New generation FLA battery by Axion Power

DavidinNicaDavidinNica Registered Users Posts: 14 ✭✭✭
Has anyone out there heard of or tried these out?

These are a new generation(3rd+?) of FLA but are a PbC battery(Lead Carbon). AGM style of battery designed to be discharged deeply and with a rapid discharge rate. They look promising but I'd love to hear from the battery experts on here about this new tech and whether it has any merit.


  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: New generation FLA battery by Axion Power

    To me it sounds as if there are plates sandwiched together almost like capacitors, or lithium batteries, yet are supplementing Lead carbon between the plates, and using a lot less dense lead.
    So there will be more electro chemical reaction within the layers of "carbon".
    Sounds as if it won't be lighter than lithium batteries in proportion to density but will weigh less than standard AGM's and lower resistance to charge.
    Also sounds like less headache, with less complex charge equipment when compared to Lithiums.
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: New generation FLA battery by Axion Power

    Things may look promising, but can you actually get your hands on one to test unless you are in the railroad business? The links bring up pages that look more like corporate forward-looking statements seeking to attract investors and licensing their proprietary tech. Ok cool. I see lots of "we believe" rather than some hard data which may be located elsewhere.

    There are other PBc batteries out there (essentially agm's with either carbon or graphite added to the negative grids). Within 10 minutes down the street at my local auto parts store, I can get my hands on an Exide Edge PBc agm that uses graphite for the additive.

    Then again, I'd rather use a dedicated RE battery for solar than one that is designed primarily for the motive-power SLI , stop/start, micro-hybrid market.

    And when it comes to rapid recharge, I'd like to see some data please. This will immediately let one know if there is any hope of competing with pure-lead agm's, (Enersys comes to mind) which can take unbelievably high charge currents.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: New generation FLA battery by Axion Power
    PNjunction wrote: »
    Things may look promising,

    Prospects are all ready looking promising.
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: New generation FLA battery by Axion Power

    Ok, maybe I should have gone into a little more detail as to why a PbC battery is a mis-application for most solar uses...

    The PbC battery is an improvement beyond standard SLI batteries, designed mainly for micro-hybrid vehicles. (Or shoe-horned into applications that mimic this). It is still not designed for deep-discharge. But what is micro-hybrid and why does it not apply to a typical solar installation?

    In this case, micro-hybrid is kind of a misnomer. The vehicle is a standard ICE vehicle, but is one that stops and starts the engine while traveling, (that is at stoplights and such) and still has to provide some energy to the vehicle during that brief off period. Hybrid as applied to energy supplied to the propulsion system is not designed in. You don't see them much in North America right now, but in Europe and elsewhere, (anti-idle laws and so forth) some conventional vehicles have been converted or designed for this type of starting application. This is what the investors want you to bank on.

    Light-hybrid - no regenerative feedback from braking
    medium-hybrid - vehicle has regenerative braking
    heavy- vehicle has regenerative braking and high current draw

    A standard flooded SLI battery will quickly fail under these short-cycle conditions. The PbC is merely trying to cut down on the batteries tendency to go into a high internal resistance under these types of loads. Standard AGM's are an improvement, yet they still face severe short-term cycling and heavier loads while sitting at a stop-light (lighting, computers, radio, etc etc).

    This also means that one need low internal resistance during it's lifetime to charge quickly with a high charge-acceptance rate from stoplight to stoplight more or less.

    You'll also see that Exide, who has actually brought PbC batteries to the common man, has something interesting in their marketing. A new rating scheme got patented since under these micro-hybrid conditions, the typical CCA rating has less meaning. What they proposed seems to be some sort of "17.5% DOD" rating and with marketing graphs as well. At first, I was wondering just what the heck that was. Who knows if that rating scenario will be accepted by the industry or not.

    Just be aware of charts, graphs, and marketing that may include the characteristics that agm's *already have* over conventional flooded, and concentrate on the real meat of the issue - improved grids that can take short-cycling and heavier charge currents than normal. Many agm's already have this ability, but the claim here is that the carbon / graphite grids will take this kind of abuse better.

    However, in the case of heavy hybrids (still we're talking standard vehicles with stop/start engine functions while traveling, and not the kinds of hybrids we think of today), some may mix both lead-acid for the stop/start function, and then Li types for the lighting and electrical needs during the stoplight off period.

    At the end of the day, it is still a battery designed for vehicles and NOT a deep-cycle battery as we are accustomed to dealing with in solar. Contrast this to lead-crystal agm's, where they improve the electrolyte, and not the grids per se. In either case, be sure to be cognizant of the attributes that standard agm's already have to sift the chaff from the wheat. :) On top of this, price/performance, manufacturing quality, distribution and the like all have to be taken into consideration, and not just the technology alone.

    The proposed 17.5% DOD rating says a lot about what you are really dealing with.

    Right now I'm goofing with a mis-application of an Exide Edge agm. Normally an SLI battery put into a solar mis-application only wants to see no more than 5, maybe 10% DOD max on a regular basis, or at least if you want to start your car later. But now, I'm taking the Exide PbC SLI down to a whopping 20 - 25% DOD regularly just for fun and charging it with my 80w panel/cc combo. It can be done, but there's almost no point to it when RE deep-cycle batts are available.
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