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Energy Storage Project Shows VRLA Batteries Can Attain 12-Year Service Life in PV Applications
One of the ALABC’s more recent projects has demonstrated that specially-designed valve-regulated lead-acid batteries are capable of achieving more than 4,000 cycles in photovoltaic (PV) applications, approaching a service life in excess of 12 years. The SPSoC1 project, which was started in early 2009 by French Research Organization CEA, German battery producer BAE Batterien, and Luxembourg separator/gauntlet supplier Amer-Sil, finished scheduled testing in November 2011, but long-term testing has continued due to the excellent condition of the cells used in the project.
Based on recent tests, BAE's OPzV batteries could last up to 12 years.
The original intent of the project was to find optimized charging algorithms and enhanced battery designs capable of sustaining the partial state-of-charge operation of PV applications. CEA and BAE studied both flooded and VRLA tubular plate battery designs developed by BAE (with materials from Amer-Sil), and discovered their valve-regulated OPzV batteries managed 2,100 cycles at temperatures of 40°C (104°F) and cycling between 10-40% state-of-charge (in accordance with international standard IEC 61427). Based on previous experience, researchers were able to conclude that, at 20°C (room temperature), the batteries can easily reach 4,000 cycles or 11-12 years of operation.

Since PV panels have a life of approximately 20 years, these particular batteries would need to be replaced only once in the lifetime of the unit. When combined with the low-cost and maintenance-free characteristics of the BAE tubular plate VRLA batteries, the prospect of extended service life under these conditions make lead-acid batteries a particularly attractive chemistry not just for PV operations but also telecom backup, grid equalization and other stationary applications, as well.

For more information on the SPSoC1 project and other ALABC energy storage projects, please visit
ALABC 100K UltraBattery Hybrid Scheduled for Further Duty
After achieving 100,000 miles of real-world fleet duty with minimal capacity loss, the ALABC’s UltraBattery demonstration vehicle has been commissioned by the Consortium for additional study and road duty through Phoenix-based Electric Applications Incorporated. The Honda Civic HEV retrofitted with lead-carbon UltraBattery modules by East Penn Manufacturing will undergo a significant durability study over the coming year and will be on display Sept. 17-19 at The Battery Show in Novi, MI.
The vehicle was part of an ALABC program co-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy intended to demonstrate the durability of lead-carbon batteries in the high-rate, partial state-of-charge operation of a hybrid electric vehicle. In November 2011, the vehicle was retrofitted with an UltraBattery pack and operated in fleet duty through the grueling temperatures and differing elevations of the greater Phoenix area. The Civic HEV demonstrator reached the 100,000 mile benchmark in less than two years while achieving comparable MPG performance with that of the same model powered by Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries but at a significantly lower cost.

In addition, to the continuing study of the UltraBattery demonstration vehicle, the ALABC is seeking additional research and development projects to not only study the performance of UltraBattery modules and other lead-carbon designs, but also further applications of these batteries in automotive and energy storage capacities. For more information on lead-carbon battery research and development, visit
Beijing, China
Aug 8-10, 2013
Graz, Austria
Sep 5-6, 2013
Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico
Sep 8-13, 2013
Sep 9-10, 2013
SEIA Energy Storage North America
San Jose, CA, USA
Sep 10-12, 2013
The Battery Show 2013
Novi (Detroit), MI, USA
Sep 17-19, 2013
Hamburg, Germany
Oct 13-17, 2013
Seoul, Korea
Oct 16-19, 2013
Advanced Energy Solutions 2013 (AES 2013)
San Diego, CA, USA
Oct 21-23, 2013
San Francisco, USA
Oct 27-Nov 1, 2013
For a full list of upcoming events, visit

The Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium
1822 NC Highway 54E, Suite 120, Durham, North Carolina 27713 USA
Tel: 919-361-4647 | Fax: 919-361-1957 |

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