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Dong Energy Puts Some Cash into Battery Technology

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Dong Energy of Denmark unveiled a deal this week to invest in Dutch battery management system developer Lithium Balance. The company didn’t reveal how much it was investing, or how big of a stake it’s getting in Lithium Balance, only that it joined a group of unnamed investors. The new funds will allow the battery technology company to expand its operations, with sales forecast to reach into the millions in the coming year.

Lithium Balance makes battery management systems that can control the charge and discharge of battery packs, as well as the temperature. Such a management system could come in handy in cold weather, with the company touting that its system can heat the lithium-ion cells automatically to maintain high performance in the cold.

The “balance” part of the company’s name is in reference to its management system’s cell balancing, in which each cell is controlled independently, a configuration it claims can improve the life of the batteries.

Lithium Balance, which also makes smart chargers for batteries, is already working with German scooter maker e-max, electric car developer ElCar Norway, and Santa Rosa, Calif.-based electric vehicle manufacturer Zap. And it’s developing battery applications for boats and recreational vehicles, as well as for uninterruptible power supply, or UPS, systems.

Dong Energy inked a deal last year with Palo Alto, Calif.’s Better Place to bring electric vehicles and a charging infrastructure to Denmark. Under that deal, Dong Energy will work with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Better Place’s partner on a number of projects, with Renault providing the electric cars and Nissan, through its joint venture with NEC, supplying the lithium-ion battery packs.

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