East Penn Manufacturing has signed a commercial arrangement with New Zealand-based ArcActive to further develop carbon fibre electrode technology for lead batteries.
East Penn chief operations officer Bob Flicker (pictured) said the move will allow the lead-acid producer to “scale up the manufacture and testing of batteries” using ArcActive’s electrodes.
“This innovation could change the way dynamic charge acceptance (DCA) is thought of within lead battery technology,” Flicker said.
ArcActive was spun out of a lab at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury in 2011. The company says its technology “delivers world-leading levels of DCA for lead batteries”.
East Penn said the initial application for ArcActive technology is batteries for micro-hybrid vehicles (MHVs)— “a market projected to be worth more than $6 billion annually by 2020”.
MHVs use a start-stop system, where the engine turns off when the car comes to a halt and restarts automatically when the brake is released. It may also have regenerative braking technology.
Higher levels of DCA allow more of the available energy from regenerative braking to be stored— meaning the battery can reliably service the vehicle’s electrical loads at the same time as greater fuel economy is achieved, the companies said.
The partners are also committed to “exploring other applications” for ArcActive’s electrode material, including batteries for supporting renewable energy generation and motive power.
East Penn operates the largest single-site, lead battery manufacturing facility in the world in Pennsylvania.