EastPenn (Deka) UltraBattery

bfitzgeraldbfitzgerald Registered Users Posts: 21 ✭✭
I was browsing in Wikipedia the other day and came across information about new(ish) battery technology using FLA batteries with carbon acting as a super capacitor.  Apparently these batteries can operate at less than full SOC without any damage, can be discharged to any level, and can be recharged at high rates.  The technology was developed in Australia, and EastPenn has a licencing agreement to make these things.  So far the most references for use are for grid stabilization, but there is some reference to solar power applications although those might be on the megawatt scale and for automotive (HEV) use.   

Has anyone ever seen any pricing or availability on these batteries?  From what I've read in various articles and white papers in including very favorable test results from Sandia National Laboratory these could be the batteries we need for off grid and grid tie applications.  A company called Ecoult seems to be the only distributor.  

http://www.ecoult.com/technology/ultrabattery/
http://www.ultrabattery.com/faq/ 

Brian

Comments

  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,121 ✭✭✭✭
    From a technical point of view, their explanations at both links do not make much sense.
    Supercapacitors depend on accumulation of physical electrical charge on conductive plates which are in extremely close proximity. (Such as separated only by a non-conducting molecular layer as in a conventional electrolytic capacitor. If the separator involved is the thickness of the typical plate separator for an ABM battery the available capacitance will be too small to be useful. The typical supercapacitor also has a very large plate area involving very thin electrodes.
    It may be that the ultracapacitor design in this battery is actually valid, but I have not seen anything that convinces me.

    The ultracapacitor, if valid, will only act over the voltage range below the resting voltage corresponding to the voltage drop resulting from internal resistance other than interconnections inside the normal chemical cell part of the battery.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    The big question is, can YOU get your hands on them to actually use, or are they limited solely to commercial clients?  Will you actually benefit from them in your applications as compared to normal lead-acid, or is this all conjecture?

    Advancements in lead-acid have more or less reached the end of their rope.  Along with ultracapacitors, there is the recent introduction of either graphite or carbon, which does bring improvements like lower internal resistance, and PSOC operations as well.

    One can get their hands on Trojan's "smart carbon" industrial line of Pb batts.  Or go with Exide's graphite offerings.  Both are very nice improvements worth looking into that the average Joe can get.

    Also, any distributor  that tosses out the sweeping generalization about being "safer than lithium", is a red flag for being driven solely by salesman fear-mongering (they don't even KNOW that there are different chemistries of lithium with different characteristics!) and not engineers.
     
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,498 ✭✭✭✭
    As a kid who grew up reading Popular Science and Popular Mechanics....don't hold your breath. I continue to read about a supposed major new break through almost every day. Yet little changes. Electronics grow smaller....new "medicine" is developed.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    These things exist.  Most notably, the addition of graphite or carbon to a Pb battery does make an improvement in both internal resistance, and a better PSOC type of operation.  But these guys go to "eleven" with the addition of a capacitor internally.  First seen on youtube with automotive stereo blasting contests.

    The tech has been around for a few years, and all the major players are going for the HEV, micro-hybrid (ice vehicle with engine stop-start at lights etc), grid stabilization and the like.

    Remember Axion?  Looks like a direct competitor to Ecoults stuff, unless of course it is merely a case of rebadging! :smile:

    http://www.axionpower.com/PbC_Battery_Overview

    Interesting - they too are running scared against lithium with sweeping generalizations.

    At the end of the day what matters is if you can get your hands on them, and if they actually fit your application, AND if you will benefit at all in a typical solar housebank designed for 3-5 days of autonomy. 

  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Most notably, the addition of graphite or carbon to a Pb battery does make an improvement in both internal resistance, and a better PSOC type of operation. 
    If carbon lowers the internal resistance of a LA battery, then it should lower the Peukert factor. 

    If the Peukert factor is lower, that means the amphour capacity of the battery should be increased (at any discharge rate above self-discharge).   I don't recall Trojan raising the C/20 capacities of their batteries when they added 'smart carbon'.   Also, I notice the cycle life of Trojan's 'smart carbon' batteries is no better than their previous batteries.

    What exactly does "better PSOC type of operation" mean?   I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I expect to replace my interstate batteries (made by US Battery) in 2016....  Is it worth paying extra for Trojans vs Interstate? 

