2024 Innovation Award Submissions

Thank you to all the companies who submitted for the 2024 Innovation Award.  For more information you can read the news release announcing ENTEK as the 2024 winner and watch the video of the 2024 Innovation Award submissions.

ENTEK, Winner

ENTEK is a global materials science and engineering company, and a preferred partner for customers in the Energy Storage industry. They produce and market lead-acid separators, lithium-ion separators, extruders, and engineering services on six continents. They combine best-in-class equipment with the pursuit of continuous improvement and innovation to give their customers industry-leading performance and reliability.

The 2024 BCI Innovation Award recognizes ENTEK’s solvent-free separator technology, providing a more environmentally friendly alternative that does not sacrifice strength or performance. Battery manufacturers can use this separator product within their existing capital equipment and manufacturing processes (e.g., enveloping).

Black Diamond Structures, LLC

Black Diamond Structures, LLC (BDS), formed as a joint venture between Molecular Rebar Design, LLC (MRD) and SABIC Industries in 2014. The company is charged with development and commercialization of Molecular Rebar Design’s proprietary MOLECULAR REBAR® (MR) carbon nanotube technology in the Energy Storage field, primarily lead-acid (Pb-Acid) batteries and lithium-ion (Li-Ion) cells. The company has grown due to the global adoption of its products which can be found in traction batteries at Heathrow airport, moving people on the streets of Delhi, powering automobiles in South America, awaiting purchase on AutoPart store shelves in the U.S., and enabling mission-critical backup power in hospitals throughout the Covid-19 pandemic (deemed “Critical Infrastructure”).

BDS believes in delivering quality products, where they matter. PbLiteTM is the latest manifestation of this, answering the manufacturer’s call to extract more value from their raw materials and improve the overall consistency of their battery products. BDS is proud to offer a product which reduces waste, increases plant efficiency, and improves our customers’ margins.

 

CAM SRL

CAM SRL’s R&D team designed and engineered FASMELT with economic funding awarded through Italy’s National Plan to implement The European Union’s 4th industrial revolution. FASMELT is a no gas melting pot, with rapid melting time, extremely low dross production, and most of all, roughly 60% lower energy costs by using magnetic induction. This clean system allows immediate production, and no need to maintain temperatures when not producing. It requires roughly 20 minutes liquify lead, ready to be fed to the rolling mill.

 

Clarios

Clarios, Honorable Mention

Clarios, recognized as a global leader in low-voltage systems, plays a pivotal role in driving innovation within the automotive industry. By closely collaborating with automakers, the company leverages its prominent position to introduce cutting-edge technologies that support advancements in powertrain technology and vehicle autonomy. Partnering with our customers, Clarios continues designing cost-effective energy storage solutions tailored to meet environmental, safety, and electrification requirements, to add value to our customers.

The implementation of Smart AGM was truly a cross-functional effort with Company Leadership support, including engineering, sales, manufacturing engineering, product management, and etc. The team went above and beyond the technology boundaries, to revolutionize this innovated lead-acid technology.

Daramic

The needs of Daramic’s customers drive their innovation, creativity and desire to deliver impactful solutions. They do this in three steps: 1. Knowing the needs of their customer by listening and understanding their concerns. 2. Move from 2v lab research in two R&D facilities, Japan & USA, to 12-volt batteries quickly. 3. Move beyond flooded lead batteries into VRLA by leveraging the best of the low cost flooded battery and combine with VRLA performance to deliver the next evolution in separator development.

Daramic® StratosphereTM integrates the proven features of flooded, GEL, and AGM lead-acid battery separator technologies to enhance robustness, cycle life, cost and reliable battery management system (BMS) communications. This represents a significant advancement and evolution in the field of lead batteries, reinforcing their position as one of the most cost-effective battery technologies available today.

Dr. Mészáros Tamás

In the last ~30 years Dr. Mészáros Tamás worked on the innovation technologies of LA batteries (Green Accu, Akku Botond, Hungaro-Battery, Blewin Batteries, Green Lead Project, Uff, Uff2.0). His innovation, the “greenest” way from the green energy to EVs (green traffic), points out the steps that can be taken to further improve the parameters of LA batteries and the changes in manufacturing technology that can increase the utility value of the new generation by adapting technical parameters (lower internal resistance, lower mass, faster charging, reduced thermal sensitivity).

GS Yuasa Energy Solutions, Inc., Honorable Mention

GS Yuasa Energy Solutions Inc. (GYES) assembled a team of world class partner companies to develop the BESS solution. GYES is responsible for marketing GS Yuasa’s stationary battery technology in North America and is the project manager and business leader for the BESS.

The SLR battery technology was developed by GS Yuasa Engineering in Japan and is manufactured at GS Yuasa’s main manufacturing campus in Kyoto, Japan.
For the BESS Balance of Plant GYES selected additional parties to support the turkey system design and fabrication. GYES partners with: Greentech Renewables for system electrical design, Nuvation Energy for the BMS/EMS, EPC Power provides the Power Conversion System and the containers are fabricated by Module X Solutions.

