International Rechargeable Battery Expo 2012
On-board lithium-ion batteries, lead storage batteries and capacitors
The following is a summary of the lithium-ion batteries, lead storage batteries, electric double-layer capacitors (EDLC) and lithium-ion capacitors (LIC) for automotive and other applications that were exhibited at the 3rd International Rechargeable Battery Expo held at Tokyo Big Sight on February 29 to March 2, 2012.
Japanese lithium-ion battery manufacturers at the Expo included Lithium Energy Japan, Panasonic, Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Lithium-ion battery manufacturers from China and Taiwan were also among the exhibitors at the Expo. The Chinese companies are supplying their on-board lithium-ion batteries to bus and taxi fleet users.
One of the drawbacks of lead storage batteries is their relatively low charge acceptance. Today, this problem is being corrected. For instance, Panasonic exhibited lead storage batteries of improved charge acceptance for electric vehicles. Furukawa Battery and ATLASBX, a Korean company, exhibited lead storage batteries for start-stop systems and charge control systems, respectively.
The electric double-layer capacitors (EDLC) exhibited at the show included those by Nippon Chemi-Con and Maxwell Technologies, a US corporation, that are supplied to automakers.
Lithium-ion capacitors (LIC) are said to deliver higher performances than EDLC although there have not been reports of their actual application or plans for automotive use. Nevertheless, some manufacturers including Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery and Asahi Kasei FDK Energy Device are expediting their efforts to supply LIC to automakers.
"The Secondary Battery Show in Japan": Review Part 1 - Battery (May 2011), Review Part 2 - Parts and Materials (May 2011)
Exhibits by Japanese lithium-ion battery manufacturers
Japanese lithium-ion battery manufacturers at the Battery Japan 2012 included Lithium Energy Japan, Panasonic, Toshiba, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Lithium Energy Japan announced that the company was in the process of developing batteries for PHV use. Toshiba announced the company was developing batteries for HV use and those of higher energy density than its existing batteries for PHV/EV use.
ENAX announced plans to receive supply of lithium-ion batteries from PSI, a Taiwanese company, and explore their use mainly for stationary application in the Japanese markets. IHI introduced its battery systems based on the modular design concept developed by its partners, A123 Systems.
Panasonic's battery module (mockup) with 140 of 18650-size lithium-ion battery cells
Mitsubishi Motors' i-MiEV M powered by Toshiba's SCiB (Super Charge ion Battery) lithium-ion battery
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' MLiX 50-, 40- and 20-type lithium-ion batteries (battery types identified by 50, 40, and 20 on each product package)
Quick charger RAPIDAS with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' MLiX batteries (the charger is a JFE Engineering's product)
Lithium-ion battery cells and pack by PSI, ENAX's partner company from Taiwan
Exhibits by Japanese lithium-ion battery manufacturers
|Lithium Energy Japan||LEV50||Lithium-ion battery used on Mitsubishi Motors' i-MiEV G (standard grade) has 50Ah capacity and 3.7V nominal voltage and weighs 1.7kg.|
|LEV21F (under development)||A reference exhibit of LEV21F being developed for PHV application. In addition to long life and safety that are important for batteries for EV use, the battery for PHV will be smaller in size and deliver higher performance. The LEV21F with 21Ah capacity, 3.3V nominal voltage and 640g mass are scheduled for production starting in 2012.|
|The positive-electrode material is lithium manganese oxide in LEV50 and lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) in LEV21F. According to GS Yuasa brochures, lithium iron phosphate, unlike conventional materials, is expected to contribute to improved safety as it does not generate oxygen gas that causes flammable substances to burn under high temperatures.|
|Panasonic||18650 size Lithium-ion batteries||Panasonic exhibited a battery module (mockup) consisting of an array of 18650-size (see Note) lithium-ion battery cells. Panasonic supplies 18650-size battery cells to Tesla Motors and the cells are packed locally by Tesla Motors. According to Panasonic, the 18650-size batteries for consumer use are different in terms of contents and performances between those for PCs and those for power use (such as power tools). The batteries supplied to Tesla Motors are the 18650-size cells for power use.|
|Panasonic exhibited a standard battery system for power use (EBV-101) consisting of 84 cells of the 18650-size batteries. The system is currently supplied to Yamaha for its electric motorcycles and electric mini-vehicles. The batteries are manufactured by former Sanyo.|
(Note) "18650" indicates the size of a cylindrical battery 18mm in diameter and 65mm in height.
