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This ‘ultrabattery’ makes its commercial debut

By Paul Grad |

Ecoult Energy Storage Solutions (Sydney, Australia; www.ecoult.com) is entering the commercial and residential energy-storage markets with an “ultrabattery,” which was developed by CSIRO (www.csiro.au), with contributions from Furukawa Battery Co. (Yokohama, Japan; www.furukawadenchi.co.jp) and funding from the Australian and Japanese governments. The ultrabattery combines a lead-acid battery with a supercapacitor in a single cell with a common sulfuric-acid electrolyte. It has a single positive electrode and a twin negative electrode — one part carbon, one part lead. The carbon is the electrode of the capacitor and lead is the electrode of the lead-acid cell. The positive electrode (lead oxide) is common to the lead acid cell and the supercapacitor. The supercapacitor acts to limit the formation of lead sulfate crystals, which tend to impede electrolyte transfer. This enables the battery to operate over long periods in a partial-state-of-charge condition. A conventional lead-acid battery tends to deteriorate quickly when operated in this partial-state-of-charge condition. The supercapacitor features of the ultrabattery make it especially suitable for handling constant cycling and fast charging and discharging applications, such…
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