Recycling

Is It Cost Effective To Go Green With Lead-Acid Deep Cycle Batteries?

For many business owners making an effort to go “green” can be an expensive process, requiring investments in new equipment and infrastructure. But if a company decides to be more environmentally conscious by investing in battery-powered machines and vehicles, it may also prove to be a cost-effective choice. While switching to battery power reduces the need for plug-in electricity and combustible fuels for power, there’s also the added benefit of lower overall operating costs.

Deep-cycle lead-acid batteries are the most cost-effective form of power for these types of machinery and vehicles. According to Fred Wehmeyer, Senior VP of Engineering at U.S. Battery, lead-acid batteries provide more energy per cycle at a lower cost per kilowatt-hour than any other type of battery chemistry. That means that the use of lead batteries can translate to lower operating costs over time. It gives companies using them a greater incentive, knowing that the operating costs would absorb any up-front expenses.

In addition to lower costs, there are other environmental advantages. Perhaps the most important is that deep-cycle lead-acid batteries are a sustainable source of energy. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes lead batteries as the most recycled consumer product in the nation. The foundation for this has been the lead-acid battery industry’s ability to create a model recycling program, one in which essentially 100 percent of them are recycled. It prevents millions of used lead-acid batteries from reaching landfills, as it is a problem currently happening with other battery chemistries.

So the question that commonly arises is, if switching to battery power is environmentally better and more cost-effective, how can various industries and rental companies make the most out of their battery-powered machines and vehicles? The answer, according to Wehmeyer, is to make sure you start with a battery that is rated for the optimum power requirements of the application and the type of cleaning machine. Selecting the correct battery further minimizes the upfront costs of going “green” in this manner and helps to extend service life for continued low operational costs.

Batteries come with various capacity ratings, so Wehmeyer recommends starting with one that matches the duty cycle of the vehicle or machinery will require. Purchasing a battery with too little capacity will shorten overall battery life and increase annual operating costs because you will have to replace them more often. On the other hand, selecting a battery with more capacity than needed will add to the initial purchase cost without necessarily increasing battery life.  Also, Wehmeyer reminds us that deep-cycle battery cycle-life ratings are not always compared using the same basis by different manufacturers.  Typically, cycle life comparisons are based on the depth of discharge (%DOD) using the C20 capacity as a baseline.

To truly take advantage of the benefits of going “green” with deep-cycle battery power, it’s also essential to perform a routine maintenance schedule. This routine should include checking water levels and filling as necessary, performing a monthly equalization charge, and minimizing the total DOD to 50 percent or less during each use. Doing these things will dramatically increase battery life and ultimately lower operational costs that will make your investment pay off in the end.

Looking at how batteries play an integral part in being environmentally friendly, it’s easy to see why many industries have continued to utilize flooded lead-acid batteries to power everything from fleets of golf cars and floor cleaning machines to aerial lifts and more. In addition to reducing annual operating costs, industries and individuals embracing battery power are also doing their part to help the economy and the environment.

U.S. Battery Manufacturing And Delta-Q Technologies Partner In Battery Compatibility Program

Corona, Calif.- U.S. Battery Manufacturing and Delta-Q Technologies have partnered together for a new program called “Charged by Delta-Q”. The program provides tools that showcase U.S. Battery products that are integrated with Delta-Q in a curated network of tested and compatible battery and charging solutions.

“Delta-Q’s battery compatibility program strengthens collaboration in the industry. It supports battery and BMS partners like U.S. Battery Manufacturing as they pursue new markets by giving them the opportunity to show their affiliation with Delta-Q’s global brand,” says Sarah MacKinnon, Delta-Q’s Co CEO and CFO.

The ‘Charged by Delta-Q’ program is intended to empower OEMs and help partners market their solutions on a broader scale. “Our affiliation with the ‘Charged by Delta-Q’ program helps our original equipment (OE) customers select U.S. Battery products that are compatible with Delta-Q charging solutions, as well as view tested charging algorithms with Delta-Q that can provide improved performance, longer battery life, and maximum runtime,” says Don Wallace, U.S. Battery COO.

