During the Battery Show onsite and off there were many battery announcements. In the news are EA, Lithos, SigmaSense, Ascend Elements, Freudenberg, Sensata, Mobility House, for ChargeScape and Smartville.
In this Article
LG Energy Solution (KRX: 373220), a leading global manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries, unveiled its ESS business strategies for the U.S. to capitalize on its fast-growing energy storage market. The announcement was made at RE+ 2023, the renewable energy industry’s global trade fair taking place Sept. 11-14 at the Venetian Convention and Expo Center in Las Vegas. At the exhibit, LG Energy Solution is also showcasing its cutting-edge products and system solutions that could reshape the energy storage system landscape in North America.
“With our production excellence and differentiated technologies, we are going to triple global revenues with ESS products in 5 years,” said Seungse Chang, head of the ESS business division at LG Energy Solution. “We have already decided to invest USD 2.3 billion in the U.S. and even more investment is to come. We believe that our journey here will speed up clean energy transition in the U.S.”
The global ESS market is on the cusp of a remarkable expansion, driven by a push for innovative, sustainable energy policies. Especially for the North American ESS market, the energy research firm Wood Mackenzie predicts it will grow to 103 GWh in 2030 from just 12 GWh in 2022.
At RE+, LG Energy Solution announced four strategies to expand the business in the U.S. market: the first large-scale ESS battery production in the U.S.; a lineup of fully integrated system solution, from cell production to DC-AC integration to software-as-a-service products; IRA benefit eligibility with a localized supply chain; and a competitive edge in LFP technology.
“We are the first to secure a large-scale ESS battery production base in the U.S. The new plant will be located in Queen Creek, Arizona and start production in the first quarter of 2026 with a production capacity of 16 GWh,” Chang said. The company is also considering further expansion depending on demand and market conditions.
LG Energy Solution has also undertaken a major initiative to localize the entire supply chain from cells to packs to containers. This makes LG Energy Solution products IRA compliant and LG Energy Solution will be the only battery producer to offer extra 10 percent of IRA investment tax credits to customers.
LG Energy Solution also plans to expand its product range with advanced LFP batteries that offer greater reliability, longer life cycles, and higher cell level efficiency. The company will be the only LFP battery producer for ESS to offer immediate, responsive on-site support in addition to remote quality control for after service.
On top of producing top-quality battery cells, LG Energy Solution is becoming a fully integrated system solution provider for ESS encompassing DC-AC integration and software-as-a-service products to lead the next generation ESS.
LG Energy Solution’s fully integrated system solutions include standardized containers with plug and play system. Going beyond hardware, LG Energy Solution plans to offer a comprehensive ESS solution and seamless support throughout the life cycle by developing data-driven software solutions in collaboration with LG Energy Solution Vertech.
LG Energy Solution Vertech is a subsidiary of LG Energy Solution that was established when the company strategically acquired NEC Energy Solutions. Specializing in system integration, LG Energy Solution Vertech excels in the local renewable energy market and has undertaken multi-GWh U.S. projects.
At RE+, the lineup of products on display includes the LFP Liquid Cooling Container for grid-scale use, a cutting-edge modular system with a capacity of 4.76 megawatt-hours. By harnessing the power of water cooling, it gains a twofold advantage: a substantial reduction in maintenance expenses and an extended product lifespan. Its modular nature enables dynamic adaptations that cater precisely to customer needs and accommodate alterations in container energy specifications.
For residential use, LG Energy Solution presents two recent launches under a fresh brand that reimagines residential energy storage: LG Energy Solution enblock S and S+. LG Energy Solution also showcases Prime+ at the exhibition.
The LG Energy Solution enblock brand — whose name stands for “energy” plus “block” — prioritizes an enhanced customer experience, with a stackable design that seamlessly integrates with the aesthetics of any home. Available in both standalone and wall-mounted iterations, it offers the freedom to augment battery capacity after the initial setup. This can be achieved by integrating three (10.6 kWh), four (14.1 kWh) or five (17.7 kWh) packs.
LG Energy Solution enblock S+ and Prime+ represent intelligent choices for solar power systems to cover daily electricity needs. These solutions seamlessly integrate with existing photovoltaic setups, providing both partial and whole home backup without the need for separate ESS products. Together with LG Energy Solution’s inverter, they constitute a complete package, while a smart monitoring app ensures real-time oversight of energy production and consumption. With proactive anomaly detection and unified technical support through the Global Customer Portal app, LG Energy Solution enblock S+ and Prime+ redefine simplicity and performance in home energy storage.
