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Expert’s Offer Tips On Energy Storage

Alternate Energy Magazine Talks With U.S. Battery Manufacturing Regarding Deep-Cycle Batteries Used For Energy Storage

Alternate Energy Magazine, one of the leading online trade publications for solar, wind, biomass, fuel cell and other alternate energy sources, spoke with U.S. Battery’s Senior VP of Engineering Fred Wehmeyer on energy storage trends and solutions.

Some of the topics discussed concern utilizing energy storage solutions closer to the point of use, such as in individual homes, subdivisions and communities. Wehmeyer also discusses the differences and advantages of utilizing flooded deep-cycle batteries versus AGM batteries, as well as the important differences between flooded lead-acid batteries over lithium-ion for home energy storage. Read the entire Alternate Energy Magazine Article HERE.

On Earth-Day, Industries Get “Green” With Batteries

The increasing use of deep-cycle batteries is helping various industries become leaner and reduce their impact on the environment

A variety of industries have been using battery powered equipment and vehicles for decades. The attraction to incorporate them was initially to improve safety. In the cleaning industry, for example, motorized cleaning machines were much safer with battery power, reducing the risk of trips and falls. In the access lift industry, battery-powered vehicles are more compact and maneuverable, answering the industry’s call for greater safety for works on jobs that extended 18-25-feet above ground.

As these and other industries enjoyed improved safety standards, they began realizing that there was a greater demand for battery powered vehicles because of the hidden benefits that weren’t initially apparent. Companies and industries using battery powered floor cleaning machines, access lifts, golf carts, fork lifts, and other equipment, realized that those equipped with deep-cycle lead-acid batteries ended up being more cost effective than those powered by combustion engines. In addition, with proper battery maintenance, many companies realized lower annual operating costs, and the benefit of reduced environmental impact.

The latter was realized when the Battery Council International announced that lead-acid batteries are one of the most recycled product on the planet, nearing 100 percent. As long as recycling efforts are adhered to, and avoiding recycling lithium-ion batteries in lead-acid battery recycling centers, industries that adopted battery powered equipment are also “greener” than they once thought.

Deep-cycle batteries are also being seriously considered for a growing need for energy storage from alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. During a recent Advanced Energy Storage Caucus in Washington DC, representatives discussed how energy storage is the future of renewable energy and that environmental concerns are also an issue. The discussions also could not ignore the environmental life cycle of deep-cycle lead-acid batteries and their 150-year proven track record within a variety of industries.

With a variety of benefits, there’s clearly a shift towards using battery power that can help many industries change how these batteries are viewed, their safety record, and as an environmental leader.

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On National Battery Day, The Battery Industry Focuses On The Ongoing Discussions Regarding Lead Batteries As The Future Of Energy Storage

While National Battery Day (February 18) is observed to appreciate the convenience of batteries on everyday life, the future of batteries and the role they play in energy storage was the subject of a briefing held on February 12 on Capitol Hill. The event featured a panel of leading science and business leaders who shared highlights on innovative lead battery research and expressed the need to continue support, as the results will meet the growing needs of energy storage, sustainable manufacturing, and in the automotive industry.

Among the representatives attending were California Rep. Mark Takano (Democrat) and New York Rep. Chris Collins (Republican) who serve as co-chairs of the Advanced Energy Storage Caucus. “Energy storage is the future of renewable energy,” said Takano. “Cheap grid-scale storage means that renewables can compete with fossil fuels on cost alone.”

Rep. Collins also stated that energy storage means energy independence, noting that the current downside of solar and wind power is that environmental conditions aren’t always available. ”We have to store the energy in a way that’s real and sustainable, and the technology is not quite there,” said Collins…“We need breakthroughs.”

Takano also applauded the lead battery industry’s efforts in recycling. “As we have honest conversations about batteries, battery storage, and renewable energy, we cannot ignore the environmental life cycle of these [lead] batteries. I commend the leading science and business leaders who are pioneering developments on battery research. Together, we can pave the way for a sustainable future for every community.”

Dr. Tim Ellis, president of Dallas-based RSR Technologies, was one of several experts who shared highlights on innovative lead battery research, citing ongoing research at Argonne National Laboratory to better understand the performance of lead batteries at the molecular level, leading to better dynamic charging acceptance and improved cycle life.

According to the Battery Council International, the need has never been greater for innovative storage solutions, especially advanced lead batteries. The BCI noted that lead batteries have a 150-year proven track record and are poised to meet growing demand and future applications.

On National Battery Day, the Battery Industry also wants to remind consumers to recycle all forms of batteries, being careful not mix lead and lithium batteries together. For more information on where to find a battery recycling center visit the Call2Recycle website.

U.S. Battery Reorganizes Its Corporate Structure To Handle Growth In Sales, Manufacturing, And Operations Capabilities

U.S. Battery Manufacturing has reorganized the corporate leadership structure within the company’s sales and operations in Corona, California, Augusta, Georgia, and Evans, Georgia plants.

