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Charged up and ready to go

European Batteries produces large lithium-ion battery systems for use in energy, industrial, and vehicle applications – based on a business concept dedicated to providing customers with a seamless service covering the entire life cycle of their products.

The demand for efficient, intelligent ways to store electrical energy is steadily increasing in the automotive area, driven by a mix of tougher environmental legislation, climate change, and rising energy prices. This increase in demand is expected to focus on large-capacity batteries – and advanced lithium-ion batteries in particular – as they are considered one of the best solutions for leveraging the switch-over from fossil fuel-based combustion engines, thanks to the much greater efficiency they offer compared to lead-acid units.

Up until now, one of the issues holding back developments here has been that high-capacity lithium-ion batteries are not manufactured in Europe, and even worldwide production is very limited. This is set to change very soon, however, as European Batteries’ new plant in Finland is slated to start up in spring 2010.

This will be the first independent large battery manufacturing unit in Europe, and will concentrate on the latest lithium-ion technology and cell sizes in excess of 0.1 kWh. An initial capacity of 100 MWh/a is planned, to be increased threefold by 2012. This will enable European Batteries to offer substantial benefits to European customers and system integrators, giving them access to batteries with industry-leading energy density, safety, and performance.

Making the most of capacity

European Batteries’ engineering team works closely with customers’ engineering departments to develop customised battery systems ranging in size from 2 kWh to multiple MWhs.

The large, energy-efficient lithium-ion battery systems to be produced at the new plant will be ideal for powering heavy-duty applications such as vehicles, heavy mobile industrial machinery, cranes, trains, and reserve power systems – and will benefit from the advanced cell-level battery management technology that has been designed and developed by European Batteries.

This monitors critical battery parameters, maximises available capacity and energy efficiency, and improves the cycle life of battery systems. By being assured of a high balancing current, scalability, and intelligent balancing in this way, customers can make the most of their battery capacity.

Unmatched by any other chemistry

European Batteries’ lithium-ion technology provides a combination of advantages unmatched by any other chemistry, including:

  • Very high energy density, for lighter and smaller systems
  • Extended cycle and calendar life
  • Cells that are 20 times larger than the industry average, enabling 1 MWh of storage to be built using only 7,500 cells
  • Fewer battery cells means fewer connections and cabling and easier maintenance
  • Advanced, intelligent battery management technology that enhances safety by monitoring and controlling each cell dynamically and actively balancing a system to maximise capacity, energy efficiency, and cycle life
  • Fully recyclable and safe solutions
  • Eco-friendly materials.
> Martti Alatalo
(Published in HighTech Finland 2010)