Hydro's aluminium helps power the Azores

Hydro's Rolled Products is working to establish aluminium foil as an important part of power-storing lithium-ion batteries. With Swiss battery producer Leclanché, this battery foil is now being used in the Azores.

September 25, 2015
View over Graciosa, Azores

It looks and feels like typical aluminium foil used at home, but is a product of ultimate cleanliness and high-precision manufacture – and is being used in the fabrication of special lithium-ion-titanate battery cells at Hydro's customer Leclanché in its plant in Willstätt, Germany.

Lithium-ion-titanate battery cells from Hydro's customer Leclanché
(Photo: Leclanché)

Up to now, those batteries mainly come from Asia. “So we are quite pleased about our customer Leclanché succeeding in expansion of their own production,” says Rolled Products sales manager Willli Schenkel.

Foremost, the current project on the island of Graciosa, the second-smallest of the Azores in the Atlantic ocean, will serve as a reference and yield more business for Leclanché power accumulators.

On the island, a micro-network gets installed, in a unique combination of sun and wind power with storage batteries. It will increase the contribution of renewable energy to the island's annual energy needs from 15 to 65 percent. Leclanché supplies battery cells totaling 3.2 Megawatt hours.

The Leclanché process with our foil begins with applying a thin layer and cutting to size. The same happens to a corresponding foil of copper – and and they make up part a lithium-ion battery.

Thanks to the new system, the residents of Graciosa will reduce their dependence on heavy oil imports significantly. This storage system for renewable energies, in Megawatt size, is unique worldwide and will serve as reference for islands and remote communities.

Updated: September 22, 2016