Today’s R&D successes are the springboard to future competitiveness. Therefore, the mission of Saft’s 475-person strong R&D community is to develop efficient, safe and high-performance battery systems that meet specific customer needs, bringing them near-term benefits while aiming to reduce the environmental impact.
Lithium-ion technologies, the major growth area for Saft, represent over 70% of the company’s R&D investment. Saft is now a multi-chemistry Li-ion battery provider. Activities are now focused on the improvement of existing and development of new chemistries and new cell formats for next-generation solutions. Considerable effort has gone into the development of the Super PhosphateTM lithium-ion technology, including software to predict and manage performance, lifetime and safety. Another R&D team is focusing on a prismatic cell using lithiated nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide cathodes.
Multiple chemistries, multiple solutions
Primary lithium represents another area of significant growth opportunities for Saft. The R&D teams are therefore working on improving traditional primary lithium solutions as well as bringing upgraded products to market. Meanwhile, R&D engineers continue to enhance Saft’s nickel-based alkaline batteries to offer customers greater benefits.
Saft R&D teams have also further intensified a systems development activity to integrate power electronics and software to offer customers complete, customized solutions. This has demanded an expansion of the R&D skills into electronics, algorithms and battery system management software. The Systems Development Unit is working, for example, on Energy Storage Systems that offer more energy and more power at a more competitive price.