Sanyo to Mass Produce Large-capacity High-voltage Lithium-ion Battery Systems

SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. (SANYO) is pleased to announce that it has developed two new large-capacity high-voltage lithium-ion battery systems, and will begin mass production of the new products in March 2010.

In recent years, there has been a lot of interest in electric vehicle technology as a replacement for the internal combustion engine, as part of a move towards better efficiency and the use of clean energy in order to achieve a low-carbon society. With features including high energy density, superior safety, and high voltage, SANYO has been leading the way in the market for lithium-ion batteries used in information devices such as laptop computers and mobile phones. Since around 2004, SANYO has been using its technologies to develop large-scale lithium-ion battery systems in order to help contribute towards the realization of a low-carbon society. After extensive verification testing and trial application in and outside the company, SANYO now has large lithium-ion battery systems that are ready for the market.

SANYO will launch a lineup of two large lithium-ion battery system models. The Standard Battery System for Energy Storage (DCB-101) can be easily incorporated into existing systems as part of hybrid schemes using solar cells, to store electricity generated by wind power, or for electrical output stabilization. It can also be used as a back-up power source for servers or mobile phone base stations. Additionally, the Standard Battery System for Electric Motors (EVB-101) can be used to power light electric vehicles that are in the R&D or small-scale mass production stages.

Through the introduction of these two new products, SANYO is helping to create new markets for lithium-ion batteries, while contributing towards the realization of a low-carbon society.

Main Features

1. Mass produced large-capacity high-voltage lithium-ion battery systems with a high degree of versatility, based on consumer battery technology @

Based on 18650-size cylindrical lithium-ion batteries (18 mm in diameter x 65 mm in height), which are most often used for laptop computers, the new products enable several dozen to several hundred battery cells to be used in one system. Normally, the mere combination of single batteries can create problems for safety, reliability, and lifespan. However, SANYO has developed parallel and series battery control technologies for the basic components of the new products, based on years of experience with laptop battery packs. The company has also added more of its own technologies to ensure additional reliability and heat management. After identifying problem points through trial product evaluation and field testing, SANYO has further improved the battery packs, and they are now ready for mass production.

Advantages of using consumer lithium-ion batteries
– More compact and lightweight units can be realized compared to lead batteries (space-saving)
Since the new technology has an energy density that is double or triple that of the lead batteries usually used as large-scale power sources, this results in a much smaller and lighter system (about half the volume and a third of the weight).
– Higher discharge efficiency than lead batteries. In principle the discharge efficiency is higher, which reduces energy loss and saves energy.
– Initial investment cost is low due to the use of existing technology, enabling rapid adoption. Since they are standard systems, there is no need for new development costs even for small-scale mass production or applications under development, and they can be adopted in a short period of time.

2. Offering flexible application for various uses, since the system units are connected in parallel and series

The voltage and capacity of the products can be customized, as multiple units are connected in parallel and series, according to the application.

3. Equipped with SANYO’s proprietary battery management system, for management and notification of battery conditions

SANYO’s proprietary control circuits have been incorporated into the system units. This technology manages information concerning battery discharge and remaining capacity, which can be transmitted to the usage device as necessary.

Standard Battery System for Power Storage (DCB-101)

1. Long-life durability and zero maintenance thanks to a combination of specialized power storage cells and highly reliable systems

A durable long-lasting type cell that is optimized for power storage was selected for this product from an extensive lineup of cells for different applications. Since it uses control technology developed mainly for laptop computers, the battery system offers a high level of reliability and durability.

Extensive practical testing has been carried out using the product in a trial backup system for traffic signals in the city of Tokushima, in a solar bicycle parking lot system being tested at the Tokushima prefectural office, and in systems for solar LED signs at SANYO’s Sumoto Plant.

2. Designed to fit in a 19-inch rack for a high level of versatility

The product can be housed in a 19-inch (approx. 48.26 cm) rack, which is the standard size for computer servers, the main application for power storage systems. In addition to server backup, the product can also be used for mobile phone base stations, or smart energy systems integrating solar cells.

Smart energy systems
A smart energy system is a next-generation energy solution developed by SANYO. It can greatly reduce CO2 emissions and running costs, based on energy-saving technology. Power from the grid, drawn late at night when rates are lower, and from solar cells is stored in rechargeable batteries, while a power conditioner optimizes the efficient use of the stored power for lighting, air conditioning, and refrigerated showcases.

3. Easy replacement of lead batteries

There is a recharging control function within the DCB-101 system, enabling safe and highly efficient charging using a regular DC power source.
Standard Battery System for Electric Motors (EVB-101)
1. High output and long-life durability thanks to a combination of specialized cells and highly reliable systems

A high output / durable long-lasting type cell that is optimized for powering electric motors was selected for this product from an extensive lineup of cells for different applications. Since it uses control technology developed mainly for laptop computers, the battery system offers a high level of reliability and durability. It can be used as a power pack for light electric vehicles, such as electric bicycles, that are in the R&D or small-scale mass production stages.

Extensive practical testing has been carried out using the product in electric vehicles. Examples include a battery system for Yokohama Rubber’s “EV Buggy,” which successfully met the challenge of this year’s Pike’s Peak race in the US, and for the Japan Electric Vehicle Club’s “Side-by-Side” electric formula car, as well as testing of electric racing carts.
2. Offering extreme durability and heat diffusion through the use of an aluminum external casing

The product is ideal for electric motor applications where mechanical strength and cooling performance is required. This is due to the adoption of an aluminum external casing, which offers superior durability and heat conduction.
3. Water resistance based on JIS IPX6*1 to withstand strong water spray

Designed for outdoor usage, the EVB-101 offers water resistance equivalent to the JIS IPX6*1 standard, and can even withstand a strong water jet.
*1 JIS IPX6 requirements (does not sustain damage even when sprayed with a strong water jet from various angles)
Other Features
– Made from materials that comply with the RoHS Directive

Outline and Background

Lithium-ion batteries are used as a power source in all kinds of portable information devices including mobile phones, laptop computers, and digital cameras, and the market for them is rapidly expanding year by year. Recently, there has been a major expansion of their application to include electric assist bicycles and cordless power tools.

In March 1994, SANYO began mass production of lithium-ion batteries that employed lithium cobalt oxide for the positive electrode and a graphite material for the negative electrode. In the following year, the company developed a square lithium-ion battery using an aluminum alloy for the exterior shell, and was the first in the industry to begin mass production and sales. This technology has already become a de facto standard, as it meets market needs with even discharge offered by the graphite negative electrode, and the compact, lightweight advantages provided by the aluminum alloy shell.

In recent years, new materials have been introduced to meet diversified application needs and requirements, and the battery lineup has expanded. Along with rising concern over the environment, demands for large-capacity batteries are growing stronger every year. Since it takes a lot of time to develop a larger battery, and such a battery would be impractical in terms of start-up costs, SANYO began investigating solutions using existing consumer battery technology from around 2004. By securing larger capacity through the parallel connection of numerous small batteries, and by also connecting them in a series for greater output, SANYO has succeeded in developing large-capacity high-voltage battery systems.