Hammond and East Penn join advanced lead battery research bid to support energy storage boom

by John Shepherd
Enqin Gao, chief engineer of R&D;, observes the voltages of battery cells during the PSoC Cycling test in Hammond Group’s state-of-the-art lead battery lab. Photo: Hammond
Lead battery industry majors Hammond and East Penn Manufacturing have joined a ground-breaking research programme to study the impact of advanced batteries being used by utilities to provide critical energy storage needs.

The collaboration is the latest in a series of energy storage projects launched by the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) – and will study vital electrode components in lead batteries to explore how they impact new performance requirements.

The use of expander additives in the electrode, such as barium sulfate, is one of the key ways lead battery performance has been enhanced over its 150-year history to meet enhanced technical demand, the CBI said.

Hammond and East Penn’s research will explore how the additive size, treatment and morphology can be adapted to benefit duty cycles in a typical energy storage system.

'Maximising performance'

CBI technical manager Dr Matt Raiford said: "By studying the impact of different barium sulfate expander additives on electrode behaviour, new insights will be delivered into maximising the performance of energy storage lead batteries.”

"This will be critical for the expansion of lead battery uptake by utilities and renewable energy companies across the globe looking to add battery storage to their systems.”

According to analysis published last September by Wood Mackenzie, global energy storage capacity could grow at a compound annual growth rate of 31%, recording 741 GWh of cumulative capacity by 2030.

The Hammond Group is a speciality chemical company focused on enabling lead-acid chemistry for advanced energy storage. The company has manufacturing operations in the US and serves the EMEA market from England and the Asian market from Malaysia.

Last month, US-based lead battery giant East Penn was ranked as one of America’s best large employers for 2021 by Forbes and Statista – the third time the company has been named to the list.

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