The company’s President and CEO, Terry Agrelius announced that Don Wallace has been named Chief Operating Officer, with Michael Coad promoted to Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and Zack Cox promoted to Vice President of Operations.

“The restructuring of our corporate leadership team has been designed to assist U.S. Battery in reaching its global growth initiatives as well as our long-term commitment to both our customers and our employees,” says Terry Agrelius, President & CEO U.S. Battery Manufacturing. “These individuals have the experience and foresight to take U.S. Battery well into the future while maintaining the exceptional core values that have stood strong since the company’s inception more than 90 years ago.” 

The leadership re-organization also included changes within the company’s three U.S. based manufacturing plants to include the promotion of David Mason as Vice President of Manufacturing at the Corona, California plant, Ryan Doss as the Vice President of Manufacturing at the Augusta, Georgia plant, and Thomas Hendrickson as Vice President of Manufacturing at the Evans, Georgia plant.U.S. Battery Manufacturing is a leader in deep-cycle batteries earning a global reputation as the most respected battery manufacturer for a variety of industries, as well as a leader in environmental management efforts in the battery industry, earning an ISO 14001 certification. For more information on U.S. Battery and its products, contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945.

U.S. Battery Celebrates America Recycles Day (ARD) November 15th

Aluminum cans, glass, plastic, they are all products that most Americans recycle on a daily basis. But not many people realize that the lead-acid battery industry has a recycling rate that is 99.93-percent, making it the most recycled consumer product in the United States.

According to the Battery Council International, lead recyclers undergo some of the most restrictive emissions regulations. The process of recycling lead combined with tough emissions standards has produced new methods of recycling with reduced emissions that are far below EPA regulations. The BCI reports that contamination in the air has dropped by 99 percent since 1980. In addition, a recent study released by the BCI suggests that the U.S. lead battery industry enables more than 95,000 jobs for American workers and contributed more than $28 billion in total economic output to the national economy in 2016.*

It’s easy to see why many industries that purchase and utilize U.S. Battery Manufacturing flooded lead-acid batteries, have continued to utilize them to power everything from fleets of golf cars, aerial lifts, cleaning machines 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. Join U.S. Battery and celebrate ARD by returning any used flooded lead-acid battery to your nearest battery recycling center. For more information on how and where to recycle batteries, visit www.call2recycle.org.

*Lead Battery Industry Provides Billions in Economic Benefit, Provides Gateway to Middle Class – Battery Council International February 1, 2018

 

The Electric Golf Car Market Expected To Expand

Market Researchers See Continued Growth On Electric, Battery Powered Golf Cars Through 2026

According to a market analysis by consulting and marketing research firm, Future Market Insights, the golf car market is expected to be positive for the long-term, with electric golf cars having the highest anticipated compound annual growth rate of 6.4 percent through 2026. (Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2016-2026 ).

According to the research, the growth is due to the electric golf car as internal transportation for developing countries, as well as private clubs, golf-centric real estate developments, the travel tourism industry which is expected to include new construction of resorts and golf courses.

Golf Car Options Magazine also published the research, but they suspect that this expected growth of the global golf car market will be challenged with the maintenance of lead-acid batteries, claiming that they are also less efficient and require frequent charging. While battery maintenance is essential for optimum performance in electric golf cars, items such as single point watering systems, Sense Smart Valves and proper charging techniques, can dramatically reduce maintenance and extend battery life. In addition, flooded lead-acid batteries have the benefit of being recycled at a rate of 99 percent, with the recycled lead going back into new golf car batteries in a closed-loop system.

The report goes on to say that electric powered golf cars are expected to continue to dominate the market in terms of value over the forecast period.

Reports Show Solar Market And Energy Storage Will Increase

According to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, the U.S. solar market added 2.5GW of PV during the first quarter of 2018. According to the report, that is a 13 percent year-over-year growth that is expected to continue to increase.

The SEIA reported that Solar PV accounted for 55 percent of all U.S. electricity capacity during the first quarter of 2018, accounting for more than two gigawatts of energy. “The solar industry had a strong showing in the first quarter,” said SEIA President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “This data shows that solar has become a common-sense option for much of the U.S. and is too strong to be set back for long, even in light of the tariffs. States from California to Florida have stepped up with smart policies that will drive investment for years to come.” 

usb_re_all3_med_xc2logo-webThe increase in Solar PV systems has also lead to questions regarding energy storage. In a recent article in Alternate Energy Magazine, the use of Solar is a big challenge for businesses where Lithium Ion battery systems are extremely expensive and “loose storage capacity over time equating to roughly 20 percent after 1000 charge cycles. According to Fred Wehmeyer, Senior Vice President of Engineering at U.S. Battery Manufacturing, “Flooded Lead-Acid batteries remain as the best overall solution for storing energy and have the longest track record for safety and reliability. In addition, FLA batteries are completely recyclable so it also adds to a company’s efforts on reducing their carbon footprint. So when you combine this with the highest recycling rates on the planet, it stands to reason that this 150-year-old technology has definitely evolved into an energy source that’s hard to beat.”  For more information on energy storage solutions, visit www.usbattery.com

Battery Manufacturers Warn About Tossing Lithium-Ion Batteries In The Trash

According to an article in USA Today, lithium-ion battery manufacturers are pleading consumers to not throw used batteries in the trash or recycling bin. According to USA Today, 65-percent of waste facility fires were a direct result of lithium-ion batteries that were thrown away in the garbage.