EA Compact BMS
EA Elektro-Automatik, a leading manufacturer of DC programmable power supplies, bidirectional power supplies and regenerative electronic loads, announced a compact, automated battery cycler and test system that will enable manufacturers to better test EV batteries as the industry evolves to higher power battery technologies.
“As consumers demand EV batteries with higher storage capacities, producers need test systems with higher power capability. In addition, the new hydrogen fuel cells coming onto the market will require even more”
The 10300 Series ATE system offers industry-leading power density: 300 kW in a single 42U-high rack that consumes only 6.5 square feet of production-floor space, one-third the space of the leading brand. Users may parallel racks for up to 3.84 MW of testing capability. This advance is a significant advantage for the industry, where production floor space is at a premium or just unavailable.
The new series offers an unbeaten 2000 VDC capacity for testing high-voltage battery packs, a level of test performance that is out of range for most competitive systems. In addition, each rack can supply and sink up to 2,400 A per rack, and the system offers up to 30,720 A total capacity. This facilitates battery pulse testing, which may require exponentially higher current than the battery AH rating.
Until now, the only way to get this performance was to build and maintain an expensive custom system. In contrast, the off-the-shelf 10300 Series is a complete COTS turnkey solution. In addition to battery cycling, tests include drive cycle simulations and insulation resistance. The test system can control an environmental chamber and communicate with a battery management system through the CAN bus interface.
Included drag-and-drop system software enables quick and easy test setup and execution. Many other suppliers charge extra for software, which may require coding to update tests.
Significantly, the new battery test system is priced about the same as competing systems that offer lower capacities and far less than the cost of integrating a custom test solution.
“As consumers demand EV batteries with higher storage capacities, producers need test systems with higher power capability. In addition, the new hydrogen fuel cells coming onto the market will require even more,” said Eric Turner, Americas Director of EA Elektro-Automatik. “Voltage levels as a result are increasing; in some cases, power grid batteries need to be tested now at 1500 volts,” he added. “The introduction of the 10300 Series now means there is a production battery test system that is finally capable of meeting emerging voltage and power demands.”
Cool, Efficient, Fast Operation
The 10300 Series ATE test system is based on EA Elektro-Automatik’s bidirectional power supply featuring SiC-based switching that provides cool, efficient, and fast operation.
The system returns absorbed power to the grid with up to 96.5% efficiency, which can save thousands of dollars per year in air conditioning costs compared to other systems.
System slew rates are at least twice as fast as other systems, enabling more precise testing.
Fast data acquisition rates up to 1.5 kHz capture events that other test systems miss.
True Autoranging Smooths Testing
In addition, the system’s bidirectional power supplies have true autoranging output for both sourcing and sinking. True autoranging allows a wider range of voltage and current, plus the ability to deliver and absorb full-rated power down to 1/3 of the maximum rated voltage. Unlike a system that does not have true autoranging, the 10300 Series system can perform a cycling test without requiring interruption to allow the system to change range as battery pack voltage ramps up or down.
Lithos Intros New Battery Packs
Lithos Energy Inc. (“Lithos”), a world leading manufacturer of high-performance lithium-ion battery systems engineered for the most demanding environments, launched at The Battery Show in Novi, Michigan its latest generation of high voltage and low voltage battery pack solutions immediately available for client validation, and at scale production, in its newly opened state-of-the-art facility in Silicon Valley.
“The debut of our latest battery technology is the culmination of nearly a decade of designing, engineering, and manufacturing modular battery systems that excel in demanding environments,” commented James Meredith, President and Founder of Lithos. “Our revolutionary battery systems represent a decisive moment in providing accessible, scalable, cutting-edge technology for the rapidly electrifying mobility and energy storage industries.”
Lithos’ novel battery systems are custom engineered, by application, for eight core industries, including: automotive, marine, off-highway, energy storage, defense, construction, mining, and agriculture. In developing modularly customizable and cost-effective battery solutions, Lithos enables clients to take their products to market in a demonstrably faster time frame, and at high volume manufacturing.
Continued Meredith, “Our modular systems allow new clients with customized requirements, in some cases, to journey from initial engagement to revenue production in as fast as eight months, saving substantial development time and engineering costs versus competitors, while providing access to the highest quality cells and customized battery systems that lead in performance, safety, and reliability. Importantly, all Lithos packs are built application-specific for precise environmental and use-case scenarios, including size, shape, and energy requirements.”
