Paving the way: research bids sought for next generation energy storage batteries

Source: press release, 16 March 2020

CBI’s new RFP seeks research bids focused on cutting-edge innovation in advanced lead batteries for energy storage applications such as renewables
CBI’s new RFP seeks research bids focused on cutting-edge innovation in advanced lead batteries for energy storage applications such as renewables (photo: CBI)

A new request for research proposals to support advanced battery technology innovation in energy storage systems has been launched by the world’s only pre-competitive lead battery research consortium.

For the first time, the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI), which promotes cutting-edge research and innovation in advanced lead batteries, is seeking research bids focused on facilitating the latest understanding in energy storage applications such as microgrids for renewable energy, load following for electrical grids, and demand response for commercial and industrial applications.

Building on the launch of CBI’s technical innovation roadmap last year, which set out the highest research priorities for the next five years into continuing innovation in lead batteries for applications such as the global automotive and motive sectors, this year’s research requests is focusing on identifying new pathways to continue the improvements in lead battery performance for energy storage systems.

As demand for battery energy storage continues to grow, and the demand for flexible and cleaner sources of energy to supply energy to the grid increases, battery technologies have been recognised as a cornerstone in achieving sustainable decarbonisation and electrification goals. Predictions from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) say 150 GW of storage using batteries is needed by 2030 to achieve renewable energy targets.

Dr Matthew Raiford, manager of CBI’s technical program, says, “Innovation is the lifeblood of our industry and each year we push the boundaries of research in lead battery technology. We’ve made great progress in the last 12 months with our rolling research program so we’re opening up the opportunity for universities, companies and other research institutes to submit proposals for a new wave of research projects. We know that demand for battery supported energy storage is growing exponentially and innovation in our technology needs to keep pace with this growth.”

CBI’s technical innovation roadmap set out the highest priority research goal of increasing cycle life of lead batteries for energy storage applications by five times to 5,000 by 2022, a key technical parameter for renewable and utility energy applications.

As a newer application for lead batteries, research into field and laboratory tests for energy storage systems is essential to gain deeper insights into understanding total energy throughput and increasing service life and performance.

Whilst demand for clean, reliable, battery energy storage continues to grow, this demand cannot be met by one technology alone. Fundamental research into lead batteries will be vital in exploiting the untapped potential of this technology to deliver on the global transition to a sustainable energy system.