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • bfitzgeraldbfitzgerald Registered Users Posts: 21 ✭✭
     Yes, there are battery manufacturers offering forms of carbon enhanced VRLA batteries.  Outback has a "nano carbon" AGM for pSoC applications. Outback claims that these batteries "can increase the life cycle of the batteries by 44% vs traditional VRLA batteries". The pSoC suitability is a good reason to have a look at these batteries.  I suspect that most premature battery failures in solar power installations are caused by operating FLA/AGM batteries either chronically undercharged or too deeply discharged, probably both.  And the inefficiency of charging regular FLA/AGM batteries to a full SoC requires a larger array due to the charging inefficiencies between 85% - 100% SoC.  The ability of a battery to survive continuous operation at partial state of charge is one of the compelling arguments for lithium chemistry batteries and possibly carbon enhanced batteries such as the Axion or EastPenn Ultrabattery if they can be acquired and at cost effective price.   

    I hope that I am a few years away from replacing my 16 FLA L-16's.  And when I do, I really hope that something better will be available. Maybe the Ultrabattery or something like it will be on the market.  

    Sandia National Lab has published numerous encouraging test reports, here is one:
    http://prod.sandia.gov/techlib/access-control.cgi/2011/118263.pdf

    Anyone interested in this stuff could have a look here as well:
    http://windandsunpower.com/Download/Lead Acid Battery Efficiency.pdf
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    The ability of a battery to survive continuous operation at partial state of charge is one of the compelling arguments for lithium chemistry batteries and possibly carbon enhanced batteries such as the Axion or EastPenn Ultrabattery if they can be acquired and at cost effective price...
    Careful - I'm not sure these manufacturer's spec the enhanced PSOC to actually mean "continuous" - ie at some point I'm sure they mean you need to fully charge every so often.

    Lithium, and commonly of the safest LiFePo4 variety, CAN operate PSOC out of the box, and in fact it is entirely best to do so all the time!  One takes on a different engineering mindset when calculating their solar needs than you do with Pb, that is always looked at from a 100-XX% DOD.  Not so with LFP, but that has been covered in other threads.

    Prediction:  Like LFP, these carbon-additive batteries will get talked to death, and immediately shut down from an upfront financial standpoint for most DIY'ers that do not look at long term, unproven tech that hasn't been run for a century or more, etc. :)

  • whiteboyleadwhiteboylead Registered Users Posts: 1
    I just bought 6 alcatel lucent 12avr145et. Used fairly new i dont know much about these except the price was good i will resell for 1000 they all work and are in good condition does anyone know what they go for new i couldn't find a price i just know its well over a thousand even used
  • mcgivormcgivor Registered Users Posts: 1,210 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2016 #10
    Whilst searching for batteries in Thailand for off grid I've noticed quiet a few Lithium Life Po4 battery systems, although that is not what I am looking for, from Fronius, Axitec,LG and Yuassa ranging from nominal 4.5 to 40.8 Kw. These are available in stock items and got me wondering why have they been common here for some time, but not in the US. My assumption is that in North America, there always seems to be a reluctance for consumers  to accept new technology and from the manufacturer standpoint, the US. is an unforgiving market, where one failure, can, in the hands of lawyers, result in bankruptcy. There is also the cost factor where the price seems often to be the bottom line, so this coupled whth reluctantly restricts new technology's being introduced. For all we know there could be lobby group interference in the marketplace as well. My views and opinions are from observations whilst living in the US and Canada for over 30 years where the questions like, why can't we get 40Mpg diesel pickup's or inverter refrigerators and so on, North America is usually 10 years behind Europe and Asia with regards to cutting edge technology.....or the acceptance thereof. Have a look
    http://shop.solaris.co.th/solar-batteries.html/
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

  • cupcakecupcake Solar Expert Posts: 251 ✭✭
    softdown said:
    As a kid who grew up reading Popular Science and Popular Mechanics....don't hold your breath. I continue to read about a supposed major new break through almost every day. Yet little changes. Electronics grow smaller....new "medicine" is developed.


    Amen..... Batteries can be made to last forever and take unlimited abuse... but the peasantry will NEVER get them for obvious reasons... this is the age of planned obselecence... the 'free unlimited energy future' projected in the 1950's is a pipe-dream (for the masses)... our REALITY is this stuff is engineered to break right on schedule and you must balance your system around this REALITY... if you are after 'new energy technology' develop it yourself for yourself AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!  That's the only way to benefit from 'new technologies', IN PRIVATE...


    :)




    ~1.5Kw PV in parallel
    Morningstar MPPT-60 controllers (2) in parallel
    3 Trojan tr-1275's in parallel 450ah total
    Samlex 2,000 watt 12-volt inverter hardwired


  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 647 ✭✭✭✭
    I just bought 6 alcatel lucent 12avr145et. Used fairly new i dont know much about these except the price was good i will resell for 1000 they all work and are in good condition does anyone know what they go for new i couldn't find a price i just know its well over a thousand even used

    I have a bank of 8 of those exact batteries off grid in Mexico. I bought them NEW, out the door for $125.00 each. $1000.00 for the set of 8. I've been very happy with them so far.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

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