Power-One shows off REACT in UK

REACT energy storage system, with Aurora inverter. Photo credit: Power-One

REACT energy storage system, with Aurora inverter. Photo credit: Power-One

Power-One, of the ABB Group, will showcase its residential REACT Renewable Energy Accumulator and Conversion Technology at this year’s Solar Energy UK, from October 8 to 10 in Birmingham. REACT will be available in 2014 and consists of a 4.6kW single-phase grid connected Aurora Power-One inverter and a lithium-ion battery, providing 2kWh of usable capacity.
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GM to beat Tesla on batteries

GM has expanded its electric vehicle battery systems laboratory in Michigan. Photo: © General Motors

GM expands its electric vehicle battery systems laboratory in Michigan. Photo: © General Motors

Earlier this week General Motors made a bold statement of intent: to sell a production-line electric vehicle at half the price of Tesla’s Model S, with a similar range. And GM says it will be able to offer the vehicle at USD$30,000 thanks to the development of its own lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology, according to a Reuters report.
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Battery design gets nanotube boost

NSCU have aligned silicon-coated carbon nanotubes like a layer of drinking straws.

NCSU team aligns silicon-coated carbon nanotubes like a layer of drinking straws. Photo credit: Horia Varlan

Researchers at North Carolina State University have created a new flexible nano-scaffold for rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries that could help make cell phone and electric car batteries last longer.

The research, published online in Advanced Materials, shows the potential of manufactured sheets of aligned carbon nanotubes coated with silicon, a material with a much higher energy storage capacity than the graphite composites typically used.
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Lithium-ion battery production picks up

Naoto Noguchi, President of Panasonic Energy Company, with Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors.

Naoto Noguchi, President of Panasonic Energy Company, with Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors. Photo credit: Panasonic

Two lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery makers have seen an uptick in production, according to press reports last week. LG Chem started production at its Michigan, USA, manufacturing facility last month, media such as MLive confirmed.
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Bosch eyes PV energy storage

Featuring Saft li-ion batteries, the Bosch BPT-S 5 Hybrid is aimed at Germany's residential PV sector

Featuring Saft li-ion batteries, the Bosch BPT-S 5 Hybrid is aimed at Germany’s residential PV sector. Photo credit: Saft

All this recent talk of integrated solar and battery energy storage has got a lot of people thinking of market opportunities. Take German manufacturer Bosch, for example, which is now targeting its snapily-titled BPT-S 5 Hybrid system squarely at the residential photovoltaic market in its home country.
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Battery to store power plant energy

Fenne power plant, site of the new lithium-ion battery system.

Fenne power plant, site of the new lithium-ion battery system. Photo credit: STEAG GmbH

Evonik Industries has announced a lithium-electricity storage system will go into operation at STEAG’s Fenne power plant in Völklingen, Germany. The battery system is designed to accommodate 4,700 lithium-ion batteries with a storage capacity of around 700kWh and an output of around 1MW.
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Lithium cells the size of rice

A video on Treehugger shows how scientists have produced lithium-ion batteries from a nozzle the width of a human hair. Although only ever likely to be used for small, low power gadgets, these minute batteries actually deliver enough current to be of real use, unlike previous attempts using thin-film printing.

The team that produced this marvel of miniaturisation works at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.

Long-life lithium still going strong

One of the many controversies surrounding electric vehicles is the longevity, as well as the cost, of the lithium-ion batteries used to power them. Various schemes have been suggested and implemented to replace power units which regularly lose a crucial percentage of their charge capacity long before the owner is considering buying a new vehicle.

Now comes news that battery exchanges, redeployment to the grid, recycling and all the rest of it may be a thing of the past due to a battery developed by the Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (Baden-Württemberg Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, aka ZSW) in Germany. Its 18650-format lithium-ion battery still retains 85% of its charge after 10,000 cycles.

That works out at more than 27 years of completely charging and recharging the unit once a day, every day. The battery’s power density is 1,100W per kg and ZSW researchers believe they would also have applications in grid-scale storage.