Li-Metal Corp.

Li-Metal is a Canadian-based vertically integrated battery materials company and innovator commercializing technologies to enable next-generation batteries for electric vehicles and other applications. Its patented lithium metal technology, next-generation battery anode technology and production methods are significantly more sustainable than existing solutions and offer lighter, more energy-dense and safer batteries. Li-Metal’s battery materials support battery developers’ ability to power more cost-effective electric vehicles that go farther and unlock the future of transportation.

Li-Metal uses its roll-to-roll PVD anode technology to produce lithium on polymer and metalized polymer anode products. Li-Metal and Mustang Vacuum Systems Inc. (MVS), its exclusive PVD machine building partner, plan to work together to produce these second-generation products at commercial-scale. Li-Metal is also working with select customers to qualify its second-generation battery anode products and plans to begin sampling the material more broadly in 2024.

Li-Metal and MVS plan to jointly develop and operate Li-Metal’s first commercial-scale PVD machine at MVS’ facility in Florida, which is expected to be commissioned by mid 2024. Li-Metal’s first commercial-scale PVD machine aims to deliver between 1-2 million m2 of anode for use by several of its next generation battery developers working to get their B and C samples qualified.

Midtronics, Inc.

Founded in 1984, Midtronics’ entire focus is developing and producing leading edge battery management equipment and services for the global automotive industry. Our advancements in testing, diagnostic charging, monitoring, and analytics have provided value across the entire battery lifecycle in automotive, heavy truck and motor sport industries.

With curiosity and innovation at the core of Midtronics values, we focus our efforts on solving the most impactful problems for our customers. Testing batteries in service environments can be difficult and time consuming. To improve this, Midtronics focused it’s resources and innovation on providing technicians a handheld battery tester capable of unparalleled speed and accuracy. To achieve this, Midtronics developed the MVT powered by MDX-AI diagnostic technology. The MVT powered by MDX-AI harnesses our almost 40 years of experience, expertise, and innovation to enable lightning-fast battery testing while maintaining professional accuracy.

OPTIMA Batteries

With an over 40-year history of technological innovation and engineering, OPTIMA® products offer unstoppable power for extreme enthusiasts and others who require THE ULTIMATE POWER SOURCE®. In the 1970s, OPTIMA Batteries introduced the first maintenance-free lead acid batteries for commercial and military use and the first high‐performance AGM automotive batteries. OPTIMA innovation didn’t stop there, as in the past two years, they have introduced two lines of OPTIMA ORANGETOP lithium batteries — Powersports (six battery models) and Marine/RV (two battery models) — as well as three new chargers/maintainers.

The ORANGETOP is a game-changing product that has the scale to fit over 95% of powersports vehicles. The ORANGETOP brings the power, strength and performance of OPTIMA to a powersports market.

Servato Corp

Servato introduced its Adaptive Charging technology prototypes in 2013. Since then, the technology has been deployed in thousands of telecom sites, managing tens of thousands of 12v VRLA batteries, for companies such as Cox, Comcast, Frontier, Consolidated and AT&T. Servato’s systems connect managed batteries to the cloud and gather data from the batteries during rest periods that are regulated by instrument grade state of health measurements. An algorithm embedded in the remote device uses state of health data to determine the frequency and duration of the charge cycle. An average of six state of health data points are gathered each day from each battery, and when trended reveal patterns relating to performance and health. As theorized in 2012 by the late electrochemist David Boden (former advisor to Servato), we are now seeing 12v VRLAs that are 10+ years old providing 15+ hours of standy power during outages at remote telecom sites. And batteries that were lasting less than two years in hot, dry environments are now lasting 7-8 years and in some cases up to ten years. This technology has significant potential to make lead batteries more competitive with Lithium and other chemistries for standy applications.

Servato owns the patented Adaptive Charging technology and is responsible for commercializing its potential, including technology development, sales and support of customers who have deployed the technology.

Wirtz Manufacturing

Wirtz Manufacturing Company, headquartered in Port Huron, MI, has played a pivotal role in shaping the global energy storage market. Since revolutionizing Lead-Acid Battery plate making technology in 1935 (US Pat. 2,079,727), consumers have relied on Wirtz equipment for the safe and reliable manufacture of lead-acid batteries to support countless industries. From harvesting grain to delivering mail, and from navigating the golf course to navigating outer space, Wirtz has provided the technology to deploy energy when and where it is needed. With 124 active global patents, and hundreds of patents laying the framework for today’s expertise, the Wirtz advantage is unmatched in energy storage.

As a world class tooling and specialized capital equipment technology company, Wirtz Manufacturing focuses on continuous improvement and innovation. For this reason, Wirtz has leveraged the benefits of traditional gravity casting and has repackaged the technology into a groundbreaking piece of continuous casting equipment. The Gravity FlowCaster offers a clear advantage in operational safety, manufacturing cost, industry sustainability, and product performance compared to historical casting methods.

Chris Pruitt

It absolutely makes economic sense to create a sustainable product with a circular life cycle…

Chris Pruitt, CEO and President, East Penn Manufacturing