Innovation, research and experimentation have put Flash Battery lithium batteries on a fast track to the future in this “electric” golden age.
The topic of electric mobility has finally taken centre stage, engaging a wider public, and Flash Battery is playing a major role with its research and development work into real tangible applications and technologies in the service of businesses.
Electric and hybrid vehicles are now being produced on a larger scale and sustainable mobility is no longer just a topic of discussion at conferences. City administrations are starting to talk about it and micro electric mobility projects are even being implemented in the more virtuous cities.
Industries, too, are discovering and testing the potential of battery-powered vehicles and machines.
Two emblematic examples come from Flash Battery:
- LITHIUM BATTERIES: SYNONYMOUS WITH SAFETY
Thanks to lithium batteries, AGVs are finding their place in plants with stricter requirements, such as, for example, those used for food & beverage production.
- LITHIUM BATTERIES: SYNONYMOUS WITH ENERGY
Lithium batteries are powering street sweepers, construction equipment like miniloaders, and agricultural machinery. Until very recently, these could draw their energy only from combustion engines.
(To learn more, also read Elettric80 and Flash Battery bring AGVs to the food & beverage industry).
Electrification is becoming more and more widespread, bringing power and efficiency but also sustainability and innovation.
In fact, even the United Nations is swearing by it. During the recent COP25 conference held last December in Madrid, 3.2 billion euros were allocated to sustainable mobility. Under the plan, 17 European organisations will be directly involved in the project. One of these is Flash Battery, one of Italy’s top player in the battery and electrification field.
The project strengthens the company’s mission to offer the market a great-quality product and form partnership relationships with customers in order to give life to unique, custom projects that respond to their needs.
We asked Flash Battery how they are readying to meet the challenges of 2020, which new products they have in store and where they are focusing their innovation efforts.
Marco Righi, CEO and founder of the company, talked to us about it.
NEW PRODUCT FEATURES
Are you developing new battery versions?
Our research and development department is constantly looking into new functionalities to apply and test on our Flash Battery lithium batteries, in addition, of course, to focusing on battery architecture and management systems.
After the design stage and the tests performed all throughout 2019 on various types of cells and modules, at both the hardware and firmware levels, we will begin mass production of our new-generation Flash Battery lithium batteries in June 2020:
- we opted for Li-Fe-Po4 battery chemistry, which is safer and the best choice for industry (EVs, GSEs, industrial machinery, LGVs, AGVs)
- 35% increase in energy density
- 35% lighter and, therefore, smaller as a result
- 35% longer battery life
Are you delving into one particular functionality?
Yes. More than half of our engineers are constantly engaged in research and development activities.
For us 2020 will be the year of Advanced Predictive Maintenance.
This is a further evolution of our Flash Data Center (international patent pending), the technological heart that makes Flash Battery unique.
With Flash Data Center, we are already monitoring every Flash Battery installed across the world from our offices through predictive controls.
First and foremost, this software is designed to monitor, on a daily basis, the exact usage of each single lithium battery, whether installed in an industrial machine or electric vehicle. It enables us to eliminate stoppages and solve faults before they manifest.
The use of artificial intelligence algorithms is adding to the evolution of the software, making it possible to collect data, process possible scenarios, provide insight into situations, predict the possibility of a fault occurring and intervene on parameters before a real need arises.
Are you also researching into new materials?
In this area, we are committed to continual research into the materials of the future in order to increase the battery’s energy density and life cycle. For now, we’re sticking with lithium-iron-phosphate which, still today, is the safest and most efficient battery chemistry.
How do you envision the battery of the future?
Red, just like Flash Battery! Just playing… We imagine it as small as it can be and with longer life cycles.
FUTURE PROJECTS: RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MARKET AND CUSTOMERS
Which trade shows will you be exhibiting at?
Thanks to our partnership with Elettric80, the top manufacturer of robotised systems for industrial automation, our company will be one of the Italian players at MODEX 2020, the cutting-edge trade show for supply chain, manufacturing and distribution industries that will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from 9 to 12 March.
From 28 to 30 April, we will be at The Battery Show Europe (Hall 2, Booth C420) in Stuttgart. Along with the Electric & Hybrid Technology Expo, it is the largest European show devoted to batteries and the technologies of the future.
Are you planning to participate in other events to meet the public and encourage the use of lithium batteries?
We have a full agenda of meetings and conferences.
For example, we will be talking about the safety of lithium batteries on aerial platforms at a number of meetings organised in collaboration with trade associations, and promoting their use. A few weeks ago, we spoke at a conference on lithium at a company that manufactures DC motors.
FUTURE PROJECTS: INTERNAL ORGANISATION
You will have a bigger home this year… You’re about to move into your new headquarters, is that right?
Yes. The new industrial site located at Sant’Ilario d’Enza, will be 5 times bigger than our current Calerno headquarters.
The new complex will stand on a plot of land spanning more than 20,000 m², with 1,500 m² covered by offices and 3,200 m² by production areas. A further 5,000 m² are available for potential subsequent expansion.
€6 million have been invested in the construction of the facility, which will have room for more than 150 members of staff.
The new building was designed according to eco-sustainability criteria. No fossil fuels will be used and a photovoltaic system will satisfy most of the company’s energy needs.
Moreover, the new facility will provide our staff with practical environments for team activities and innovative research laboratories as well as with recreational and gathering areas.
We plan to be working out of the new site beginning June 2020.