Another battery hopeful is making a foray into bipolar lead-acid as the ‘granddaddy’ of the technology may close this year, sources have told BBB.
BBB was told that UK-based Ebonex Technologies, the phoenix from the ashes of Atraverda, is likely to close by the end of the year.
Meanwhile US scientists have made lightweight bipolar lead-acid batteries using conductive plastic plates in what could be a boost for the chemistry.
Integral Technologies subsidiary ElectriPlast has unveiled a 12V bipolar battery design based on a plate core made of highly conductive loaded resins with metal and lead-covered surfaces.
The resin conducts like metal, but has the insulation properties of plastic.
“The moulding process for our bipolar battery allows us to produce a nearly unlimited number of 3D shapes and sizes which allow the bipolar plate and integral structures to be executed in any desired embodiment,” said Bob Pavlovic, vice-president of Engineering at ElectriPlast.
“The inherent conductivity of ElectriPlast eliminates the need for conductive vias or other means to connect electrically to two sides of the plate.”
The plates can also be used as ‘drop-in’ replacements for some existing quasi bipolar plates, and because there is no need to use top lead to connect the plates, the weight is reduced by more than 50%.
It means the technology could be applied in sectors such as motorcycles, golf carts and forklift trucks as well as stationary applications such as flow batteries. Integral Technologies CEO Doug Bathauser said he was working with lead-acid battery manufacturers but could not reveal which ones.
“We are seeing the most interest in applications where size is a premium, such as electric motorbikes, golf carts and wheelchairs,” he said.
“We are also seeing strong interest for grid storage.”
Bathauser said the technology was commercially ready and a pilot production line was in place, meanwhile sources told BBB that Ebonex Technologies, the phoenix from the ashes of Atraverda, was likely to close at the end of the year.