|Toshiba||SCiB supplied for i-MiEV M||Toshiba exhibited Mitsubishi i-MiEV M (vehicle) powered by SCiB (nominal capacity 20Ah, energy density 176Wh/L) and the SCiB on-board battery pack. Mitsubishi i-MiEV M is the more affordable version of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV G with total power output reduced from 16.0kWh to 10.5kWh and the price reduced from 3.8 million to 2.6 million yen.|
|Batteries for HV and PHV/EV (under development)||In addition to the current SCiB for PHV/EV, Toshiba is developing the "high power type" battery for HV with higher power density (W/L) and improved acceleration/regeneration performances. The company is also developing the "high energy type" battery for PHV/EV characterized by higher energy density that will increase energy density and the cruising range.|
|Mitsubishi Heavy Industries||MLiX||MHI exhibited its MLiX lithium-ion batteries. The standard (existing) MLiX 50 type (maximum current 300A) is designed for stationary use. The company is presently developing high power types of batteries for mobile use, the 40 type (same size as 50 type but has 500A maximum current) and the slim 20 type (300A maximum current).|
|Rapid charger for EV equipped with MLiX (RAPIDAS by JFE Engineering)||The rapid charger for EV (RAPIDAS) developed by JFE Engineering uses MLiX batteries. Installing the conventional quick chargers requires a high-voltage power supply contract with the local electric company (over 6.6kV, 50kW). The RAPIDAS charges the electric vehicles using electricity supplied by the electric grid and from storage batteries. This allows installing 50kW quick chargers under the existing low-voltage electric power contract (20kW), which reduces initial installation costs and running costs.|
|The RAPIDAS has been installed in two locations in the United States (San Diego, California and Portland, Oregon). The RAPIDAS was chosen primarily because of its suppressing effect on the demand charge by the utility company (additional charge based on the peak use of electric power per month).|
|ENAX/PSI (Taiwan)||ENAX cooperates With PSI (Taiwan)||In February 2012, ENAX announced it has formed partnership with PSI of Taiwan and that the company will take supply of PSI's lithium-ion batteries having positive electrodes made of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) and use them primarily for stationary use in the Japanese markets (mobile use including electric construction machinery is also expected).|
|There are a number of patent issues regarding lithium iron phosphate. ENAX will supply to PSI the materials manufactured by Sumitomo Osaka Cement Company that has the license to manufacture and sell lithium iron phosphate in the world. This way, ENAX will be able to supply products of better quality that will not cause patent infringements.|
|(Notes) 1.||PSI (officially Phoenix Silicon International Corp.) had its own booth at the Expo where it exhibited batteries for EV use.|
|2.||Shanghai CENAT New Energy, jointly established in May 2010 by ENAX and China Automotive Technology and Research Center, has been producing lithium-ion batteries for electric taxicabs since the fall of 2011.|
|IHI/ A123 Systems||Lithium-ion battery module for automotive use||A123 Systems is developing "Power Core Pack (110kW)" that will set a standard in the modular design concept the company is introducing to the development and production of lithium-ion batteries for automotive use. The modular construction allows for easy capacity and system changes so that the customers can complete lithium-ion battery systems for their products with a short lead time and without engineering costs.|
|Eaton F-550 PHV||A123 Systems supplies lithium-ion batteries for PHV manufactured by Eaton, a US corporation, based on Ford's F-550 repair truck used by utility companies. The PHV was developed with sufficient power supply up to six hours of work in particular. Panels outlining the PHV were exhibited.|
(Note) IHI and A123 Systems agreed to business tie-up in November 2009. In November 2011, IHI invested US$25 million in A123 Systems and the two companies concluded a technical licensing agreement then. Starting in 2012 IHI will produce standard battery packs developed for industrial applications with cells supplied by A123 Systems. The company aims to increase supply capacities for transportation equipment builders including automakers and expand business in the specific markets. Source: Exhibits and brochures at the 3rd International Rechargeable Battery Expo (this applies to the rest of the report as well)
Exhibits by lithium-ion battery manufacturers from China
The exhibitors at the Battery Expo included about ten rechargeable battery manufacturers from China. Five of them, introduced below, including Heter Electronics Group mentioned their batteries being supplied for on-board automotive use. Their primary users are the electric bus and electric taxi fleet companies at present.
