[20 February 2017, Hong Kong] Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (‘ASTRI’) and Zhongke Laifang Energy Technology (Hong Kong) Limited (‘ZKLF (HK)’) have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint laboratory to drive R&D for next generation energy storage systems which are safe, efficient, and eco-friendly. The lab will seek to orchestrate ASTRI’s scientific and technological expertise with the market-proven capabilities of ZKLF (HK) in the field of storage power products.
This partnership will explore the development of new and innovative energy storage systems through R&D in areas like key materials research, process optimisation, battery power source and module design. Joint efforts from ASTRI and ZKLF (HK) are expected to focus on aqueous zinc-lithium-manganese batteries – providing power storage systems that are not only technologically sound and efficient, but also environment-friendly. The new storage systems will have 25% larger volumetric energy density compared to conventional lead-acid batteries. It will contain no heavy metal pollutants, thereby minimising bio-hazards and environmental pollution. Potential applications will be wide ranging including light electric vehicles, start-stop power source for passenger vehicles, grid energy storage system, and communication backup power sources.
Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony, Mr Wong Ming-yam, BBS, JP, Chairman of the ASTRI’s Board of Directors said, “ASTRI strives to develop advanced technologies to support the socio-economic development of Hong Kong. We have ample experience in carrying out R&D work in areas like electronics components and lithium-ion battery materials. Through the establishment of this joint laboratory, we hope to bring about technology breakthrough to the industry.”
Mr Pan Zhonglai, Chairman of ZKLF (HK) said, “We are very pleased to collaborate with ASTRI to develop the new energy storage systems. These systems can greatly minimise environmental hazard and pollution resulting from the production process of lead-acid storage cells, which currently accounts for around 60% of the market. The new energy storage systems will help us move closer to a lower-carbon industry, thereby, achieving sustainable development and economic growth for the society.”
While the initial focus is on the aqueous energy storage system solutions, the partnership will be expanded to other types of next generation energy storage and multi-market products and solutions in future. It will allow ZKLF (HK) to take advantage of ASTRI’s state-of-the-art R&D facilities as well as the latter’s high-calibre technology professionals.
According to a report from the lead–acid battery branch of the China Electrical Equipment Industry Association, the energy storage market in Mainland reached a total market value of circa RMB 150-160 billion in 2015. With an export market size of circa RMB 20-25 billion, the total market value was around RMB 170-180 billion in 2015. The partnership between ASTRI and ZKLF (HK) therefore promises a world of potential in terms offering better, technologically superior, safer products to this huge market.
Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) was founded by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research. ASTRI’s core R&D competences in various areas are organised under seven Technology Divisions, namely Communications Technologies, Electronics Components, Mixed Signal Systems IC, Advanced Digital Systems, Opto-electronics, Security and Data Sciences, and Intelligent Software and Systems. Five areas of applications including financial technologies, intelligent manufacturing, next generation network, health technologies, and smart city are identified for major pursuit. For further information about ASTRI, please visit www.astri.org
About Zhongke Laifang Energy Technology (Hong Kong) Limited (‘ZKLF (HK)’)
Zhongke Laifang Energy Technology (HK) Limited (ZKLF(HK)) is the subsidiary of Chengdu Zhongke Laifong Energy Technology Changzhou Company Limited (成都中科來方能源科技常州有限公司) (“ZKLF Changzhou”) for the development of environmentally friendly aqueous new energy storage system, specifically set up in Hong Kong. Adhering to the core concept of safety and environmental protection, the company is committed to aqueous battery research, development and production of new materials and dedication to create value for customers.
ZKLF Chengdu has in-depth cooperation with Chengdu Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (中國科學院成都有機所) and Nanjing University (南京大學). It has a strong research and development team and the ability to obtain more than 30 international and domestic patents. Through mastery in aspects of the research, it has transformed a number of scientific research into the production capacity, and achieved good social and economic benefits.
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Dr Frank Tong, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI (2nd from right) and Mr Wang Xuejun, Chief Executive Officer of ZKLF (HK) (1st from right) sign the agreement to establish the joint laboratory of ASTRI-ZKLF (HK) New Energy Storage System Joint Lab with the witness of Mr Wong Ming-yam (1st from left), BBS, JP, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ASTRI and Mr Pan Zhonglai (2nd from left), Chairman of ZKLF (HK).
Senior management and representatives from ASTRI and ZKLF (HK) attend and witness the Agreement Signing Ceremony.