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January 17, 2008

UltraBattery combines a supercapacitor and a lead acid battery

The CSIRO in australia [national science agency] has developed the UltraBattery, which combines a supercapacitor and a lead acid battery in a single unit, creating a hybrid car battery that lasts longer, costs less and is more powerful than current technologies used in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). The UltraBattery has a life cycle that is at least four times longer and produces 50 per cent more power than conventional battery systems. It’s also about 70 per cent cheaper than the batteries currently used in HEVs


UltraBattery hybrid car that has lasted over 100,000 miles.


The car driving around the test track

The capacitor and battery combination is the same one successfully used by AFS Trinity to make an inexpensive system ($8700 in production) for a 150 mpg plug in hybrid SUV.


“Passing the 100,000 miles mark is strong evidence of the UltraBattery's capabilities,” Mr Lamb said.

“CSIRO’s ongoing research will further improve the technology’s capabilities, making it lighter, more efficient and capable of setting new performance standards for HEVs.”

The UltraBattery test program for HEV applications is the result of an international collaboration. The battery system was developed by CSIRO in Australia, built by the Furukawa Battery Company of Japan and tested in the United Kingdom through the American-based Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.

UltraBattery technology also has applications for renewable energy storage from wind and solar. CSIRO is part of a technology start-up that will develop and commercialise battery-based storage solutions for these energy sources.


AFS Trinities system allow batteries to avoid excessive resistive heating by using ultra-capacitors as pools of rapid energy. The proprietary control electronics of the Extreme Hybrid not only keep the batteries within safe resistive heating limits, but also extend battery life.

CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia's national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

The UltraBattery test program for HEV applications is the result of an international collaboration. The battery system was developed by CSIRO in Australia, built by the Furukawa Battery Company of Japan and tested in the United Kingdom through the American-based Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.

The CSIRO press release

The Supercapacitor work of the CSIRO

Supercapacitors allow manufacturers to use smaller, lighter and cheaper batteries. This replaces the current, inefficient practice of fitting oversize batteries to cope with sudden surges in power.

Supercapacitors have superior recyclability. They can allow greater than 500 000 recharge cycles, compared to approximately 1 000 for rechargeable batteries, before there is a noticeable deterioration in capacity.

The global market for portable rechargeable batteries is rapidly expanding, with a 17 per cent increase to US$4.5 billion in 2003.


Previous work on CSIRO hybrid cars. CSIRO technologies made the ECOmmodore much less expensive than previous hybrid vehicles.

Batteries in electric vehicles typically weigh around 500 kilograms (about half the weight of a small car). The whole power pack for the ECOmmodore (batteries plus super-capacitors) weighs 200 kilograms.


CSIRO technology previously made Holden's ECOmmodore much less expensive than previous hybrid vehicles.

UPDATE:
Firefly's carbon graphite foam lead battery seems like an excellent and scalable fit with ultracapacitors Firefly's 3D2 technology can get up to three to four times the energy density of conventional lead acid [90-160 Watt-hours/kg]. Firefly Energy claims to be on a path to raise the energy density of lead acid batteries closer to the their theoretical limit at 170 Watt-hours per kilogram, a 4 fold increase over conventional lead acid batteries.

A lead-acid battery would cost somewhere around US$50/kWh, while a VRLA (valve-regulated lead-acid) like that being used in the BMW 100 Series micro-hybrids will come in around US$150/kWh, Firefly is aiming to have their batteries priced in the US$250-300/kWh range in volume production. (20-25% of the cost of nickel or lithium batteries, 4 to 5 times cheaper)

Tthe new generation of lithium-ion batteries have energy densities of 130-200 Watt hours/kilogram.

NiMH batteries have a range of energy densities from 30-80 Watt-hours/kilogram

Electrovaya, a battery manufacturer largely for electronic goods, claims an energy density of 470 Wh/l and 330 Wh/kg for its SuperPolymer batteries.

Silicon nanowire battery with up to 10 times the electricity of existing lithium ion batteries.

UPDATE:
Alfin has a more extensive list of ultracapacitor battery combination vehicles

2 comments:

DaveMart said...

This sounds as though it would complement very well the Firefly advanced lead-acid battery, which should be able to provide extra power at reasonable cost:
http://www.fireflyenergy.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=52&Itemid=70

bw said...

I agree that would be a good and economical combination.

Any of the advanced capacitor and battery combinations would probably be good and the would eliminate supply constraints of trying to only get lithium ion batteries to work