All five companies are producing batteries that use positive electrodes made of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4).
Lithium-ion battery cells and packs exhibited by Heter Electronics Group
1000Ah large-size lithium-ion battery pack exhibited by Sinopoly Battery
Exhibits by Chinese lithium-ion battery manufacturers
|Heter Electronics Group||Cylindrical Lithium-ion Battery||Heter Electronics Group mainly produces 18650- and 26650-size cylindrical lithium-ion batteries having positive electrodes made of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) (see Note 2) or ternary system (Ni-Co-Mn).|
|The batteries are used mainly in lamps, power tools, personal computers, medical equipment, etc. Batteries for mobile use are used in EVs, electric buses, electric bicycles, electric motorcycles, military helicopters, etc.|
|Sinopoly Battery||Lithium-ion Battery||Sinopoly Battery, one of the leading manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries in China and listed in Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, has production plants in Liaoyuan (Jilin) and Tianjin, and produces lithium-ion battery systems with positive electrodes made of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) that are supplied for EVs and energy storage systems.|
|Regarding batteries for on-board use, the company has tested its batteries in electric commuter buses for its workers at the Liaoyuan plant in cooperation with its partners, FAW. Today, Sinopoly Battery's batteries are used in buses in the city of Liaoyuan.|
|The company is also supplying its lithium-ion battery systems for government vehicles and taxis converted into electric vehicles as part of the smart grid infrastructure being developed by The State Grid Corporation of China.|
|YINTONG ENERGY||Lithium-ion Battery||Yintong Energy produces cylindrical lithium-ion batteries having positive electrodes made of LiFePO4 or ternary system LiMPO4 (M is a metal such as Fe, Mn, and Co).|
|Yintong EV Bus||Regarding batteries for on-board use, the company supplies LiFePO4 type lithium-ion battery systems (600Ah, 200kWh capacity) for use on FAW's large-size electric buses (10.5m long, vehicle weight 12,000kg, 90 seats, cruising range 250km, and maximum speed 120km).|
|Godsend Power||Lithium-ion Battery||The company exhibited three types of lithium-ion batteries: 1) lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) series (prismatic energy storage type and cylindrical type for power use including EV), 2) lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4) series (cylindrical power type) and (3) ternary system series (LiNi1/3Co1/3Mn1/3O2) (cylindrical power type).|
|Qinhuangdao Xinchi Photoelectricity Technology||Lithium-ion Packs||The company, established in 2006, mainly produces 18650-size lithium-ion battery cells and packs that are supplied for electric buses, EV, HV, electric motorbikes, etc.|
|Products displayed on panels included (1) battery systems for electric buses (143kWh, 396V, 360Ah), (2) battery systems for hybrid buses (5.9kWh, 346V, 17Ah), (3) battery systems for EVs (30kWh, 334V, 90Ah), and (4) battery systems for HVs (3.9kWh, 346V, 8.5Ah).|
|(Notes) 1.||BYD was one of the exhibitors at the Expo but the company did not exhibit batteries for on-board use.|
|2.||According to Heter Electronics and Sinopoly, the lithium-ion battery having a positive electrode made of LiFePO4 is the only lithium-ion battery that is 100% safe and entirely free of explosion or fire hazards due to overcharging or high temperature. It withstands temperatures ranging from 350 to 500 degree Celsius and has a cycle life of up to 3,000 charges.|
Lead storage batteries of improved performances for start-stop systems
Lead storage batteries are inexpensive, safe, and easy to use and recycle, but their charge acceptance is low and must be used in high state of charge to maintain their original performance. However, these drawbacks are tackled recently as in Panasonic's lead storage batteries for EV use, and lead storage batteries for start-stop systems and charge control systems exhibited by Furukawa Battery and ATLASBX, a Korean manufacturer.
