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Posted on April 22, 2011 by  & 

New military supercapacitor funding

At the forthcoming Electric Vehicles Land Sea Air, next generation supercapacitors (ultracapacitors) for electric vehicles will be revealed by presenter Nanotecture. ADA Technologies, Inc. has been awarded a $70,000 contract from the U.S. Army to begin Phase 1 of the development of an electrochemical supercapacitor (ultracapacitor) for use in hybrid military vehicles. ADA's developmental work will be performed with assistance from Maxwell Technologies, the company behind the commercially-available line of Boostcap ultracapacitors.
Douglas Campbell, ADA's research and development program manager, outlined the developmental goals of the U.S. Army-funded project, stating:
"We expect the successful completion of this Phase I research to lead to development of ultracapacitors with the energy and power densities needed for military applications.
In addition, these ultracapacitors will have safe operation over a wide temperature range and excellent cycle life, making them unique in the market."
There is progress in making supercapacitors do more of the energy storage function in electric vehicles given that even the most optimistic forecasts show lithium-ion traction batteries improving in gravimetric and volumetric energy density by a factor of three in the next decade. This is inadequate for many planned vehicle rollouts as is the limited life of these batteries - well short of the 20+ years of a supercapacitor, though batteries have superior energy density.
Curiously, today's lithium-ion battery life is often their calendar life, regardless of use. However lithium sulphur and other third generation traction battery technologies from companies such as Oxis Energy may do better. Electrode chemistry from The Dow Chemical Company also seems to be a significant advance as is Valence Technology with lithium iron phosphate traction batteries of inherently better safety and temperature range.
Another aspect comes from the fact that half the space, weight and cost of a traction battery pack can be circuitry rather than cells and Flexible Electronics Concepts is showing how these can be printed except for highest currents, where Rogers Corporation's Directly Bonded Copper DBC replaces bent rods of copper.
Also attend the IDTechEx event Electric Vehicles - Land Sea Air Europe 2011 in June where Dow, Oxis Energy, Valence Technology and exhibitor ABSL are among those that have something to say on military batteries and energy storage and a large number of vehicle manufacturers will share experience including ones that make or develop military electric vehicles such as EADS, Daimler AG, GM (subsidiary Adam Opel is presenting) and Tata (Tata Motors Europe is presenting).

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Posted on: April 22, 2011

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