 

About Delta-Q Technologies

Delta-Q Technologies is a manufacturer of battery chargers, that improve the performance of electric drive vehicles and industrial machines, and is a supplier of choice for Tier 1 OEMs.  Part of the Zapi Group of companies, Delta-Q is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, with a global distribution to service industries such as electric golf cars, lift trucks, aerial work platforms, e-mobility, floor care machines, utility/recreational vehicles, and new markets, like outdoor power equipment.

Recycling

Join U.S. Battery Manufacturing In Celebrating Earth Day

Join U.S. Battery Manufacturing in celebrating the 51st Earth Day. The company recognizes this day as a continued reminder of its commitment to producing environmentally responsible energy storage products. Within the battery power industry, the focus has been to develop a cost-effective means of power while also creating a sustainable source of energy. To date, this has been done on many fronts. The most successful has been the recycling rate of lead batteries. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continually recognizes lead batteries as the most recycled consumer product in the nation.  It is a product that delivers a sustainable energy source that powers a variety of industries such as aerial lifts and cranes, maintenance, golf car and electric vehicles, the RV and marine industries, as well as renewable energy power and backup power systems.

The recycling process means new life for old batteries. When a lead battery is recycled, virtually every part of it is broken down and reused. This process starts with the polypropylene outer case, which is broken down into small pellets to be reused for other plastic products. The lead components of the battery are melted down to make new batteries. The sulfuric acid in the battery’s electrolyte can be neutralized and purified into water or converted into sodium sulfate, a compound commonly used in laundry detergent, glass, and textiles.

With a continued push towards advancements in batteries, the future of the environment looks brighter. The investments made now into this technology will help keep the Earth safer for the future.  For more information on Earth Day or to find an Earth Day event near you, visit www.earthday.org.

US Battery AGM Deep Cycle logo

US Battery Manufacturing Updates Its AGM Battery Line With A New And Improved Performance Deep-Cycle Design

U.S. Battery Manufacturing has launched its new and improved line of AGM Deep-Cycle batteries specifically designed to provide increased deep-cycling performance. “Our advanced line of AGM Deep-Cycle batteries have features that improve cycling performance and longevity, which makes them a better choice for customers wanting maintenance-free reliable operation,” says Zachary Cox, U.S. Battery VP Operations.

The new AGM Deep-Cycle batteries will be available after March 22, 2021, with updated features such as the use of thick positive alloy grids for exceptional corrosion resistance, high-density positive active material, and advanced glass mat separators. These components work together to maintain the battery cell structure during deep-cycling, limit acid stratification, and inhibit internal shorts.

The batteries also feature a carbon-enhanced negative active material that improves charge acceptance and cycling performance. In addition to being resistant to vibration, fully sealed, and maintenance-free, U.S. Battery’s new AGM design improves reliability, overall performance, and delivers longer cycle life.

In addition to these design upgrades, U.S. Battery’s AGM Deep-Cycle line will also have a new look, featuring a new case and graphics on redesigned labels. On top of the current 6V, 8V, and 12V models, the product line is also expanding to include new 6V and 12V options. “More of our customers are asking for high-performance deep-cycle batteries that are maintenance-free and cost-effective alternatives to lithium,” says Don Wallace, U.S. Battery COO. “We’re responding with engineering that delivers the superior performance and reliability needed for modern battery-powered equipment and vehicles.”

U.S. Battery’s complete line of AGM and Flooded Lead-Acid Deep-Cycle batteries are available for a wide variety of applications such as EV Golf Car & Utility, AWP, RV, Marine, Floor Cleaning Machines, and Renewable Energy.

 

Battery Day2021

RECOGNIZING THE IMPACT OF BATTERIES ON NATIONAL BATTERY DAY

Join U.S. Battery in celebrating February 18th, National Battery Day! NBD allows us to celebrate the impact batteries have in our daily lives and reminds consumers of the recycling efforts essential to allow batteries as a vital energy source.

