Xefro and European Circuits to adapt Graphene into innovative heating system
Xefro has employed the services of European Circuits Limited to design and manufacture the electronics for their ground-breaking heating system. Test systems are currently under trial, but Xefro confidently expects this to be the world’s first commercial heating system using the new wonder material, Graphene.
Graphene has been selected by Xefro for the heating element because of its potential for extremely efficient energy transfer. This is the basis of their expectations of reduced energy costs of up to 70%.
The Xefro heating system will consist of a central heating controller which will communicate via RF signals to a hot water controller and to the various zones, each zone consisting of a radiator or at least one heating element with AC power controller and separate temperature sensors. The user interface for the entire system will be via a mobile app.
All of the electronics for the system have been designed and produced entirely at ECL’s Glasgow-based facility. ECL offers the following services: PCB manufacture, PCB assembly, test, box build and design. It is one of the few companies that can provide this type of integrated service in the UK.
Graphene is being widely hailed as the latest wonder material with limitless potential applications across a wide spectrum of industry.
Why use Graphene for a heating system?
The answer is simple - Surface Area. If we want to turn electrons into heat then we want all of that heat to get out into the room, not to go on heating up the heating material where it is wasted and reradiated inefficiently.
- High surface area = generates heat efficiently
- Low thermal mass = instant heat, no wastage
- High conductivity = electrons travel at 1/10 the speed of light
100% of the electrical energy used by the Xefro intelligent heating system is converted into heat. As a result it is highly efficient, delivering significant energy and cost reductions.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.