Panasonic's lead storage batteries for EV use (12V38Ah type seen in front of 12V60Ah type)
Furukawa Battery's UltraBattery for start-stop systems (hybrid type lead storage batteries integrated with a capacitor electrode)
ATLASBX's ISS type lead storage batteries for start-stop systems
Lead storage batteries for start-stop systems exhibited by Exide Technologies/Okada Corporation
Lead storage batteries for on-board use
|Panasonic||Long Life & Cycle type VRLA Battery for EV||The VRLA (valve-regulated lead-acid battery) has multiple-plate positive and negative electrodes that increase the reactive area, and contains optimized active material additives that reduce the internal resistance by 70%, which, in turn, contributes to approximately 7% improvement in the charging efficiency. This type of battery does not require replenishment of electrolyte and may be placed horizontally or vertically as the electrolyte is contained entirely in the positive electrode plates, negative electrode plates and absorbent glass mat separators.|
|The battery can be quick-charged from 20% to 90% in less than an hour and is ideal for use on forklifts and other industrial vehicles, solar-powered streetlights, independent power supply systems etc. Panasonic's batteries were once supplied for GM's solo-seat electric vehicles.|
|FURUKAWA BATTERY||UltraBattery for start-stop vehicle||Furukawa Battery exhibited UltraBattery for start-stop systems currently being tested by automakers. UltraBattery is a hybrid lead storage battery integrated with a capacitor electrode. The positive electrode, made of lead dioxide, is common to the battery and the capacitor. The negative electrode has two parts that are connected in parallel, the spongy lead used in the negative electrode of the lead storage battery, and the porous carbon used in the negative electrode of the capacitor. The UltraBattery is characterized by a substantially improved cycle life, compared to the ordinary lead storage batteries, in a broader range of PSOC (partial stage of charge) condition.|
|UltraBattery has about ten times higher durability than the conventional batteries (EUCAR rating assuming use on European streets that require driving in poorly charged state). This makes UltraBattery an ideal battery for vehicles with start-stop systems.|
|Batteries for Alternator Management system vehicles (FB9000/7000)||On vehicles fitted with the charge control system, the alternator's generation voltage is lowered when accelerating or idling to reduce the engine load and increase fuel efficiency. The necessary voltage is supplemented by the battery. When decelerating or coasting with low fuel consumption, the generation voltage is increased to charge the battery.|
|FB9000/7000 by Furukawa Battery has approximately 15% higher charge acceptance than the conventional batteries which increases durability from frequent charging and discharging. An independent test has shown that JC08 fuel efficiency is improved by 2.4% in average when these batteries are used on vehicles fitted with the charge control system.|
|ATLASBX (Korea)||Idling Stop-Start Batteries||The company exhibited lead storage batteries for start-stop systems. The higher life cycle and the use of carbon additives contribute to improved charge acceptance. The high-end type (ABXAGM ISS) has a life rating of approximately 120,000 cycles and 1.8 times higher charge acceptance compared to the company's ordinary batteries. The batteries are supplied for BMW, Mercedes-Benz and other cars that are imported and sold in Korea.|
|Batteries for Alternator Management system vehicles "ECO Series"||The charge control system (alternator management system) stops generation by the alternator when the car is accelerating or idling, or when the battery charge state is above a certain level, to reduce the engine load which increases fuel efficiency by 2 to 3%. High charge acceptance and durability are critical since the battery is subject to frequent charging and discharging.|
|These batteries have positive plates made of high density active material and negative plates of optimal carbon content, which contributes to improving the durability by 25% and charge acceptance by 50% compared to the ordinary engine cranking batteries.|
|OKADA/Exide Technologies (US)||AGM Start-Stop Battery||The AGM battery by Exide Technologies, used on various European cars, is a high-performance battery for vehicles with start-stop systems and regenerative brake systems. It has low internal resistance that contributes to improved charge acceptance and the vibration resistance has been improved resulting in three times higher durability compared to conventional products.|
(Note) Exide Technologies, one of the largest lead storage battery manufacturers in the world, supplies genuine-branded batteries to European and American automakers. The company exhibited its products jointly with Okada Corporation which is its import agent in Japan.
