Sian Crampsie

A global battery consortium charged with advancing lead battery technology has re-launched as it prepares to unveil a raft of new research designed to take the technology to the next level.

The Consortium for Battery Innovation, which includes more than 90 member companies worldwide is preparing for a surge in energy demand over the next decade and is “stepping up its work”, it said in a statement.

The Consortium is currently preparing a new technical roadmap aimed at extending the performance and lifetime of battery technology. The programme will be unveiled later this year and will provide funding for research projects.

Areas highlighted for future study include projects designed to increase the cycle life of advanced lead batteries and further improve their ability to operate in applications such as start-stop and micro-hybrid applications.

One of the Consortium’s ground-breaking studies is already underway in the United States in partnership with the Argonne National Laboratory. It is using the laboratory’s synchrotron x-ray source to study the chemical changes occurring during charge discharge reactions in real time, something not previously conducted with lead batteries.

Dr Alistair Davidson, Director of the Consortium for Battery Innovation, said: “I expect worldwide demand for energy storage to jump significantly in the next decade. In Europe alone demand is set to jump by up to ten times by 2050. So advanced lead batteries will be critical to meeting that requirement, which is over and above existing uses such as start-stop batteries and back-up for mobile networks and emergency power.

“There are many factors driving this demand, including decarbonisation and electrification. Excitingly, lead batteries are now becoming more common as energy storage for renewables, such as solar and wind, as local grids and independent electricity systems come on line. Cost, recycling, safety and reliability as well as performance are all important factors for these systems.”