Advantages of Lithos High and Low Voltage Battery Systems
Lithos’ latest generation High Voltage System is a 2170 cylindrical-based pack that offers industry-leading performance and safety in a compact design–in standard modules enabling rapid deployment and customization for a wide range of applications that demand high energy and power. Lightweight, IP67 rated, liquid cooled with integrated BMS, CAN 2.0B communications, Lithos High Voltage System is state-of-the-art, designed and manufactured in Silicon Valley–and ideally suited for use in a broad-spectrum of demanding environments.
Lithos Low Voltage System is a high density 2170 cylindrical-based system that offers passive propagation resistance in a compact design. Features include an integrated BMS, CAN 2.0B communications, IP67 ingress protection, drop rated to 1-meter, with high shock and vibration resistance. The Lithos Low Voltage System is ideally suited for specialty on-and-off road e-mobility, marine, industrial robots, telecom, and reserve power.
Lithos’ new battery systems are available now for client evaluation and application-specific customization toward at scale manufacturing in 2024.
SigmaSense, the global leader in software-defined sensing semiconductor technology, announced a new semiconductor and analytics solution that uses electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) to enable real-time, in-situ, and high-throughput measurement of battery impedance. This breakthrough technology generates valuable insights into battery behavior and performance that can be used to improve battery quality, safety, performance, and longevity.
Batteries are complex electrochemical systems, and building better batteries to power our increasingly electrified world requires the development of efficient and accurate measurement techniques. SigmaSense for BatteryEIS advances battery measurement methods by bringing the advantages of EIS battery characterization out of the laboratory and into the real world, providing a cost-effective and scalable solution for researchers, designers, manufacturers, ODMs and OEMs across the battery value chain.
“Being able to continuously measure the electrochemical processes of batteries in real time will generate innumerable insights that will definitively impact how batteries are designed, manufactured, managed, and recycled,” said Dr. Gerald Morrison, CTO at SigmaSense. “This technology moves us significantly closer to creating a more efficient and sustainable energy source to power our collective future.”
The University of Texas Cockrell School of Engineering is collaborating with SigmaSense to conduct additional research on its EIS solution.
“This is a major advancement in battery sensing technology,” said Professor Venkat Subramanian, who holds the Ernest Dashiell Cockrell II Professorship in Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and is leading the research efforts at the university. “Our initial testing of SigmaSense for BatteryEIS suggests that it has the potential to deliver a powerful, non-invasive technique to assess a battery’s electrochemical behavior. The deep insights it can generate have the potential not only to optimize battery performance, but to transform the battery industry overall.”
SigmaSense For BatteryEIS™ will enable users to:
- Deliver more reliable, consistently higher quality batteries with an automated testing environment that removes human error and accelerates battery R&D.
- Maximize safety throughout the lifespan of the battery by identifying electrochemical changes in the battery throughout its life.
- Optimize battery life and performance by accurately monitoring battery health, predicting battery longevity, and increasing charge density utilization.
Ascend Elements Contract for CAM for Freudenberg
Heavy duty electric trucks, buses, and maritime vessels in North America and Europe may soon be powered by recycled battery materials. Ascend Elements, a U.S.-based manufacturer of sustainable, engineered battery materials, today announced a contract to engineer sustainable cathode active material (CAM) for Freudenberg e-Power Systems. At their XALT Energy battery plant in Midland, Mich., Freudenberg manufactures battery cell, pack, and system solutions for applications with particularly high performance requirements for lifetime, charge time, and safety. These solutions are suitable for marine, fuel cell hybrid, heavy duty commercial transportation, and other specialty electrification applications.
Under the terms of the agreement, Ascend Elements will design a custom-engineered NMC cathode material to meet Freudenberg’s precise specifications. The material will be engineered at the Ascend Elements Research & Development Center in Westborough, Mass.
“Freudenberg e-Power Systems leads the way in sustainable battery solutions for demanding heavy-duty applications. Incorporating Ascend Elements’ recycled cathode material into our high-performance cell design reduces environmental impact while ensuring the highest product quality and exceptional lifetime,” explained Max Kley, CEO of Freudenberg e-Power Systems. “In addition, Ascend Elements’ domestic manufacturing footprint further enhances the stability of our supply chain.”
Several peer-reviewed studies have shown Ascend Elements’ recycled battery materials perform as well as similar materials made from virgin (or mined) sources while reducing carbon emissions by up to 93%.