Overall, the battery industry plays a vital role in everything from transportation, medical, aerospace and defense, communication, renewable energy, and other industries. One of the most common batteries in use is lead batteries, mainly because of their high efficiency, low cost, and the fact that they are also nearly 100 percent recyclable. U.S. Battery deep-cycle, lead battery products, for example, are used in everything from aerial lifts to off-grid housing, floor cleaning machines, and many other applications.

Economic Impact

According to the Battery Council International, the non-profit trade association for the lead battery industry, lead batteries are a proven technology with more than 160-years of unmatched resiliency and reliability. They also report that lead batteries provide more than 90-percent of the backup power required for 24/7 telecommunications and backup recovery systems that protect lives, investments, and data in an emergency. Within the transportation and motive power sectors, 12V lead batteries have a projected growth reaching more than six percent in the automotive market alone between 2015 and 2030, bringing the market value to $31.9B.

In the United States, lead batteries provide a $26.3-billion impact on the economy that involves suppliers, worker spending, transportation, and distribution. It provides an estimated $1.7-billion in annual payroll, supporting an industry that employs nearly 25,000 workers. Aside from studies that show lead-acid batteries are the safest and most reliable sources of energy, studies show they also represent some of the lowest cost-of-operation options available.

Good For The Environment

Another reason to celebrate batteries on NBD is that they are the most recycled consumer product, recognized by The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The recycling process breaks down the outer casings made of polypropylene, then washed, melted, and extruded into small pellets. Manufacturers use these pellets to produce new battery cases as well as other plastic products. The lead oxide and lead grids of the battery’s interior are melted in a smelting furnace to form lead ingots to make new battery components. The sulfuric acid in the battery’s electrolyte is neutralized and purified into water that meets EPA clean water standards before being recirculated. The recycling process converts the acid into sodium sulfate, a compound commonly used in laundry detergent, glass, and other textiles. The process creates a sustainable energy source that is the model of recycling in the United States.

A Sustainable Energy Source

The U.S. Department of Energy is also looking at the role lead batteries may have on the future of energy storage because of its recycling rate, strong domestic base, high safety record, and low-cost efficiency. The DOE issued a 2020 report on Grid Energy Storage Technology Cost and Performance Assessment that includes lead batteries as one of seven storage technologies receiving attention, along with lithium batteries.

While it’s great to acknowledge that batteries have provided consumers and industries with a viable energy source for more than 150 years,  NBD reminds us to be responsible consumers. As batteries become more of an important energy source, it’s reliant upon industries and consumers to familiarize themselves with the various chemistries, where your batteries come from, and how each type of battery can be properly disposed of and recycled.

One of the most important things you can do to observe NBD is to gather old or used batteries and properly recycle them. Disposing of batteries in landfills can cause chemical and fire hazards. Therefore, finding a local store, organization, or recycling facility is an essential part of the process. To do this, the Battery Council International recommends using www.call2recycle.org, a national non-profit organization, to help consumers identify the various battery types and to locate local recycling centers and disposal options.

The Battery Council International’s Statement On President-Elect Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Recovery Plan

President-elect Joe Biden announced his Build Back Better Recovery Plan which outlines historic investment in Research & Development in markets “where global leadership is up for grabs” including “battery technology … and clean energy.”

“The lead battery industry, with its strong domestic supply chain, is ideally positioned to rapidly deliver on the President-elect’s promise to have American jobs support the nation’s post-Covid economic recovery, and also to ensure America’s global leadership on technological innovation and a green economy infrastructure,” said Roger Miksad, Battery Council International executive vice president and general counsel.

Lead batteries will be the dominant rechargeable battery technology for the foreseeable future, are the most recycled consumer product in the nation, and are the global leader in a variety of green applications from well-known automotive uses supporting clean mobility in low-carbon start-stop and micro-hybrid vehicles, to the growing utility and renewable energy storage markets which are ushering in a global energy transition.

