1. Battery Japan Overview
Battery Japan, commencing on March 2, 2011, included energy storage manufacturers in the fields of lithium battery, fuel cell, energy smart building and smart grid, where many practical applications of energy storage, energy generation, and energy saving were exhibited.
Chart 1. Battery Japan 2011
At this exhibit, except for the combination of renewable energy and automatic vehicles, hybrid train, hybrid straddle carrier and other niche product applications were displayed in the exhibit as well. As for the train, since it needs to brake at every station and the route is fixed, Japanese manufacturers have introduced power regeneration technology into the train’s brake system in order to optimize energy efficiency. Due to its high usage frequency and high torsional force, the electric power can effectively increase the energy efficiency of hybrid straddle carriers.
Chart 2. A Variety of new power application displays
2. A Variety of Battery Cells
In terms of the performance of industrial lithium battery, in order to reduce complexity of power management and the cost of unit capacity, the development strategy of major battery manufacturers is in line with increasing battery cell capacity without affectig product consistency. Many car makers have sought joint effort with major battery cell manufacturers in order to gain an edge in the electric car industry, which limits the availability of the automotive lithium battery due to oligopoly and brings spotlights on automotive battery and industrial battery in the makret. Currently, since global NB battery market share is gradually being taken over by Kroean battery cell manfacturers, Japanese battery cell manufacturers have shifted their focus to the development of large battery applications. Despite different materials used by different products, energy density and power density remain the major focus in terms of the performance of battery cell. According to chart 3, Chang Hong’s battery does not pale in comparison with that of major manufacturers.
Chart 3. Specifications of Battery Cells
A123 exhibited a variety of battery modules catering to different kinds of automatic vehicles to meet car maker’s diverse needs. In addition, Hitachi showcased a variety of battery systems and products such as battery cell and battery pack, which were designed to fulfill all kinds of industrial usages. Besides, it also exhibited the non-contact charger, which can offer multi-site charging.
Chart 4. From Battery Cell to Battery Pack
GS Yuasa launched a highly reliable flexible sheet catering to various high-altitude uses, whose life time was extended by adopting high-end materials. (Chart 5). Mitsubishi used pole pieces with the same width to stack various kinds of battery with different height specification. Korean battery cell manufacturer GS Caltex displayed its new flexible sheet, which can be adopted in the portable systems such as IC card.
Chart 5. From Battery Cell to Battery Pack
3. Prospects of Taiwan Manufacturers Shone at the Exhibition
As for the Taiwanese battery industry, the year’s exhibition included manufacturers from up, mid and downtream of the battery supply chain. (Chart 6, 7) For instance, FEMTC has extended its LFPO material supply into conductive carbon additive to meet the diverse needs of battery cell manufacturers. HOPAX also released various kinds of material additives which, for example, are able to extend lifetime of cathode - the usage of copper foil, cathode and electrolytic solution. Chang Hong, whose technology was transferred from FEMTC, displayed its new 50 Ah power battery cell, whose capacity is the largest among single battery cells in Taiwan and whose energy density performance did not pale in comparison with that of Japanese battery cells. Furthermore, PSI launched cylindrical cell, the latest prismatic cell and cell bracket according to different sizes of battery modules. C-Life Technology successfully developped a new battery cell with high power output (>10 C) and launched various new automobile starter storage battery module system. Chen Tech, which was known for battery testing, has started process of transforming into a power battery cell and module testing equipment maker in response to the rise of power cell field.
Chart 6 Taiwan-Power Battery Market Growth
Chart 7 Taiwan-Power Battery Market Growth
4. Heat Dissipation Management
As far as the battery development is concerned, the heat dissipation management problem of power battery caused by the high power output is one of the most pressing factors. Mitsubishi has launched a slimmer and more flexible thermal sensor for battery cell. Also, Furukawa Electric offered new heat dissipation technologies for battery applications, regarding thermal insulation material and thermal coating material.
Chart 8 Battery Materials to Meet High Power Battery Development
Generally speaking, in regard to the major technology development of battery pack, there are three categories: thermal dispissation material, electromagnetic wave management and module power management. (Chart 9). Although the battery system manufacturers have to take these categories into account while designing, most of these kinds of technologies’efficiency performance are hard to be quantified and the technologies’ compatibility with systems needs to be considered as well. Therefore, battery system manufacturers will incorporate with the thermal dispissation technology, electromagnetic wave management and module power management when it does not affect the profit.
Chart 9. Major Factors of Heat Dispissation System
5. Lithium Battery Applications
The second generation of fuel cell vehicles unveiled promise of the combination of fuel cell and lithium battery(Chart 10): it not only is able to increase the power output like the first generation of FCHV does, but also generates better energy efficency than that of the first generation of FCHV, which makes it a superior combination. With the fuel cell being the ultimate solution for automatic vehicle industry in the future, continuous growth of lithium battery popularization in the industry is expected.
Chart 10. Optimal Arrangement of Fuel Cell Vehicle
Product applications at this year’s exhibit are mainly divided into two categories: lifetime and the power output. Major manufacturers have shifted their focus from entry level applications such as bicycle battery to industrial applications. With the pursuit of energy conservation, the main goal is to introduce lithium battery into power systems. The popularizations of the train system and wind energy have both been on an upward trend, and they do not require high reliability and infrustrature facilities as automatic vehicles do. Therefore, it should be easier to introduce lithium battery into the train system and wind energy industry. That means, the battery industry would be able to expand its market and prospects if the introduction of lithium battery into the train system and wind enery industry proves fruitful.