Bulgarian lead-acid battery manufacturer Monbat is considering taking a manufacturing license for a novel lithium-ion/supercap automotive starter battery designed by Olife.
Czech developer Olife is currently testing a 12V lithium iron phosphate/supercapacitor system designed to offer a reliable lead-free operation in freezing temperatures and necessary cranking current for automotive start-stop applications.
The 30Ah unit comprises four blocks of eight parallel-connected A123 lithium-ion cells, with each block of 3.2V connected in series to form a 12.8V battery. Six Maxwell supercaps are connected in series, mounted at the top of the power pack.
BEST understands Monbat is among a number of other companies currently discussing licensing opportunities, with a view to manufacturing early next year.
Olife’s R&D director Mike McDonagh told BEST: “The basic manufacturing methods have been ironed out and prototypes are being made. There are already tests underway to verify the performance and determine the operational limits.
“Field trials are underway as well as laboratory tests which include internal facilities and external accreditation companies. We may have some results to publish in Q1 2015.”
Olife expects the cost of its power pack to be higher than an AGM lead-acid battery, but believes lifetime costs will provide better value overall.
The Czech firm claims 30% more power capacity than market-leading AGM batteries in the first two to five seconds of operation. During testing, McDonagh says maximum current draw peaked at around 0.8 seconds and lasted for about 0.2 secs. “The Olife battery gave a significantly higher voltage 12.3V compared with 9.5V for the AGM”.
Olife’s IP relates to the combination of the properties of the components as a solution to the microhybrid problem of charge acceptance. In addition Olife, which is seeking investors, has developed knowhow in the fabrication of the battery including unique material combinations.