The U.S. lead battery industry invested $100 million in R&D in 2019 and through agreements with the U.S. National Laboratories system is actively pursuing next gen battery technology and energy storage to meet the needs of a market that is expected to grow from 360 GWh in 2020 to 430 GWh in 2030.  These battery innovations are being developed by U.S companies and will be built by U.S. workers in communities across the nation.

R&J Batteries' construction

U.S. Battery’s Australian Distributor R&J Battery Continues To Expand

U.S. Battery distributor R&J Batteries, one of Australia’s largest battery distributors, is expanding its presence in Queensland with the purchase of Tableland Batteries located outside of Atherton, Australia. This gives R&J its sixth branch in Queensland and its 24th branch since the company’s inception. “I believe that there are plenty of opportunities to expand our wings and grow the R&J Batteries brand throughout the Tablelands region,” said Ray Robson, Managing Director of R&J Batteries. “We currently service this area weekly from the R&J Batteries Cairns warehouse. By taking over this business, it will allow us to further explore new opportunities into regions that we have not serviced in the past.”

In addition to the new business acquisition, R&J Batteries is also in the process of constructing a new distribution center as part of its growth strategy in Queensland. The 2,750 sqm distribution center is located in Stapylton, which is opposite the existing R&J Batteries Stapylton branch. The construction of the site is expected to be completed in March 2021. According to Stuart Hamilton, Chief Executive Officer at R&J Batteries, the new distribution center will consolidate several smaller warehouses and accommodate future growth opportunities. “This is a very exciting chapter in the history of R&J Batteries. We have outgrown our current site, so moving into a dedicated, bigger facility will allow us to grow and service the entire Queensland region for many years to come. Investing close to $7,000,000 on this new facility is a major commitment from Ray and is a sure sign of his commitment to the future of R&J Batteries in Queensland as well as throughout Australia and New Zealand,” said Hamilton.

As R&J Batteries continues to expand into the region, the company also prepares for the company’s 25th-anniversary celebrations later this year.

U.S. Department of Energy Urged to Invest in U.S. Lead Battery Industry

In January 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a program for creating and sustaining U.S. global leadership in energy storage utilization and exports, utilizing a secure domestic manufacturing chain independent of foreign resources of critical materials. In response, the Battery Council International (BCI) filed comments urging the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to recognize the importance of the lead battery industry to the nation’s energy storage needs and to invest in America’s lead battery industry as part of the DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge.

According to the BCI, the lead battery industry by definition fulfills this goal. It is a domestic industry, which means that the raw materials used to manufacture lead batteries in the U.S. and North America are recycled and produced domestically, including the lead, plastic, and electrolyte. There is no need to import minerals or other materials from unreliable markets to ensure a steady, dependable, and affordable source of energy storage.

The BCI believes that ongoing research into advanced lead battery technologies presents incredible opportunities for the lead battery industry to deliver the energy storage needs of the future. BCI’s comments highlight several of the important advances that have been made by the lead battery industry in recent years and describe several basic science research opportunities that are well-placed for federal investment and grants.

In the coming months, DOE will be releasing opportunities for industry to seek federal grants to pursue additional research into advanced battery technologies. BCI expects to continue engaging with DOE and other stakeholders to ensure that lead batteries are among the technologies chosen to receive federal attention.

BCI’s comments can be accessed here. For more information, contact Roger Miksad at rmiksad@batterycouncil.org.

Battery recycling

Battery Manufacturing And Recycling Efforts Are The Benchmark For The Move Towards Positive Environmental Change

This year U.S. Battery Manufacturing celebrates the 50th anniversary of Earth Day we continue to try to make environmental improvements in the face of a new threat. While this year’s celebration will be different than in previous years, we take this moment to recognize industries and individuals who are committed to making our world a better, safer place and continue to make positive strides.

