28 June 2021

Battery innovation: it’s in the name

Battery innovation: it’s in the name

Battery innovation is what drives us at CBI. And it’s what unites our members based across the globe. 

The last decade has seen a boom in innovation in advanced lead batteries, using novel design and new architectures to enhance the performance of traditional lead batteries for a range of applications.

Progressing from benchtop prototypes to mature products, these novel advanced lead batteries are poised for the mass market.

The unique electrodes offered by New Zealand’s ArcActive and the different bipolar technologies offered by US-based Advanced Battery Concepts (ABC) and Gridtential are just some of the examples of recent lead battery innovation.

For these developments to be stemming from our member companies is encouraging for CBI and helps us to showcase our core messages about the innovation underway in lead batteries, directly feeding into the needs of society for high-performing, reliable and sustainable lead batteries.

Beginning as a garage start-up, ABC is based in Clare, Michigan and quickly developed into a state-of-the-art manufacturing and development center. ABC's GreenSeal­® bipolar technology, which delivers increased performance, more efficient charging, longer life and reduced weight, is now licensed by seven battery manufacturing companies located across the world in the US, Europe, India and China. 

The technology touts the highest energy density (65 Wh per kg) on the market and GreenSeal® batteries also provide high power and charge acceptance. As ABC’s Chief Operating Officer, Mike Everett, said at the European Lead Battery Conference in 2020, they plan to add a medium volume production line, able to build 250,000 GreenSeal batteries annually to their facility. ABC has also been awarded a contract with the Defense Logistics Agency to develop advanced lead batteries for US military vehicles. 

ABC plans to add a medium volume production line to their facility, able to build 250,000 GreenSeal batteries

Founded in 2007, ArcActive is based in Christchurch, New Zealand and recently won the BCI Innovation Award for their AACarbon™ technology. Their novel carbon felt electrodes have demonstrated unparalleled recharge capability with some of the highest dynamic charge acceptance (DCA) values recorded for any advanced lead battery.  

At the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference in 2020 and during BCI’s 2020 Virtual Convention, ArcActive’s presentations showed DCA values of +1.4 A/Ah at the 12 V level and close to 9 A/Ah at the 48 V level. 

ArcActive’s AACarbon™ Electrodes

DCA is one of the critical work areas for CBI’s research to ensure lead batteries continue to innovate in their area to meet evolving technical demand in the increasingly hybridised automotive market. 

ArcActive’s DCA performance is quickly approaching CBI’s research goal of 2.0 A/Ah and they have developed a suite of manufacturing equipment to translate their electrode technology directly into AGM and EFB products.

Since 2010, Gridtential has made major strides in developing their flagship Silicon Joule® technology. The innovative silicon wafer substrate combined with the bipolar technology has helped to enhance lead batteries across almost every performance metric.

The Silicon Joule technology provides improvements in energy density, power density, recharge efficiency, and cycle life, especially at deep depth of discharge (DOD). 

Gridtential’s Silicon Joule™ technology

The silicon wafer electrodes utilize common semiconductor high-throughput manufacturing processes to generate high quality battery current collectors. Silicon Joule batteries can be manufactured leveraging existing production equipment, so they're ready today to meet the worldwide demand for safe and sustainable energy storage. 

With 12 battery partners, Gridtential have just announced a series of groundbreaking AGM reference batteries produced on East Penn Manufacturing’s prototype line, beginning with a single-block 24V lead battery optimized for deep-cycle applications.

Combined with a CBI research project looking to develop plug-and-play systems for the solar residential market, Gridtential is a leading player for lead battery innovation.

This is just a snapshot of the innovation underway in the global lead battery industry. Combining the expertise of industry partners with universities and research institutes is the basis for CBI’s research program to deliver the next generation of advanced lead batteries. 

Find out how we’re propelling innovation with a range of ground-breaking research projects here.

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