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Nano-dimensionality: A Way towards Better Lead–Acid Batteries

Lead-acid batteries (LABs) in micro-hybrid vehicles typically operate under high-rate partial state-of-charge conditions (HRPSoC). This duty is quite challenging as it involves short durations of charge and discharge at high current rates. Conventional LABs when subjected to this duty fail prematurely due to progressive sulfation of negative active-material (NAM). Similarly, LABs in solar PV systems operate under partial state-of-charge conditions (PSoC) and here sulfation is of greater concern. In recent years, various additives to the NAM have been proposed to overcome the problem of sulfation that results under HRPSoC and PSoC operations. In this regard, nanotechnology and nanostructured materials offer great promise because of the unusual properties endowed by confining their dimensions and by the combination of bulk and surface properties to the overall behaviour. This presentation discusses the effect of zero-dimensional, one-dimensional (with varying tube diameter and size) and two-dimensional (with varying thickness and crystallinity) nanomaterials (as NAM additives) on the performance of LABs operating under HRPSoC cycling conditions. The results show that 1-D tubular morphology helps in developing a significant 3-D conductive network within the NAM matrix, as compared to 0-D and 2-D nanomaterials and thereby supresses the sulfation rate and enhancing the cycle-life of a LAB. Clearly, nano-dimensionality has opened a new domain of possibilities in the progressive development of LABs, particularly for HRPSoC applications.

Sundar Mayavan

Senior Scientist, CSIR-Central Electrochemical Research Institute

Sundar Mayavan has a PhD in Material Science & Engineering from the University of South Australia. He has more than 10 years of research experience in the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials for energy devices. Sundar is currently the leader of both the Lead–Acid Battery Group and the Battery Performance Testing and Evaluation Centre at the Central Electrochemical Research Institute in Karaikud, India.