Manufacturing batteries based on the highest quality and with sustainable management of energy
Even now, the majority of energy storage materials in use in many areas of industry and logistics will be based on lead acid batteries. For decades now, these have proven their capability in industrial and in logistics applications.
SYSTEMS SUNLIGHT S.A. is one of the World’s leading manufacturers of energy storage products. It specialises in the development and production of batteries and energy storage systems for industrial and advanced technology applications.
SYSTEMS SUNLIGHT’s main centre of business is in Greece (Athens). They have one of the world’s most modern, automated industrial plants for battery production which is to be found in the north of the country, in Xanthi. The works site covers an area of 200,000m², comprising more than 60,000m² of production floorspace.
Highest standards of quality
Following a fire which devastated the old works in 2018, the production plant was redesigned from scratch and was up & running in the shortest possible time. The incident itself constituted one of the most serious of its kind at a European level, resulting in a major claim on the Greek insurance marketplace. Production capacity had been completely restored by the end of May 2019 and has continued to increase ever since then.
Lead acid batteries and lithium ion-based energy storage systems are manufactured on four production lines at the new works, where manufacturing is governed by strict process control and quality assurance. Everything is controlled according to the most stringent European and international standards applying management systems for Quality (ISO 9001:2008), Environment (ISO 14001:2004), Occupational Health and Safety (BS OHSAS 18001:2007), Anti-bribery (ISO 37001:2016) and Compliance (ISO 19600:2014).
So this is how SYSTEMS SUNLIGHT applies the main core values of its corporate philosophy. These values include sustainability, long service life and the highest product quality.
Collaboration and partnership
The business relationship between SYSTEMS SUNLIGHT and BENNING has been in place for approximately 15 years. Since then, the Greek company has placed its trust in BENNING’s reliable and robust systems that are “Made in Germany”.
When the majority of the battery production equipment in Xanthi was destroyed on 1st of May 2018, it became the prime objective to begin rebuilding and to restore production readiness as quickly as possible.
Thanks to the reliability and remote-control facility offered by BENNING systems, combined with their assurance of prompt delivery, it was BENNING that won the order to fit out the entirety of the new industrial premises with the type BFS 2000 battery formation and testing systems. The first systems to be constructed were delivered after no more than three months’ planning and production time. The entire project was completed in 2019 and comprised the supply of 120 units of the following types: 270V/500A, 30 of the 270V/300A type systems and the various equipment corresponding to the specifications of 18V/3500A, 520V/1800A, 18V/6000A/1500A and 36V/7500A/1500A.
Making quality conspicuous
Subject to proper maintenance and correct use, lead acid batteries offer a service life of between 1,000 and 1,500 charging cycles. Operators wishing to obtain the ideal return on their investment are best advised to obtain high-powered, long-lasting energy storage media in order to achieve the above-mentioned level of service life.
Regrettably, the quality of a manufactured battery cannot be assessed externally, and the measurement of acid density or cell voltage are relatively basic methods of measurement which are not adequate to achieve an accurate assessment.
The solution is a procedure referred to as the “capacity test”. For this, we start by fully charging the battery and then discharging it at a defined current value down to the level of switch-off voltage. This method makes it possible, subject to taking account of certain variable conditions, to determine residual capacity.
For several decades now, BENNING has been manufacturing specialised battery formation and testing systems for undertaking the above-described test procedure. These power converters enable reliable testing and can be used for purposes of the formation procedures entailed in the manufacture of batteries. They are equally suitable for routine testing of both new and used batteries.
Handheld controller: German-language abbreviation “USR-SPS”
Using the USR-SPS handheld controller, individual charging or discharging stages, and sub-programs, can be transmitted directly to the PSE on the power converter, independent of the central, master computer.
Instantaneous operating statuses together with current and voltage values corresponding to the ongoing stages are shown on the display, together with the charge or discharge values in terms of ampere hours. If control is being managed from the central, master computer, then the inputting buttons will be locked, whereupon the unit will merely provide display.
Sustainable handling of energy
The BENNING BFS 2000 systems cover the functions of charging and discharging in a single unit. During the charging procedure, energy is drawn from the grid and fed to the battery in a fully controlled manner.
In order to avoid the non-productive cost of waste energy that would arise if the power removed from the batteries in the discharge process was merely converted into heat, the BENNING BFS 2000 systems operate as two-way converters such that the energy is fed back into the grid. The power that has been taken out is fed into the on-site grid and, in this way, can be efficiently put to use supplying other consumers.
Accordingly, the operator saves power and expense thanks to the advanced mode of operation of the BENNING BFS 2000. And it also makes good environmental sense to feed energy back into the grid, especially when undertaken regularly, as is the case in the standard production of the batteries for energy storage.
Quality certification that’s backed up by test records
In practice, it’s a straightforward matter to operate the BENNING BFS 2000, because all formation and testing functions take place via software management.
Up to 625 systems, made up in groups of 25 units, can be managed and monitored thanks to this management software. It is possible to select a range of characteristics, for example, Ia, IU, IUa, IUIa, Wa and PUa. It is also possible to ramp the current up or down.
The detected measurement values are automatically stored and recorded. This means that all information is available in electronic form for reports. This comprehensive record of battery status, which includes the stored measurement values and reports, can then be used for fully documented certification of the condition of the manufactured battery.
Following the complete commissioning of BENNING’s BFS 2000 systems, the SYSTEMS SUNLIGHT company is able to claim ownership of one of Europe’s largest battery production facilities. Accordingly, the company is assured of the maximum continuity of production and cost-effectiveness in the formation of accumulators and their performance testing. It can give its customers the assurance of guaranteed, cost-effective energy storage media comprising the greatest of performance and length of service life.