The new technology center includes analytical, electronics and prototype battery laboratories, world-class instrument rooms as well as a garage for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) product development – an environment that enables advanced R&D surrounding emerging applications for stored electrical energy. In addition, the facility is designed with a number of environmentally-advanced technologies that enhance the Company’s green profile. These include energy-efficient lighting, solar panels on the roof and a wastewater recycling system.
In addition to building and enhancing its R&D centers, the Company has added 60 science and engineering professionals – 40 positions in Milton alone – in design, process engineering, metals, carbons, ceramics and polymers and other disciplines.
“Exide is dedicating our new Global Technology Center at a pivotal time in our Company’s history,” said E.J. O’Leary, President and Chief Operating Officer of Exide Technologies. “Now, more than ever, global demand is increasing for innovative technologies designed to meet complex and environmentally-sound energy storage needs.”
Global Research, Development and Engineering at Exide Technologies
The Exide Global RD&E organization is dedicated to utilizing battery chemistries, including lead-acid, lithium ion and technologies across applications to maximize performance and accelerate the global growth of new products across multiple product lines and businesses. Specifically the organization is focused on engineering and product development in emerging renewable energy (solar and wind) with large storage applications as well as the development of batteries for HEV applications.
In lead-acid chemistry alone, Exide is exploring many areas, including improvements to Exide’s spiral-wound technology and lead-carbon hybrid batteries; alternative electrode compositions, structures, substrates; and improvements to gel technology for solar power energy storage.
Exide announced last summer that it was awarded $34.3 million in federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for its proposal for the domestic manufacture of affordable lead-acid batteries incorporating advanced carbon technology. Exide’s project involves two of its global technologies: a spiral wound absorbed glass mat (AGM) design and a flat plate AGM design.
“With this new facility and our external relationships, the Global Research, Development and Engineering organization at Exide Technologies is making important strides and exploring some exciting new dimensions — developing new materials, products and processes to build a solid technology foundation and infrastructure for the future,” said Dr. Paul Cheeseman, Vice President, Global Engineering and Research of Exide Technologies. “Our team is working on the advancement of multiple technologies ¯ those that may enable breakthrough products or significant new product platforms ¯ for implementation during the next two to five years.”
Exide has entered a number of Technology Partnerships to advance RD&E initiatives and provide opportunities to improve the competitiveness of its product portfolio for transportation, network power and motive power applications. The partnerships include:
* Axion Power International, Inc., a developer of advanced batteries and energy storage products that incorporate patented lead-carbon battery technology (PbC Technology™). This collaboration provides a multi-dimensional structure of expertise that fuels Exide’s ability to expedite the development of advanced lead-acid batteries and new chemistries for use in product development, broadening opportunities in transportation channels.
* The U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and the University of Idaho. The alliance will help develop and commercialize improvements on lead-acid battery technology. The laboratory’s scientists have recently developed unique glass microsphere technology now being considered and developed for a variety of commercial uses, including battery additives to enhance performance.
* Nano-Terra, Inc., a leading surface engineering and nanotechnology co-development company. Nano-Terra will use its expertise in surface chemistry and surface engineering to create a number of innovative functionalities for stored energy solutions manufactured by Exide for motive power, network power and transportation applications.
“The Milton Global Technology Center, along with our other technology centers, mark a milestone in the 122-year history of Exide Technologies,” said Gordon Ulsh, Chief Executive Officer of Exide Technologies. “Our renewed emphasis on R&D, new partnership initiatives and innovative products already on the market are preparing Exide to meeting the future as a strong, competitive provider of stored electrical energy technologies for a 21st century world that is increasingly mobile, energy-hungry and environmentally-sensitive.”
Exide Technologies, with operations in more than 80 countries, is one of the world’s largest producers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries. The Company’s four global business groups — Transportation Americas, Transportation Europe and Rest of World, Industrial Energy Americas and Industrial Energy Europe and Rest of World — provide a comprehensive range of stored electrical energy products and services for industrial and transportation applications.
Transportation markets include original-equipment and aftermarket automotive, heavy-duty truck, agricultural and marine applications, and new technologies for hybrid vehicles and automotive applications. Industrial markets include network power applications such as telecommunications systems, electric utilities, railroads, photovoltaic (solar-power related) and uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and motive-power applications including lift trucks, mining and other commercial electric vehicles.