Category Archives: Battery Technology

Battery Seminar Coming To Ann Arbor

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The San Diego battery industry consultant PlugVolt LLC will hold its 2017 Battery Seminar July 18-20 at the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, 1401 Briarwood Circle.

The event will feature experts from automotive and grid power storage manufacturers, industry suppliers, and battery manufacturers.

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LG Chem Launches Residential Battery Systems in North America

TROY — LG Chem Ltd., a manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for automotive, stationary and consumer applications, has launched new residential battery systems in the North American market.

The launch follows successful completion of UL certification and represents LG Chem’s initial foray into the North American residential market. The home energy storage systems are already being sold in Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

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A123 Systems To Build $40M HQ In Novi

LIVONIA — A123 Systems LLC, a developer and manufacturer of  lithium-ion batteries and systems, announced plans to build a $40 million headquarters complex in Novi.

Located just off I-96 near the Fountain Walk complex, the 32-acre company-owned site will house all corporate functions, an engineering center, new laboratory space and a manufacturing plant.

The new 150,000-square-foot campus will replace A123’s leased space in Livonia and Romulus, and serve as the workplace for more than 400 employees when it is complete. The campus also allows for future expansion to support the further anticipated growth of the global business.

“We are making a commitment to a continued significant presence in Michigan, in proximity to the skilled and experienced talent here,” said Jason Forcier, A123 CEO. “This new complex meets future needs by becoming our epicenter of engineering. It will allow us to grow our engineering workforce and bring testing inside, that has previously been done outside the company. In addition to our corporate staff and our engineering group, we will maintain manufacturing capability for systems assembly to meet the demands of the U.S. marketplace as they continue to evolve.”

The company also announced it will consolidate its U.S. manufacturing operations into a smaller site on the new campus. This will impact approximately 200 manufacturing jobs at the company’s current locations in Livonia and Romulus.

Company officials said they expect growth in payroll of $10 million a year by the end of 2019. The primary driver of this net payroll growth will be the company’s expanding engineering staff and testing capabilities with the new Michigan site.

The expanded engineering center will lead the development of new low voltage products for the growing global markets.

The company expects to begin construction in the third quarter of 2017 and begin to move into the new Michigan complex by the end of 2018.

A123 is a wholly owned subsidiary of China’s Wanxiang Group, which purchased the company after its 2012 bankruptcy filing.

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Leave The Grid In The UP? Michigan Tech Team Finds It Feasible

HOUGHTON — While Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is not the sunniest place in the world, solar energy is viable in the region. With new technologies, some people might be inclined to leave the electrical grid. A team from Michigan Technological University looked into the economic viability of grid defection in the Upper Peninsula.

Known for snow rather than sun, the region could still support a significant network of solar photovoltaic energy systems. Solar energy alone in the Upper Peninsula is seasonally restricted. However, solar coupled with cogeneration and batteries could overcome any cloudy, cold winter day.

Michigan Tech engineers and sociologists explored what this new triple-threat technology, and the role of demographics, could mean for energy alternatives in the Upper Peninsula in a new study published in Energy Policy. Their analysis found that by 2020, leaving the electrical grid is a viable economic option for the majority of seasonal households (92 percent) as well as single-family owner-occupied households (65 percent). The study was published in the journal Energy Policy.

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MSU Prof Gets $500,000 NSF CAREER Award for Battery Research

EAST LANSING — Lithium-ion batteries have dominated the portable electronics market, but their large-scale use in transportation markets could be hindered by the shrinking availability of materials.

The element sodium is 1,000 times more readily available than lithium. A new grant from the National Science Foundation to Michigan State University will explore if sodium-based batteries could replace the more popular lithium-ion batteries as a sustainable power source.

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LG Chem To Build Battery For Pacifica Hybrid In Michigan

TROY — The Troy-based lithium ion battery maker LG Chem says it will supply the 16-kilowatt-hour battery pack system and controls for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan.

The Pacifica Hybrid, scheduled to be launched in late 2016 and introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, will be the first mass-produced hybrid minivan.

LG Chem will supply the completed battery packs, which integrate Li-ion cells, a number of electronic components, and control software, for the new minivan.

LG Chem will manufacture the cells and packs at the LG Chem Michigan plant in Holland. The battery pack was engineered at LG Chem in Troy, including hardware, software, prototypes, packs and electronics, such as the battery management system.

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Arotech Gets Grant For New Battery

ANN ARBOR — The Ann Arbor defense and security products developer Arotech Corp. (Nasdaq: ARTX) said it has received a $720,000 grant from Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist toward research and development for its grid storage flow battery system.

The company said the grant will cover 40 percent of the planned R&D budget for the system in 2016.

Arotech’s iron-iron flow battery is intended to create an affordable technology that delivers a reliable on-demand supply of stored energy that accommodates the highly variable nature of renewable energy sources, acts as a back-up during power disruptions and also as a load-leveler for conventional power sources balancing between supply and demand.

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Battery Show Seeks Program Ideas

NOVI — The Battery Show conference, the electrical and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Show and the Critical Power Expo are returning to the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi Sept. 13-15.

And they’re looking for your ideas on the speakers and topics you’d like to see late this summer.

Organizers say they expect the event to draw more than 6,500 attendees this year, including buyers, engineers and technical leaders from the energy and transportation industries.

Discussions willk explore hybrid vehicle technologies, automotive battery trends, XEV battery pack design, grid scale battery systems, next generation materials and much more.

To deliver an agenda that truly addresses the challenges and opportunities the advanced battery industry faces, organizers are inviting public input on topics people wish to see addressed, specific individuals or companies potential attendees wish to hear from, and session format and organization ideas.

To propose an idea, click on this link and offer your ideas by Feb. 29.

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Gentherm Wins Contract For Battery Thermal Management

NORTHVILLE — Gentherm Inc. (NASDAQ:THRM), the Northville-based developer of thermal management technologies, has been awarded another contract for its new battery thermal management system, a thermoelectric cooling system for batteries used in hybrid and electrified vehicles.

Gentherm said the five-year contract, awarded by an unnamed automotive company, could generate up to $8 million in annual revenue with the first shipments to begin for model year 2018.

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LG Chem Holland Workforce Doubles To 300

HOLLAND — The Holland plant of Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem says it has doubled its workforce to more than 300 employees since its first commercial shipments of automotive batteries 23 months ago.

LG Chem and General Motors also announced this week a partnership across multiple GM lines for hybrid and electric vehicles.

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