Global car-makers will be in for a surprise next week (30 Jan 30 - 2 Feb) with a range of exciting new battery developments rolled out at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference in Mainz, Germany.
And while a variety of technologies will be vying for attention, the most impressive new developments are coming from the world of lead— the very first rechargeable battery technology— reworked to deliver more energy and power, with less weight and longer life for current and next generation start-stop cars.
Start-stop technology, where conventional internal combustion engines (ICE) can be shut down at traffic lights and re-started by the battery, which is then re-charged by the kinetic energy of the car without plugging into the grid, is now a standard of all ICE vehicles. This outpaces sales of pure electric and hybrid electric cars. In fact start-stop technology is expected to make up more than 80% of the entire European automotive market by 2020.
The new developments, promoted by the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) which is presenting and exhibiting at AABC, centre on the addition of state-of-the-art carbons to lead batteries which improve what is known as “Dynamic Charge Acceptance” (DCA) — a battery’s ability to accept recharge from a car’s alternator or generator many thousands of times during the start-stop duty cycle. More than a dozen scientists from research institutes and battery firms all over Europe will show their findings on lead battery enhancements in a conference track dedicated to lead technology, which until recently was perceived by many to have limited future potential..
While advanced carbon technology has been in development for the last decade, it is only now that car manufacturers are taking a long-term interest because lead still has two major advantages— it is still the lowest cost battery technology available and has a near 100% recycling rate.
Alistair Davidson, ILA Products and Sustainability Director, said: “The future for lead battery technology is very exciting as it can compare very favorably with lithium-ion in terms of cost, performance and recycling.”
And the development story is far from over according to Dr Boris Monahov , ALABC Program Manager: “We are just beginning to understand the interaction between lead and carbon at the molecular level using new investigative analytical techniques. These are going to yield even greater performance improvements in the next few years…lead is far from dead.” he said.
About the ALABC
The Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium is an international research co-operative comprised of lead producers, battery manufacturers, equipment suppliers, application developers, and research facilities organized to enhance the performance of lead batteries for a variety of markets, including hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) applications. A program of the International Lead Association, ALABC pools the resources of its global membership in order to perform specific research on advanced lead batteries that otherwise would not be possible by any single entity. For more information about the ALABC, visit www.alabc.org.
International Lead Association (ILA)
ILA is the trusted and authoritative global trade association for the lead industry. Its member companies are at the forefront of lead mining, smelting and recycling and through ILA are working towardsa vision of a sustainable global lead industry that is recognised for the positive contribution it makes to society.
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