Last year, the board of directors of NAATBatt International decided that, in furtherance of its organizational mission to promote advanced battery manufacturing in North America, NAATBatt would offer a series of courses to provide executives new to the industry and others interested in batteries with a basic primer on battery technology.  The initial course, titled “Advanced Battery Systems 101”, would cover the basics of battery theory and design, both of lithium-ion and lead acid batteries, and examine the considerations and processes involved in manufacturing a lithium-ion battery cell.

NAATBatt held the first Advanced Battery Systems 101 course earlier this week at the Eastman Kodak battery manufacturing facility in Rochester, New York.  About 40 people attended the course and the initial reviews have been outstanding.  John Warner of EnerDel started by describing the basic components of batteries and their history.  James Fleetwood of Battery Innovation Center followed with the theory of battery operation and a review of expected coming developments.  Paula Melichar of EnerSys next gave a talk on lead acid batteries and some of the innovations expected in lead acid technology.  Doug Morris of Polaris Battery discussed various considerations in designing improvements in lithium-ion technology.  Dan Ocorr and Matt Fronk of Kodak walked through the process of manufacturing lithium-ion battery cells and related issues.  James Fleetwood discussed the challenges of lithium-ion cell assembly.  Nick Warner of DNV GL reviewed testing and certification issues relevant to battery systems and cells.  The program ended with tours of the Kodak cell manufacturing facility and the NY BEST/DNV GL battery testing facility.

The instructors and course materials were outstanding.  Thanks to everyone who participated.  One of the most common comments we have received from attendees, including many industry veterans, was that the course filled in a lot of holes in attendees’ knowledge about batteries, in many cases holes that attendees did not realize that they had.  The Advanced Battery Systems 101 course is a valuable and unique resource.  If you did not attend it earlier this week in Rochester, you should sign up the next time it is offered.

Copies of the course materials will be made available shortly to all attendees.  They are also available to all NAATBatt members upon request, as a benefit of NAATBatt membership.

NAATBatt has a new mission:  educating the North American advanced battery industry workforce.  Based on the success of the first Advanced Battery Systems 101 course, the NAATBatt Education Committee will meet shortly to plan its next course:  Advanced Battery Systems 102.  Preliminary discussions among committee members in Rochester suggest that the 102 course will focus on battery pack and battery management system issues.  The first 102 course will likely be held in early 2018 in the facility of a manufacturer which, like Kodak, can show course attendees the actual machinery and processes they will be learning about in the classroom.

If you have an interest in serving on the Education Committee and designing or hosting future NAATBatt education courses, please contact Jim Greenberger.  Educating the North American battery workforce is an important mission and everyone in the industry can benefit by enhancing their knowledge of basic battery technology.