Start–stop vehicles have proved to be the most cost-effective way of reducing emissions in terms of grams of CO2 reduction per dollar. Virtually all of these vehicles are powered by advanced lead–acid batteries operating at medium-to-high rate partial state-of-charge cycling (M–HRPSoC). Today, these batteries have overcome the early issues they faced in this application. Battery manufacturers in Europe, Asia and the USA have learned from a number of ALABC studies and by their own research projects how to use carbon additives to the negative active mass as a way of improving dynamic charge-acceptance (DCA) to the levels required by car companies. The automotive industry now requires that water loss in advanced ‘lead-carbon’ batteries observed at high operation temperatures is kept under control. Recent ALABC studies are helping to understand how carbon influences water loss, and to find ways to suppress substantially this undesired process. Utility and renewable energy storage applications are intermittent in nature and charge and load in utility and grid support systems are highly dynamic. This requires the battery to operate at a PSoC with deeper discharge than that experienced in automotive application. Advanced ‘lead–carbon’ batteries therefore offer an excellent power source also for these applications. In addition to high charge-acceptance and low water loss, lead–acid batteries need to have very long cycle and calendar lives, and to perform well at both elevated and low temperatures. Recent ALABC studies have shown significant performance gains in this field, in addition to demonstrating much lower battery costs per kWh of energy and per cycle than competing chemistries. The presentation addresses new basic science research aimed at increasing the benefits of lead–acid batteries to ensure that the technology continues to be the power source of choice in the major automotive and energy-storage applications.
Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium
Boris Monahov holds a PhD degree in electrochemistry from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. After six years as the Chief Electrochemist of Firefly Energy Inc., USA, he became the Program Manager of the ALABC in 2010. Boris was awarded the Gaston Planté Medal in 2014 for fundamental contributions to lead–acid battery science and technology.