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Changing shape of active mass may boost lead-acid tech

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 14:02 -- Paul Crompton
Changing shape of active mass may boost lead-acid tech

A British research team aims to redesign battery electrodes to boost the efficiency of lead-acid batteries for use in electric vehicles after receiving a government backing.

The University of Sheffield has received £100,000 ($123,000) to study ways of improving lead-acid batteries from the UK’s Engineering Physical Sciences and Research Council (EPSRC).

Dr. James Green, the project’s principal investigator from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University leads the project it collaboration with the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) and Controlled Power Technologies (CPT).

The main interests of the study are making the active mass utilisation more uniform across the battery’s plate to develop more complex electrodes, and improving efficiently, Dr. Green told BBB.

Modeling work will be processed in COMSOL Multiphysics, a finite element analysis, solver and simulation software, to investigate further extended battery construction.

Dr. Green told BBB that they are also going to do “some practical experiments using ‘green’ and ‘dry charged’ plates”.

However, the lead acid battery enhancement is not the only focus for Dr. Green. He is looking for some key underlying principles of electrode optimisation for most battery systems.

The cost of production is the main consideration for lead-acid battery manufacturers. But, changing the shape of the battery and redesigning the process might increase costs rather than reduce it.