Electric double-layer capacitors
An electric double-layer capacitor (EDLC) stores electric energy by absorption and desorption of ions in the electrolyte rather than by a chemical reaction as in rechargeable batteries. This allows quick and large-current charging and discharging. It is less vulnerable to degradation and withstands several million cycles of charging and discharging. However, the storage capacity is rather low and is likely to be used in combination with lead storage batteries or lithium-ion batteries.
Nippon Chemi-Con exhibited its EDLC modules used in the deceleration energy recovery system "i-ELOOP" newly developed by Mazda. Among non-Japanese manufacturers, Maxwell Technologies, a U.S. corporation, exhibited its EDLC used in the "e-HDi" start-stop system manufactured by PSA.
Nippon Chemi-Con's electric double-layer capacitors supplied to Mazda
EDLC manufactured by Maxwell Technologies, a U.S. corporation, and used in PSA's stop-start system (the stop-start system is manufactured by Continental AG)
Electric double-layer capacitors
|NIPPON CHEMI-CON||Electric Double-layer Capacitors "DXE Series"||Nippon Chemi-Con has developed its third generation electric double-layer capacitors. The new "DXE" series capacitors under trade name of DLCAP are used in Mazda's world first deceleration energy recovery system ("i-ELOOP") for passenger cars that use capacitors.|
|The capacitor cells in the DXE series have more than 50% lower internal resistance compared to the company's conventional products and can withstand temperatures up to 70 degrees Celsius. As a result, the capacitors generate less heat from charging and discharging and the number of cells in parallel per module has been reduced.|
|(Notes) 1.||The i-ELOOP developed by Mazda uses a 12-25V variable voltage alternator, DC/DC converter and Nippon Chemi-Con's EDLC. When the car is decelerating, the alternator generates electricity at the maximum voltage (25V) and stores the energy in the capacitor. The stored energy is reduced by the DC/DC converter to 12V which is supplied to electric components or used to charge the lead storage battery.|
|2.||This process is repeated to reduce the amount of fuel conventionally used for power generation by the engine alone. According to the company, the new system is expected to improve the car's fuel efficiency by approximately 10% on roads that require frequent acceleration and deceleration.|
|Advanced Capacitor Technologies||Application for Automotive Industry||This company supplies capacitors for electric power and industrial applications such as energy saving systems and UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). The company is currently developing new products for automotive use such as electric components and electronic control systems (including by-wire) and drive line (HV, start-stop systems) with voltage ranging between 17.6 and 30.4V and storage capacity of 32Wh.|
|Maxwell Technologies (US)||Super Capacitor (e-Booster System)||Maxwell Technologies, a U.S. corporation, exhibited its supercapacitors being supplied for PSA's "e-HDi" stop-start system (the stop-start system itself was developed and is supplied by Continental AG, a German corporation).|
|"e-HDi" is a stop-start system that PSA introduced in 2010 for diesel-fueled vehicles. According to the company, the system will increase the vehicle's fuel efficiency by up to 15%. The company plans to install the system in 30% of PSA's diesel-fueled vehicles in 2013 and sell one million such vehicles in total in the world between 2011 and 2013.|
|Engine Start Module||This is the capacitor being used in cold climate to start engines on heavy-duty trucks that belong to fleet customers in North America. These trucks normally carry several lead storage batteries and the use of capacitors allows the use of more compact lead storage batteries or reduce the number of batteries on board.|
(Note) Maxwell Technologies was represented jointly by Kyokuto Boeki Kaisha along with Kuzumi Electronics and Avalue Japan.
