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ALABC Meetings in Singapore Herald Progress, Change
Members and contractors of the ALABC converged last month in Singapore, site of the 15th Asian Battery Conference (15ABC), to discuss the progress of the current 2013-15 R&D program, as well as some perspectives of the future direction of the program. The meetings represented a substantial opportunity to coordinate with the 15ABC festivities and gather the insights of the representatives from member companies operating in the international community.

M&C Conference Demonstrates Depth of Research
The Consortium’s 2013 Members & Contractors Conference began in familiar style with an introduction by Chairman David Prengaman and an informative program overview by Program Manager Boris Monahov. Then, the meeting moved to updates of projects from the 2010-12 program, which included final reports on project 1012 M (Exide Technologies’ development of a 6V/10Ah spiral-wound VRLA battery with optimized negative active mix for mild hybrids) and project DP 1.8 (Ecotality’s demonstration of the UltraBattery Civic that has surpassed 120K miles in road testing and will now continue fleet duty with the aim of reaching 150K). Dr. Geoffrey May of Focus Consulting provided a progress report on project 1012 KD regarding Banner’s continued development of 2V 6Ah cells for the battery trial in a Honda Insight demonstration HEV. Also, Professor Detchko Pavlov of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences presented an update on the 1012 G project regarding the study of additives to the VRLA’s negative active mass and suppression of sulfation in high-rate partial state-of-charge (HRPSoC) operation. It should be noted that Prof. Pavlov presented new information regarding the importance of charge/discharge pulse duration, as well as the beneficial effect on negative plate sulfation of adding polyaspartic acid to the electrolyte.

The meeting continued with projects from the current 2013-15 program, which included an update on the 48V LC SuperHybrid demonstration project by Ruangrit Ekachaiworasin of AVL List which is overseeing the vehicle’s development and preparing it for exhibit later this year. Next was a progress report by Dr. Herbert Geiss on behalf of Narada regarding project 1315-STD1 (the first ALABC project based in China) and the study of carbon-added VRLA batteries for port crane and elevator applications. Professor Ernst Ferg of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University then presented on the 1315-R1 project studying the effects of different carbons (including graphene) on the battery’s negative plate during HRPSoC cycling. Then, ALABC European Projects Coordinator Allan Cooper provided an update on the Consortium’s European automotive demonstration programs, including the potential partnership with Hyundai on a diesel-based 48V mild/micro-hybrid demonstration and a continuation of the earlier Hyboost project. Following an introductory presentation from one of the ALABC’s newest members, ISEA-RWTH Aachen University (provided by Grzegorz Pilatowicz, Team Leader for Lead-Acid Batteries), the meeting was closed by Dr. Prengaman with minimal discussion from those in attendance.

ALABC members can access the M&C Conference presentations online at the meetings and conferences page of the members’ site. If you do not have member access and wish to view any of these presentations, please contact the ALABC offices.

Allan Cooper provided a brief update to committee members on the 48V LC Super Hybrid project
Steering Committee Looks at Program Future
Following the M&C Conference, the ALABC’s Fall 2013 Steering Committee Meeting began with a more in-depth look at the finances and structure of the current program by Dr. Monahov. This prompted additional discussion and suggested proposals for future projects, as well as appreciation for some of the proposals currently under consideration. After a brief update of the ALABC Public Affairs & Marketing Committee activities by Chair John Likarish and Marketing & Communications Manager Chip Bremer, Allan Cooper provided an update on the funding status of the various European demonstration projects. This prompted a discussion on the major threats to the industry, a call for support of the 48V projects, and proposed initiatives to increase funding and membership, as well as train/develop the younger generation of automotive lead-acid battery proponents.

Perhaps the most significant news to come out of the ALABC Steering Committee is the announcement by Dr. Prengaman that he is retiring to emeritus status after having served as the Consortium’s Technical Chairman since its inception in 1992. Dr. Prengaman had hinted at retirement for a few years but finally decided it was time to step back from active duty. Tim Ellis of RSR was named as Interim Chairman.

Asian PAM Committee Refocused
Immediately following the Steering Committee meeting, various members participated in an informal meeting of the Asian Public Affairs and Marketing (APAM) Committee organized by Chip Bremer and APAM Chair Martin van Leeuwen. During the course of the meeting, members and staff debated whether ALABC still had the appropriate strategy for the Asian region. Mark Stevenson brought attention to the specific needs of potential customers operating in Asia, and highlighted the need for training and education of local battery producer engineers, as well as consulting services in various areas where needed. It was later determined that until an appropriate strategy could be formulated, the ALABC should focus on providing PAM support in certain regions rather than formalizing a structure for the APAM Committee. ALABC Steering Committee and APAM Committee minutes and presentations will be emailed to the respective committee members. For further info, please contact the ALABC offices.

Mark Stevenson provides the opening address at 15ABC
15ABC Provides Forum for Asian Outreach
Having the ALABC meetings at the 15th Asian Battery Conference in Singapore allowed for excellent access to Asian industry leaders, as well as those companies with wide-reaching global operations. The conference was organized by Eco-Bat Technologies’ (and former ALABC PAM Committee Chairman) Mark Stevenson, who welcomed over 700 attendees to the Shangri-La Hotel conference center. Ray Kubis, also of Eco-Bat, presented the welcome address and kicked off a program that would feature several leading expert speakers. While various ALABC-related individuals chaired sessions, such as Program Manager Boris Monahov, former President and current CSIRO consultant David Rand, and long-time consultant Geoffrey May, several presentations were given by representatives of ALABC members companies such as: Leoch, Abertax, EnerG2, North Star Battery, Furukawa Battery, Hollingsworth & Vose, East Penn, RSR, ArcActive, Cabot Corporation, and Energy Power Systems. Allan Cooper of the EALABC also provided an informative presentation on the LC SuperHybrid system that is beginning to attract a great deal of attention from OEMs.

The ALABC also had an informational display in the main reception area, and representatives were able to draw considerable interest from potential members and other interested individuals. For more information on 15ABC, visit the conference website at

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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