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By Dr Matthew Raiford
Manager, Consortium for Battery Innovation

Since joining the Consortium for Battery Innovation last year, I’ve had the opportunity to work with CBI and ILA colleagues on developing the technical programme for the European Lead Battery Conference and Exhibition this September. Like so many events this year, the decision to move it online created some new challenges, but also interesting opportunities to share and debate the many important innovations we are seeing in lead batteries today.

Our Technical Sessions – live discussion and debate over two days – will focus on the science and developments in lead batteries used for automotive, industrial, and utility service applications. A broad spectrum of topics will be covered ranging from novel additives to new types of lead batteries, with these papers complemented by in-depth fundamental studies of gas evolution, crystallisation/dissolution mechanisms, and the phenomena that govern the technology. The latest lead battery research and innovation will be debated in a new format over six themed panel sessions:

  • Automotive Battery Advancements
  • Fundamental Science (two sessions)
  • Carbon Additives for Automotive Applications
  • Enhancements in Industrial Batteries
  • Lead Batteries in Energy Storage Applications

Discussions around automotive battery developments will include new materials and types of lead batteries entering the market, as well as more accurate and insightful methods to test and model 12V automotive batteries. The presenters will share their insights on how improved DCA is pushing lead battery performance to a point where new levels of automotive hybridisation benefit are accessible from a 12V platform. There will also be examples of how automotive lead batteries are helping power new electronics and types of vehicles.

In automotive applications, DCA improvements will lead to increased lead battery functionality in hybrid applications. Increasing energy throughput and cycle life for energy storage batteries is key to producing energy storage systems (ESS). Both performance enhancements would typically mean different pathways for improvements. However, carbon additives have served as an important vehicle for innovation, improving a broad spectrum of materials properties in lead battery electrodes. To that end, we’re excited to offer a special carbon additives session featuring improvements that can be achieved, the mechanisms that govern them and how they can be utilised to increase DCA and cycle life.

Lead batteries are utilised in a broad spectrum of industrial applications and provide power to equipment that is foundational in many growth industries, for example e-commerce and 5G infrastructure construction. Enhancements such as strategies for better charging will be discussed, demonstrating that maximising lifetime and runtime of lead batteries greatly benefits forklifts and other heavy equipment. Additionally, this session will feature two presentations covering the use of bipolar lead battery technology and how these products are pushing industrial battery performance to new levels.

The increasing need for energy storage for commercial, residential, and utility services indicates that a sustainable, reliable, and cost-effective battery solution will be necessary to achieve the electrification and decarbonisation goals set by governments and institutions around the world. Lead batteries possess all these characteristics and more, and the technical session on lead batteries in energy storage applications will explore strategies that are being used to maximise the energy throughput and serviceable life. Additionally, there will be insights on how batteries can fit into the energy transition priorities of the European Union.

Complementing all these applications will be over a dozen presentations, across two dedicated sessions, on the fundamental science of lead batteries. These presentations will take a deep dive into important topics such as the mechanistic considerations for the oxygen and hydrogen evolution reactions occurring in automotive batteries, the phenomena that govern the formation and dissolution of lead sulphate, and separator advancements are helping modulate the influx of ions between the negative and positive electrodes. Other presentations will focus on new types of additives, research in manufacturing processes, and how techniques like electrochemical impedance spectroscopy can be correlated to performance markers like DCA.

ELBC is an important forum for the industry to collaborate, knowledge share and learn from each other – our comprehensive Technical Sessions will deliver the latest insights to industry, from industry, on the many types of innovations and developments that are driving lead battery performance.

Research institutions are also strongly represented such as RWTH Aachen University, Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC, Technische Universität Berlin, University of North Texas, National Formosa University and Chonnam National University.

All technical presentations from these contributors and many others will be available on demand to stream one week in advance from the dedicated conference platform – giving delegates the chance to prepare to participate in the live panel discussions and debate with experts right here in the ELBC Studio.

Please join us for these important discussions and debates – you can register here.