Collaboration aims for better busbars

A new powder coating for busbars could unlock £1m in sales for HV Wooding, a Kent-based manufacturer working with Nuclear AMRC and Sheffield University on developing the process.

busbars
Image: HV Wooding

Supported by Innovate UK through the Faraday Battery Challenge, the one-year project will focus on investigating and developing alternative coating methods that will improve the performance and integrity of busbars.

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“Current coating methods are difficult to control, with a high level of components rejected because of poor quality insulation,” said Paul Allen, sales director at HV Wooding.

“There is currently no standard specification or process availability, and our new method will contribute supply chain capability and capacity for battery and energy storage applications.”

He continued: “We will develop a best practice testing method to standardise quality assurance where there is currently no international standard, and this could generate up to £1m in additional sales to our business.”

HV Wooding previously worked with the Nuclear AMRC through the Fit-For-Nuclear programme. The company will now look to maximise the centre’s advanced manufacturing methods and utilise University expertise to develop a standardised test procedure for quality assurance.

“The current busbar coating process is difficult to control and can’t currently be scaled up to meet customer demands in the UK,” said Dr Li Li, head of the Nuclear AMRC’s control & instrumentation research group. “This funding enables collaboration between a UK SME and academia to tackle a real pressing issue.”

“Powder coated insulated busbars are safer than heat shrink sleeved alternatives. They have better thermal and electrical performance alongside other benefits in compact battery design – for example saving up to 10 per cent clearance and creepage distance,” Allen said in a statement. “If the innovative and optimised epoxy powder coating process is implemented it will definitely open up new markets and will lead to new skilled jobs in our area.”