Hi Charege Acceptance PbC Batteries for Low-Cost, High Efficiency Micro-Hybrid Vehicles: A Dual-Mode Architecture Approach

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
09 b
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Axion Power International, Inc.
3601 Clover Lane, New Castle, PA, 16105-
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Enders Dickinson
(724) 654-9300
Business Contact:
Lisa Herrington
(724) 654-9300
Research Institution:

Axion Power intends to pursue the development and laboratory demonstration of a dual-mode micro- hybrid vehicle energy system architecture based on the combination of Axion Powers high charge acceptance PbC battery and a standard leadacid battery. This split-function approach, where the vehicles electronic load during stop-start events is discharged from the PbC battery and the engine crank load during start events is discharged from the leadacid battery, has the potential to significantly increase the fuel efficiency of micro-hybrid vehicles far beyond the few percent possible today. The architecture of the PbC battery encompasses the removal of the lead negative electrode in a leadacid battery design replacing it with the proprietary Axion activated carbon negative electrode. This replacement eliminates the mechanism that produces lead sulfate crystal growth during micro-hybrid vehicle operation. This revised structure eliminates the severely limited charge acceptance of the lead acid battery, while still utilizing its low-cost manufacturing methods and ancillary materials. The resulting PbC lead-carbon hybrid battery/super capacitor has the charge acceptance required to support frequent long duration stop-start events, and in so doing, can provide a means to low-cost, high efficiency, micro-hybrid vehicles. Axion Power will determine the fundamental electronic circuitry required to operate the batteries in tandem, as well as configure laboratory test circuits to provide the loads simulating the vehicles starter, alternator, and electrical system. Axion Power will adapt the existing de facto charge acceptance test protocol (DKE EN 50341-6, the Dynamic Micro Hybrid Test, or DMHT) to the dual-mode battery configuration and determine the feasibility of the split-function PbC/leadacid battery approach. This work is intended to maximize system charge acceptance and allow automotive manufacturers to design more efficient, less emission producing vehicles that will meet the pending EPA CO2 emission regulations. The stable charge acceptance and long cycle life of the PbC battery will result in long term benefits to the consumer and the environment, and will help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. The effort to achieve large-scale adoption of highly efficient, affordable, and safe hybridized vehicles is made difficult by both the reduced charge acceptance of existing low-cost battery technologies (leadacid) and the safety concerns and higher cost of more advanced battery chemistries (Li-ion). In order to reach environmental health and energy conservation goals, these roadblocks to widespread acceptance of commercial vehicle hybridization must be addressed. Efficient, safe, low-cost micro-hybrid vehicles based on the combination of the high charge acceptance PbC battery and the efficient cranking power of the leadacid battery. The resulting combination dual-mode, split-function micro-hybrid architecture, will be demonstrated first on the laboratory scale and then in full size micro-hybrid vehicle prototypes. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The dual-mode vehicle energy system architecture can bestow on micro-hybrid vehicle technology the innovation tools required by the automotive industry to meet the DOE goals for energy, environment, and economic benefit.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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