Sensata Bi-Directional Contactors
Sensata Technologies (NYSE: ST) today announced the launch of its Gigavac GTM400 and GTM500 bidirectional contactors for applications up to 1500 Vdc and 400A and 500A. The new contactors are ideal for high-power applications that require reliable switching and DC circuit protection like energy storage systems, DC fast charging stations, and heavy-duty vehicles. New GTM series excel in performance compared to competition, offering:
- Increased current carry capability (reduced size and weight, increased battery life)
- Best in class break performance (improved safety)
- Advanced arc suppression performance (increased reliability and product life)
- Unmatched short circuit performance (no rupture or fire risk)
- Significant performance/cost ratio when compared to other available technologies
The GTM400 and GTM500 are the first products released as a part of Sensata’s new GTM contactor family which feature glass-to-metal seals (GTMS) – an industry first in contactor design. Glass-to-metal sealing is a technique used to create effective electrically-insulative hermetic seal technology. Leveraging over 50 years of expertise in GTMS, Sensata has engineered its GTM series of contactors to ensure best-in-class performance and reliability.
“These new contactors highlight Sensata’s expertise in Glass-to-Metal technology and our ability to develop new innovative solutions that offer competitive performance and value for electrified applications,” says Justin Colson, Vice President, Clean Energy Solutions at Sensata Technologies. “Our vision is to expand the GTM product family in the future for lower power applications such as AGVs, material handling equipment, 2-, and 3-wheeled vehicles and other EVs.”
For more information about GTM400 and GTM500 contactors with GTMS technology, please visit www.sensata.com.
In addition to the new GTM400 and GTM500, Sensata will showcase its mission-critical solutions and components that make batteries and charging infrastructure safer, cleaner, more efficient, and connected at the Battery Show North America in Novi, MI. The exhibit will include a variety of Contactors and Fuses from Sensata’s Gigavac brand, Battery Management Systems (BMS) from Sensata’s Lithium Balance brand, Current Sensors and Insulation Monitoring Devices. Visit Sensata’s booth #2720 at the Battery Show North America from September 12 – 14 to learn more about the portfolio.
Mobility House Guide ALM
The Mobility House (the company), a global provider of electric vehicle charging technologies and solutions, has released the first-of-its-kind technical guide to automated load management (ALM), a technology that will be increasingly essential to powering the electric vehicle (EV) transition. The report draws on The Mobility House’s experience and data from managing more than 1200 smart charging sites worldwide, including more than 100 “oversubscribed” sites, the term used for sites where ALM is used to install electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) nameplate capacity that exceeds the site’s utility connection. This is the essential purpose and value of ALM – to reduce or eliminate the need for upgrades by controlling charging load within a set limit.
ALM is essential for the U.S. to meet its ambitious electrification goals. U.S. electrical distribution utilities are now experiencing the very beginning of what will be an unprecedented amount of grid upgrade requests, particularly as Medium- and Heavy Duty fleets are incentivized to electrify by state mandates and recent federal legislation. Due to a mismatch between EV installation and grid construction timeframes, as well as grid component and labor shortages, utility distribution upgrades are becoming a major bottleneck to fleet electrification.
ALM technology is now widely used for EV charging applications in Europe and increasingly in the U.S. and is accounted for in every edition of the National Electrical Code, which governs permitting in the U.S., since 2014. However, there has been no publicly available technical guide to which fleets, utilities, electricians, engineers and other stakeholders could refer, until now. This guide will help establish a common baseline understanding of the capabilities of ALM, the appropriate use cases for its deployment, and the regulatory and procedural frameworks stakeholders can refer to, establishing new collaborative and mutually beneficial EV energization processes.
The Technical Guide touches on the well-documented challenges faced by utilities and stakeholders that need upgrades to distribution level grid infrastructure at Medium- and Heavy Duty fleet charging sites that previously didn’t have significant energy demand. The report explores various options to provide sufficient power on a constrained site without ALM, and compares those to scenarios in which ALM is used. The paper discusses how ALM is considered in the National Electrical Code (NEC), explores case studies from the U.S. and E.U., and proposes a recommended process for securing approvals from your local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).////
Automakers Partner for ChargeScape
BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today announced that they have entered into an agreement to create ChargeScape, LLC, a new equally-owned company that will create a single, cost-effective platform connecting electric utilities, automakers and interested electric vehicle customers. Benefiting both EV customers and the electric utility industry in the U.S. and Canada, ChargeScape will unlock entirely new value that EVs can provide to the electric grid, while enabling EV customers to earn financial benefits through a variety of managed charging and energy-sharing services never before possible with traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. The closing of the transaction and subsequent formation of ChargeScape is pending regulatory approvals, with the company expected to be operational early next year.
