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New Chairmen Lead Strategic Discussions at ALABC Steering Committee Meeting

A Review of the Spring 2014 ALABC Steering Committee Meetingin at the BCI Convention in San Diego

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New Chairmen Lead Strategic Discussions at ALABC Steering Committee Meeting

A Review of the Spring 2014 ALABC Steering Committee Meetingin at the BCI Convention in San Diego

The ALABC welcomed two new chairmen and gave membership a look at the future of its R&D program at the recent Steering Committee meeting last week in San Diego, CA, the site of the Battery Council International’s 126th Annual Convention.  Dr. Tim Ellis of RSR Corporation, who was elected as the new ALABC Chairman, and Paul Kolisnyk of Teck Metals, who was approved as the new Chairman of the ALABC Public Affairs & Marketing (PAM) Committee, both led discussions at the semi-annual meeting on the program’s recent successes and its strategic direction moving forward.

The New Chairmen
At the previous Steering Committee meeting in Singapore last September, Dr. Ellis was chosen to step in as Interim Chairman to fill in for exiting Chair and long-time ALABC champion and leader Dr. David Prengaman, whom Ellis had been shadowing for several years.  Dr. Ellis has an extensive scientific and technological background and more than 15 years of proactive participation in ALABC meetings and management.

During his presentation, Dr. Ellis discussed the current state of the Consortium and confirmed that he is currently working with ALABC President Dr. David Wilson and ALABC Program Manager Dr. Boris Monahov to develop a new strategic plan that will continue the successful work of previous ALABC programs but also maintain a focus on the impactful research and development work of the Consortium.  

Kolisnyk was brought into an interim role at the start of 2014 to lead the PAM Committee after former Chairman John Likarish of Doe Run announced he would be stepping down at that time.  As the current Association Liaison for Teck and a long-time supporter of ALABC marketing initiatives, Kolisnyk was considered a strong candidate for the PAM Chairmanship and has been (along with ILA Executive Director Andy Bush) a leading advocate of strategic planning for the Consortium’s marketing and communications activities.  PAM representatives also supported his candidacy at the Committee’s April 29 meeting.

PAM Strategy, the NG Partnership and a New Proposal
Following election of the chairmen, ALABC Marketing & Communications Manager Chip Bremer provided an update on PAM activities, including the development of a strategic plan for ALABC’s marketing and communications activities.  The plan was discussed extensively during a PAM Committee meeting the previous day.  

John Howes of Redland Energy then presented on a new partnership resulting in the Natural Gas Hybrid Vehicle demonstration project and the strategic alliance with Atlanta Gas Light Resources and Southern California Gas Company in addition to ALABC members RSR, East Penn Manufacturing and Electric Applications Inc.  The partnership, which will be highlighted in an upcoming issue of Keeping Pace, will feature two phases of demonstration in which a lead-carbon battery will be combined with a natural gas start-stop light duty truck to offer low fuel costs and optimized fuel efficiency.

Included in the program was an informative presentation by Dr. Sarah Hartmann from one of ALABC’s newest members, Fraunhofer Society ISC.  Dr. Hartmann gave a brief introduction to her company and discussed a proposal they had submitted recently, in collaboration with Moll Batterien and Ford Motor Company.  The proposal would study the influence and interactions of carbon and organic additives on the microstructure and power output of lead electrodes in order to improve dynamic charge acceptance of enhanced flooded batteries for micro-hybrid vehicle applications.  The proposal will be considered for the standard ALABC voting procedure in the current R&D program.

State of the ALABC Program: Present and Future
After a brief break, Dr. Boris Monahov provided a comprehensive update on the ALABC program, including membership analysis, financial status, status updates on completed and ongoing projects, and a list of recent breakthroughs in lead-acid batteries.  He also provided a review on the research project proposals received in response to the RFP announced at the end of 2013, as well as their current status, and initial analyses of the ALABC technical roadmap, including a revised Ragone plot. While details of the presentation are reserved for the Steering Committee members, Dr. Monahov was extremely positive regarding the research results from the current ALABC program and the potential of today’s lead-acid and lead-carbon technology to be market competitive in HEV and energy storage applications.

Following Dr. Monahov’s presentation, Dr. Ellis provided his insights on the direction of the ALABC program, moving from a full SWOT analysis and transitioning toward a technical road map to lead the Consortium’s R&D direction.  Dr. Ellis stressed in his presentation that past ALABC breakthroughs, such as the development of lead carbon batteries, are the foundation for future successes and the Consortium must continue to move forward.  In parallel with Dr. Ellis presentation, Mr. Kolisnyk spoke on the merits of the PAM committee’s recent planning discussions and the need for strategic initiatives to move the ALABC forward.

Minutes and presentations from the ALABC Steering Committee meeting will be made available to Steering Committee representatives only via email.  Similarly, minutes of the PAM Committee meeting will be distributed to PAM Committee members.  For additional information, contact Anita Wright at [email protected].