Northern Lighthouse Board awards framework agreement to Saft for maintenance-free Ni-MH batteries
News Release from:
14 July 2011
Following a competitive tendering exercise the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) has awarded Saft a 4-year framework agreement to supply state-of-the-art rechargeable nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery modules for an ongoing programme of modernization and overhaul of lighthouses and solar buoys around Scotland and the Isle of Man.
The framework agreement covers the supply of Saft’s 12 V NHE Ni-MH battery modules, with capacities ranging from 100 Ah to 3,000 Ah according to the specific application. They will be installed by the NLB at a number of offshore buoys and lighthouses to provide energy storage for solar power systems and as standby power at mains powered sites.
A total of seven batteries will be delivered in 2011, with the first installations at Barra Head lighthouse – the southernmost of the Outer Hebrides and Pladda lighthouse – off the south east corner of Arran. Ni-MH modules deliver reliable service for a minimum of 15 years For NLB’s solar powered sites, the battery system is required to store sufficient energy from the photovoltaic (PV) modules in the spring and autumn months to ensure reliable operation throughout the winter. This calls for a battery with both low rate charging efficiency and high cycling capability. Saft has engineered a battery solution for this application based on its NHE Ni-MH battery modules.
They provide excellent energy density combined with a high cycle life, are fully recyclable at the end of their life and offer an extended service life of at least 15 years that easily meets NLB’s requirement for life expectancy. Sealed for life Ni-MH design reduces service visits The NHE module is sealed for life, requiring no topping up with distilled water. This significantly reduces the need for service visits to remote sites, saving on maintenance costs and reducing potential disturbance to wildlife. Lightweight Ni-MH modules are safer and easier to transport Ni-MH batteries are lightweight, compact and non-spillable. This makes them much easier and safer to transport to site by boat or helicopter than conventional batteries, and they also take up less space within the buoy or lighthouse. NHE modules are around half the weight of a leadacid battery that would be used for this application. So the potential saving in weight can be hundreds of kilogrammes.