University of Glamorgan and Atraverda to Partner on Bi-Polar Lead-Acid Batteries; Potential Application in Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
The University of Glamorgan (Wales) and Atraverda, an advanced material company that owns the intellectual property rights to a conductive ceramic known as Ebonex, are collaborating to produce a commercially viable bi-polar lead-acid battery. They made the announcement at the opening of the UK’s first Advanced Bi-polar Battery Development research facility.
The partners say their work could lead to lead-acid batteries that are up to 40% lighter, 20% smaller, have 40% more energy capacity and twice the lifespan of traditional lead acid batteries. The batteries also use up to 50% less lead and produce 80% less CO2 during the manufacturing process. Bi-polar batteries are 100% recyclable and will be significantly cheaper than other battery types under development such as lithium technologies.
|Bi-polar lead-acid batteries approach the storage densities of NiMH, but at lower cost. Source: Atraverda. Click to enlarge.|
The technology has the potential for use in a wide range of applications including the automotive industry and particularly the development of hybrid and electric vehicles. But bi-polar battery packs also have the potential for use in telecommunications, providing uninterrupted power supplies, stationary power and renewable energy power storage, both solar and wind applications.
Under the collaboration Atraverda will provide their bipolar substrates containing their proprietary Ebonex conductive ceramic material, which will be packaged into a unique battery system developed and tested using the expertise of the University. Ebonex is the registered trade name of a range of titanium suboxide ceramic materials, typically Ti4O7 and Ti5O9, which combine electrical conductivity with high corrosion and oxidation resistance.
A “significant number” of prototype batteries will be developed in the first year which will then be commercially tested by Atraverda and associated partners.
|Conventional mono-polar lead-acid battery (left) and bi-polar (right). Source: Atraverda. Click to enlarge.|
Bi-polar lead-acid batteries. A bi-polar lead-acid battery is made up of a stack of bi-polar electrodes connected in series. Each electrode, except the monopoles at each end, has one side of a conducting partitioning wall covered with porous lead (the anode); the other side (the cathode) is covered with porous lead dioxide.
Since current can pass only through the end electrodes, it flows perpendicular to all electrode surfaces at uniform current density and the active materials will be efficiently utilized with a minimum of internal resistance.
The size of plate, paste material, paste thickness and loading utilization determines capacity of the bi-polar cells, which can be connected in parallel to increase capacity.
Keith Ellis, Andrew Hill, John Hill, Andrew Loyns and Tom Partington (2004) The performance of Ebonex electrodes in bipolar lead-acid batteries. Journal of Power Sources Volume 136, Issue 2, Pages 366-371 doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2004.03.025
A.C. Loyns, A. Hill, K.G. Ellis, T.J. Partington and J.M. Hill (2005) Bipolar batteries based on Ebonex technology. Journal of Power Sources Volume 144, Issue 2, Pages 329-337 doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2004.11.048