New technologies maximize efficiency

The EnerSys® Bielsko-Biała factory is one of Europe’s largest traction battery plants producing over 2.2 million 2V cells per year for the Europe, Asian and Australian markets. To make these batteries, large pots (containers) are used to heat and liquify lead necessary for the battery formation process.

At the Poland factory, there are 18 pots used in this process. Because of the high heat required to liquify the lead, this process is very energy intensive. However, with proper insulation on these pots, we are able to reduce unnecessary energy losses (via heat) to the external environment.

Due to the emergence of new technologies, Łukasz Stysiak, Maintenance Supervisor; and Łukasz Morawiec, Engineering Mechanic, in Bielsko-Biała, are upgrading the insulation on these lead pots to further maximize energy efficiency.

The pots will be insulated with aerogel, a substance originally invented for space exploration to insulate spacesuits. In recent years, aerogels have been adapted for other purposes on Earth, like in manufacturing. With the upgraded insulation, the Bielsko-Biała factory will save an estimated 367MwH per year, which is roughly equivalent to running an average American home for over 36 years.

“Every little bit counts,” said Łukasz Stysiak. “We’re constantly looking for new ways to make our processes more efficient and sustainable in the most economical way possible.”

Before (left) and after (right) insulation replacement.