Exide Technologies Announces New Collaborations to Advance Lead-Acid Battery Chemistry
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MILTON, GA. (July 13, 2009) – Exide Technologies (NASDAQ: XIDE, www.exide.com), a global leader in stored electrical-energy solutions, announced today that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and the University of Idaho to develop and commercialize improvements on lead-acid battery technology.
SRNL is the applied research and development laboratory at the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River Site. This project is part of SRNL's diverse portfolio of research and development programs in support of the nation's energy security, which includes energy storage, hydrogen, nuclear energy, and renewables like wind and biofuels. The laboratory's scientists have recently developed unique glass microsphere technology now being considered and developed for a variety of commercial uses, including battery additives to enhance performance.
The chemical engineering team at the University of Idaho, led by Dean Edwards, Ph.D., P.E., Professor in Chemical Engineering, has more than 20 years of experience in academic research and development on enhancing lead-acid battery technology, particularly concerning additives to improve utilization of the active material in the battery.
With Exide Technologies as the industrial partner, these two research institutions can collaborate on their unique strengths, with Exide providing the resources to commercialize the technologies to improve lead-acid battery performance. Exide anticipates the alliance to expedite development of advancements in lead-acid chemistry for use in enhanced product development and broaden opportunities in new markets for hybrid electric vehicles and renewable energy storage.
The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement will be directed by the Global Research, Development and Engineering organization at Exide Technologies, led by Dr. Paul Cheeseman, Vice President, Global Engineering and Research. Exide expects the alliance to reinforce its multi-dimensional structure of expertise, fueling the Company's ability to improve both the efficiency and competitiveness of its product portfolio and expediting the development of advanced lead-acid batteries. The new agreement is another example of Exide's commitment to future lead-acid battery technologies and follows recent collaborations with Axion Power International, Inc. (a developer of advanced batteries and energy storage products that incorporate patented lead carbon battery PbC Technology™), and Nano-Terra (a leading surface engineering and nanotechnology co-development company).
"We expect our partnership with Exide to help drive development of improved battery materials, such as cathode plates, to enhance lead-acid battery performance in terms of charging capacity and charging cycle times while lowering material costs and weight," said Dr. David Newell, who is leading SRNL's participation in this collaborative research and development.
Lead-acid batteries, which are used for transportation and stand-by applications, account for half of the rechargeable battery market. Although alternative battery chemistries are growing in popularity, such chemistries are not expected to diminish the demand for lead-acid.
"The advantage to our newest R&D partnership is that we are not planning to explore untested technologies that can take years of testing and evaluation to determine whether they are economically and functionally viable for the commercial market," said Dr. Cheeseman. "Rather, our collaboration is intended to advance the proven and reliable lead-acid battery chemistry. Lead-acid batteries are being manufactured, utilized in countless installations, and, equally important, recycled at a rate of 98 percent in the United States."
Increasing the performance of batteries, including extending battery life and/or increasing charging capacity will support the DOE-Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy mission of providing improved, reliable energy sources.
"Lead-acid batteries are expected to be increasingly viable for supporting the nation's electric grid as well as supporting stand-alone backup power to alternative energy systems (solar and wind)," said Dr. Edwards of the University of Idaho. "This is because lead-acid batteries are used in a variety of applications where improved battery performance could translate into energy savings."
Media contact: Will Callicott (803-725-3786 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Angeline French (803-725-2854 or email@example.com) at SRNL.
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