At U.S. Battery, we remain focused on responsibly producing quality batteries, which set the industry standard for cycling performance and durability. From an environmental standpoint, Flooded Lead Acid (FLA) batteries are at the top of the list when considering recyclability. More than 99% of the materials are recycled into new batteries. This level of recycling means that 130 million used lead batteries are prevented from reaching landfills every year. These efforts have resulted in the recognition, of lead batteries, by the U.S. Environmental Agency as the most recycled consumer product.

As the battery industry continues to do its part for the environment, U.S. Battery and battery manufacturers worldwide, are also committed to providing an essential service during the COVID-19 outbreak. Our batteries are being used as backup power for call centers, hospitals, and temporary field hospitals, as well as powering the floor machines that are helping keep them clean.

While we’re proud to be a part of this effort, the U.S. Battery family would like to thank those on the frontline of fighting this dangerous disease. All of your efforts have been inspirational. Together we will get through this.

Join others in virtually celebrating Earth day by visiting the Earth Day Live event online, which features digital events that address climate change and showcase messages of hope and optimism. Visit https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-live/

TTBLS structure grown with additives

Improving Deep-Cycle Batteries Through Additives

Battery manufacturers have improved deep cycle battery performance through the use of additives, but not all of them result in the same benefit to customers. At the core of all deep-cycle flooded lead-acid (FLA) battery technology is a basic design that has undergone continuous improvement over more than 100 years. Lead battery chemistry is one of the most reliable and cost-effective technologies over any other type of battery used in a variety of global industries. While these batteries have historically been the most widely used and the most recycled, a variety of additives and technologies have been introduced over the last few years to improve their efficiency to an even greater extent.

Grid Alloys

Historically, the primary failure mode of deep-cycle lead-acid batteries has been positive grid corrosion. The grid alloys used to manufacture deep-cycle flooded lead-acid battery plates typically consist of lead with additions of antimony to harden the soft lead, and to improve the deep cycle characteristics of the battery. Additional metals are often added to the lead-antimony alloys to improve strength and electrical conductivity. Another additive that is used to enhance lead-antimony alloys is selenium. Selenium acts as a grain refiner in lead-antimony alloys. This fine-grain alloy provides additional strength and corrosion resistance over conventional lead-antimony alloys. The effect of these improvements is that positive grid corrosion is no longer the primary failure mode, and the cycle life of FLA deep cycle batteries has been significantly increased.

Active Materials

The starting materials for deep cycle FLA positive active materials are made from a mixture of lead oxide, sulfuric acid, and various additives. These materials improve the performance and life of the positive electrodes in a finished battery. Historically, positive electrodes have been processed using a procedure called hydroset. This procedure is designed to ‘grow’ tetrabasic lead sulfate (TTBLS) crystals in the plates to provide the strength to resist the constant expansion and contraction of the active materials during cycling. This crystal growing process has limitations in its ability to control the range of sizes of the TTBLS crystals. Through the use of crystal seeding additives, the range of crystal sizes can be controlled to the most desirable sizes. These uniform crystal sizes in the TTBLS structure result in increased initial capacity, faster cycle-up to rated capacity, higher peak capacity, and improved charging using the wide range of charger technologies used in various applications.

Concurrent with the improvements in deep cycle FLA positive active materials, improvements in the performance of deep-cycle FLA negative active materials are needed. Carbon additives have been used in the negative active materials of lead-acid batteries for many years. These additives have been used in lead-acid battery expanders to prevent the natural tendency of the negative active material to shrink or coalesce during cycling. Negative active material shrinkage can reduce the capacity and life of deep-cycle FLA batteries. Recent improvements in these carbon materials have opened up new opportunities to improve several performance limitations of lead-acid batteries. New structured carbon materials such as graphites, graphenes, and nanocarbons have been used to control sulfation and improve chargeability in a partial state of charge (PSOC) applications such as renewable energy.

Although the basic structure of an FLA battery hasn’t changed for more than 100-years, manufacturers are continually searching for ways to improve efficiency while maintaining their cost-effectiveness. Additives are one of the ways FLA batteries are becoming more efficient, and new technologies to further enhance them are on the horizon.