Call2Recycle, a national recycling program funded by battery manufacturers, reported that there’s also a possibility of explosions in waste facilities when lithium-ion batteries from electronic devices are included in the garbage. As an example, USA Today reported that lithium-ion batteries were the cause of a five-alarm fire in a recycling facility in Queens, NY that burned for two days.  it was also reported that a recycling plant in Indianapolis was shut down after a fire from batteries, and a garbage truck in New York City exploded when workers compacted waste that ignited a lithium battery.

The problem in California alone has reached a point where the state is launching an awareness campaign to get consumers to keep these batteries out of the garbage and out of lead-acid battery recycling centers too. In an effort to curb improper disposal of used lithium batteries, some areas are encouraging consumers to put the batteries in a plastic bag and set them on top of the trash cans for pickup. In addition, some retailers such as Home Depot, Lowes, and Best Buy, according to USA Today, have recycling centers for used lithium batteries.

Your Batterty Powered Golf Car May Be Great For The Environment

The Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries In Your Golf Car Provide Renewable “Green” Energy

For several decades, golf cars have extended beyond the golf course and have been the main mode of daily transportation in resort and retirement communities to ease traffic congestion and reduce noise. With an increasing global interest focused on reducing emissions, utilizing renewable energy sources, and protecting the environment, various industries are taking a second look at the old battery-powered golf car.

The advantages of the electric golf car stem from those that use flooded lead-acid batteries. At first, this seems contrary to the purpose, but a closer look at what is happening with this segment of the battery industry reveals a much greener and sustainable method of power.

Cost Effectiveness

According to Fred Wehmeyer, U.S. Battery Vice President/Engineering, in most cases, flooded lead-acid batteries remain as the most cost-effective method for powering golf cars and small electric vehicles over the long-term. Some would argue that Lithium-ion batteries provide a better solution. Although Lithium battery packs may provide longer cycle life, comparing actual amp-hour capacity and battery pack energy (kilowatt-hours) often shows that the flooded lead-acid battery pack provides the most cost-effective solution at an overall purchase cost and operational cost per kilowatt-hours.

Renewable And Sustainable Advantages

One of the biggest benefits to utilizing golf cars with flooded lead-acid batteries is that the batteries are recycled at a rate of 97 to 99 percent, with the recycled lead going back into new golf car batteries in a closed-loop system. According to the Battery Council International, lead recyclers undergo some of the most restrictive emissions regulations. The process of recycling lead combined with tough emissions standards has produced new methods of recycling with reduced emissions that are far below EPA regulations. The BCI reports that contamination in the air has dropped by 99 percent since 1980. In addition, a recent study released by the BCI suggests that the U.S. lead battery industry enables more than 95,000 jobs for American workers and contributed more than $28 billion in total economic output to the national economy in 2016.*

It’s easy to see why many industries have continued to utilize flooded lead-acid batteries to power everything from fleets of golf cars, aerial lifts, cleaning machines 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.

For more information and maintenance tips on batteries for your electric vehicle, visit www.usbattery.com.

*Lead Battery Industry Provides Billions in Economic Benefit, Provides Gateway to Middle Class – Battery Council International February 1, 2018

Electric Vehicle’s Effects On The Demand For Cobalt

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal showcased the race to control the battery industry, focused on cobalt mining. According to the authors Scott Patterson and Russell Gold, there’s a worldwide race to get as much cobalt as possible, and it’s located in the Congo.

The article points out how freelance miners in the Congo are doing whatever they can to mine cobalt for Chinese buyers, who are selling to Chinese companies, that process the cobalt into rechargeable, lithium-ion batteries used in laptops, smartphones, and electric vehicles.

Their research indicates that the Congo’s natural supply of cobalt for electric vehicles can be compared to what Saudi Arabia’s oil is to internal combustion engines.  So far, their research shows that China is the world’s largest electric-car market, and companies from China are in the process of dominating lithium-ion battery production.

In the process, freelance miners with no masks or safety equipment are caught in a process and industry that is in high demand. According to the article, it’s attracting human rights groups such as Amnesty International to look into these supply chains and ensure companies are not using these freelance miners and child labor to mine cobalt.

The article points out the staggering numbers, with global cobalt production quadrupling to 123,000 metric tons in 2000, and is expecting to reach more than 200,000 tons by 2025. Using cobalt in lithium-ion batteries, however, is not widespread, according to the article. In the article, the authors spoke with some battery experts who say that the technological shifts to make rechargeable batteries with less cobalt, or none at all, might make this mineral less important in future battery production.

With new tariffs on solar panels imposed by the U.S. President Donald Trump, the article points out that some technology experts worry what can happen if China gains a competitive hold in the battery industry.