Building on years of OVGIP cross-industry collaboration, ChargeScape’s single platform will eliminate the need for individual integrations between each automotive brand and each electric utility. ChargeScape’s platform will give electric utilities access to EV battery energy across a wide pool of EVs. Participating EV customers will have the potential to earn financial benefits by charging at “grid-friendly” times through flexible and managed schedules. Electric vehicle customers will also eventually have the opportunity for even more significant impact by sharing the energy stored in their EV batteries with the grid during times of peak demand through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications.
ChargeScape will enable the smart use of plugged-in EV batteries by securely providing energy data to electric utilities and system operators like aggregated demand response, alignment of charging and EV battery utilization with off-peak, low-cost hours and the availability of high renewable energy. Due to the efficient integration with participating automakers and the anticipation of high levels of EV customer enrollment, these energy services are expected to be a cost-efficient, operational benefit for electric utilities.
The development of this project comes at a time when electric vehicle sales and infrastructure growth are ramping up quickly, bringing new opportunities to address challenges for the electric grid. More EVs on the road means increased electricity demand on utilities to charge them. ChargeScape aims to provide energy management services to help support grid resiliency while looking ahead to the future of V2G capabilities that will benefit both EV customers and electric utilities.
Additionally, ChargeScape will play a role in helping to decarbonize the grid. The company’s efforts will reduce EV customers’ personal carbon footprints by utilizing electricity that comes from more readily available renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar. While seamless integration between EV customers and utilities will be key to energy management success, participating EV customers will always remain in control of their charging and energy decisions.
“Electric grid reliability and sustainability are the foundation for an EV powered future,” said Thomas Ruemenapp, Vice President, Engineering, BMW of North America, LLC. “ChargeScape aims to accelerate the expansion of smart charging and vehicle-to-everything solutions all over the country, while increasing customer benefits, supporting the stability of the grid and helping to maximize renewable energy usage. We’re proud to be a founding member of ChargeScape and are looking forward to the opportunities this collaboration will create.”
“Electric vehicles are unlocking entirely new benefits for customers that can save them money while supporting grid resiliency and increase the use of clean, renewable energy,” said Bill Crider, global head of charging and energy services, Ford Motor Company. “ChargeScape will help accelerate the true potential of the EV revolution by providing significant benefits to both utilities and EV customers through smart vehicle-to-grid services.”
“As Honda seeks to achieve our global goal of carbon neutrality, we are counting on this platform to create new value for our customers by connecting EVs to electric utilities, strengthening grid resources and reducing CO2 emissions,” said Jay Joseph, vice president of Sustainability & Business Development, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “With automakers accelerating toward the electrified future, we must find solutions like ChargeScape that enable all stakeholders to work together for the good of our customers, society and our industry by enabling greater use of renewable energy for and from mobility.”
Benefits of Working Together
ChargeScape, along with the work done to date through OVGIP, will bring managed charging benefits to more EV customers and can eliminate marketing and outreach costs for utilities trying to reach their individual customer bases. BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and American Honda have direct, multi-channel communication with their EV customers, solving a central problem for utilities that typically do not know or have an easy and cost-effective way to identify the EV customers in their service territory.
Additionally, by leveraging automaker telematics, ChargeScape intends to provide managed charge scheduling through vehicle connectivity without requiring Wi-Fi-enabled charging stations. This will support the many EV customers who do not use “smart” chargers at home, as their EVs would otherwise be unreachable for grid services.
The three founding members welcome other automakers to join in and fully unlock opportunities provided by ChargeScape’s grid service offerings once the company is fully operational./
Smartville Supplies Nissan NA
Smartville Inc., an EV battery-repurposing innovator, has been contracted to install a 500-kilowatt-hour battery energy storage system (BESS) at the Nissan North America headquarters in Franklin, Tenn. using second-life Nissan LEAF electric vehicle battery packs.
Smartville will install two of its Smartville 360™ BESS units populated with battery packs supplied by Nissan 4R Energy U.S.
The Smartville 360™ BESS is a first-to-market turnkey system for repurposing EV battery packs from multiple automakers and vehicles, allowing customers like Nissan to lower energy bills using a domestic and sustainable supply of retired batteries. Smartville 360™ provides critical safety, proprietary controls, and data processing systems that enable repurposed EV battery packs to cost-effectively achieve a long second-life as stationary energy storage. The Smartville 360™ building-block design is configurable for commercial, industrial, and utility-scale applications.
The Smartville 360™ is expected to be installed and operational at Nissan’s North American Tennessee headquarters by the second quarter of 2024.