|Heter Electronics Group (China)||Super Capacitor||Heter Electronics Group exhibited supercapacitors aside from lithium-ion batteries. According to the company's brochures, automotive applications of its supercapacitors include EVs, HVs, engine starters in cold climate, emergency starters, and starters for diesel-fueled locomotives.|
A lithium-ion capacitor (LIC) has a positive electrode made of activated carbon material which is also used in the positive electrode of EDLC, and a negative electrode made of carbon material which is also used in the negative electrode of a lithium-ion battery. Energy is charged and discharged by the positive electrode performing absorption and desorption of ions in the electrolyte, and the negative electrode occluding and discharging the lithium ions (this is the same chemical reaction as in a lithium-ion battery). A LIC allows higher output voltage than EDLC and three times the energy density of EDLC. The LIC manufacturers equally claim that LICs have the advantages of lithium-ion batteries and EDLC at the same time.
A lithium-ion capacitor represents a new technology that was first introduced a few years ago for commercial use. The world's first commercial production was started by JM Energy in November 2008. In February 2011, Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery developed the world's first large-size cylindrical lithium-ion capacitors (over 1Wh). Asahi Kasei FDK Energy Device was established in October 2011 after integrating lithium-ion capacitor businesses of Asahi Kasei and FDK.
Although LIC has not been used in on-board application and no plans of such application have been announced, Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery reportedly has completed testing its LIC jointly with an automaker. Asahi Kasei FDK Energy Device exhibited a prototype EV and also proposed hybrid vehicles assisted by LIC alone.
Cylindrical LIC cells and modules exhibited by Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery (cells at the right are new larger-size products with output power increased to 2.4Wh)
"Miluira" small electric vehicle mainly powered by LIC exhibited by Asahi Kasei FDK Energy Device (built by Takayanagi)
Capacitor module for hybrid vehicles exhibited by Asahi Kasei FDK Energy Device
|Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery||Lithium-ion Capacitor "L-CAP"||"L-CAP" is a high-power, long-life cylindrical LIC with potential applications such as start-stop systems, unmanned carriers and other industrial equipment, peak suppression in smart grid infrastructure, etc. Its use for start-stop systems has been tested jointly with an automaker. The LIC withstands high temperatures and can be fitted under the engine hood.|
|"L-CAP" is available in two types: the SLC-B110 type with 1.47Wh rating (0.49Ah, 1100 Faraday), and the SLC-B152 type with 2.4Wh rating (0.8Ah, 1800 Faraday).|
|Asahi Kasei FDK Energy Device||Lithium-ion Capacitor Module||Two types of modules have been put to commercial use: modules for 12V systems (rated voltage 15V and 12Wh energy) and modules for 42V systems (rated voltage 45V and 36Wh energy). Lasts for over 100,000 cycles.|
|Small Electric Vehicle "Miluira"||"Miluira" is a prototype small EV mainly powered by LIC (the vehicle was manufactured by Takayanagi). The single-seat vehicle with 2180mm length and 350kg vehicle weight can run 10km on 833 Faraday LIC alone. The range can be doubled with the addition of a compact generator as a range extender.|
|For Hybrid vehicle||The company had panels proposing a hybrid vehicle powered mainly by LIC. The vehicle has LIC at several locations to serve specific purposes such as main power supply, acceleration, start-stop system, brake backup, etc. The company proposed and exhibited capacitor modules for hybrid vehicles.|
|Hybrid-Battery||The company displayed test results of hybrid batteries in two different combinations; "lithium-ion battery + LIC" and "lead storage battery + LIC" with a remark that the supportive use of capacitors has positive effects in energy recovery and suppressing the degradation of the secondary batteries they are combined with (resulting in a longer life cycle).|
|JM Energy||Lithium-ion Capacitor||JM Energy, wholly owned and established by JSR in August 2007, is the world's first manufacturer of LIC for commercial use. Its products are supplied for industrial use, UPS, medical equipment, etc.|
|The company is studying the feasibility of LIC for automotive use as the cost requirements are very demanding.|
<Automotive Industry Portal MarkLines>