chemistry which is under development in the laboratory of MIT is the liquid battery. A unique concept of this battery is the presence of
electrode and electrolytes all in its liquid form poured in a container. The difference
in energy density separates them and offers satisfactory performance in the laboratory. This is another emerging chemistry which is in concept stage that is yet to be
ready for commercialization.
"Except one or two mature
chemistries, almost all other
chemistries are undergoing
significant advancements that
make them fit to compete for
the increased future demand."
Lithium-Ion Battery Chemistry
Lithium-ion is the most popular chemistry in the current environment, which has its
focus on environmentally friendly alternative vehicles. Lithium-ion batteries refer to a
collection of different batteries that have lithium as the common anode, and cathodes
differ from cobalt oxide to manganese or phosphate depending on the application in
which these batteries are employed. The power of lithium-ion batteries has doubled
since its launch in 1991. Advancements in lithium-ion batteries are much attributed to
November/December 2009
Thin-Film Battery Technology
TMF is a separate category of batteries that are gaining commendable importance in
recent years. These are batteries in which the electrodes and electrolytes are embedded
in a single sheet and are available in paper thickness. This technology has revamped
the concept of battery shapes being cylindrical or rectangular utilizes most of the commonly available chemistries such as carbon zinc, nickel cadmium, and most prominently lithium-ion.
Availability of TMF batteries has helped the electronics segment to advance
further. As these are the key power sources for RFID tags and micro equipment that
are typically used for spying and sensing applications. Although very few companies
such as Infinite Power Solutions, Inc., Enfucell Ltd, Cymbet Corp. and Excelletron
Solid State LLC, to name a few, are involved in this category. Potential for this
technology is enormous.
Battery chemistries and the battery market have greatly evolved. Except one or two
mature chemistries, almost all other chemistries are undergoing significant advancements that make them fit to compete for the increased future demand. Battery manufacturers understand that this is a continuous evolution process, so the focus has been
on research and development activities to improve their products. Hence, the tier 1
vendors focus on research and development to improve their existing battery products
to emerge as a highly competitive market.
Battery Power Products & Technology
Contact Frost & Sullivan at
Marketplace | 23
Index of Advertisers
Calendar of Events
5th Lithium Mobile Power
Albuquerque, NM
NASA Aerospace Battery Workshop
Huntsville, Ala.
2nd International Conference &
Expo on Batteries, Capacitors and
Milan, Italy
30- Dec 4
MRS Fall
Boston, Mass.
2nd Battery & Fuel Cell Hybrid
Orlando, Fla.
Albercorp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Intertek. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Arbin Instruments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 IXYS Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Battery Solutions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Memory Protection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Dantona Industries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Pred Materials. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Data Translation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Reed Exhibitions Japan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Eve Battery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Sanyo Energy USA Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
FSI Systems, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Webcom Communications . . . . . . 6, 8, 16, 18, 21
Hoppecke Batteries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
1st European Advanced Automotive
Battery Conference
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The 27th International Battery Seminar & Exhibit
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
BATTCON International Stationary
Battery Conference
Hollywood, Fla.
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