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Summary Report On Advanced Batteries Cafe

The purpose of this cafe was to identify the major technical and measurement challenges to developing the U.S. advanced battery industry.
by Staff Writers
Rosslyn VA (SPX) Dec 09, 2010
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) announced the release of a report by Energetics Incorporated on the Advanced Batteries Cafe, hosted in cooperation with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on September 1, 2010, in Rosemont, Illinois.

NIST uses the cafe process as a moderated informal discussion to foster collaborative dialogue, effective engagement, and constructive possibilities for action.

The purpose of this cafe was to identify the major technical and measurement challenges to developing the U.S. advanced battery industry. The one-day invitational cafe, facilitated by Energetics Incorporated, brought together experts from the battery industry, academia, national laboratories, and government agencies.

According to the report, discussion was focused on identifying issues having a positive or negative impact on creation and maintenance of a market-driven U.S. advanced battery industry. Participants explored a vision for the future, broad drivers and issues (political, societal, economic, other), and technical barriers and challenges, including measurement.

Participants were split between two focus topics: vehicular batteries for electric vehicle and hybrid vehicle power sources, and stationary batteries for utility scale energy storage applications.

Cafe attendees explored issues facing an industry with many activities taking place concurrently in a wide open market that lacks a central focus. Common concerns included the areas of battery safety, quality assurance, logistics and supply chains, warranty issues, and lack of a cohesive industry voice.

Industry participants expressed that collaborative marketing and business development strategies solutions might be developed in cooperation.

Additionally, a collaborative third-party testing solution might help to foster the emergent and dynamic advanced battery industry.

In addressing the need for standards to support testing, the report cautions that standards implemented too soon could falsely constrain further development and/or start the industry down the wrong path.

Interest in advancing battery technology for electric vehicles and electricity storage has grown rapidly over recent years because of such potential benefits as:

+ reduced use of fossil fuels in transportation and electricity generation reduces greenhouse gas emissions

+ stationary energy storage capacity increases opportunities to use renewable resources for reliable electricity generation

+ increasing our options to use domestic resources also reduces our dependence on foreign oil

The Advanced Batteries Cafe was a collaborative effort of NIST and NEMA under NIST's External Needs Assessment workshop series, which provides opportunities for customers and stakeholders to lay out external drivers and/or opportunities for specific technology focus areas, and NEMA's Energy Storage Council (ESC), which was established in 2008 to advocate for policies, necessary standards, and funding to ensure market adoption and swift commercialization of advanced applications of energy storage technologies to be safely and effectively integrated with the electrical grid.

The results of the cafe will be used to outline actions that need to be taken, in the short and long term, to enable a viable U.S. battery industry. NEMA plans to use the Energetics report as a call to action for advanced battery performance, for safety and testing standards, and to request additional legislation in support of the advanced battery industry.

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