Better dynamic charge acceptance
= Better fuel economy
= Lower carbon emissions
With improved DCA, Lead Acid Batteries are the obvious battery solution for today's mass market vehicles
ArcActive's proprietary carbon technology - AACarbon - delivers vastly superior charge acceptance at low costRead more
The electrical system in the car is powered by the alternator, which, in turn, is driven by a belt which is driven by the engine. In this way, the car's fuel is converted into electricity.
In broad terms, automotive engineers want to disable the alternator as often as possible, and have the battery support the electrical loads. If the battery is then recharged using the alternator, the fuel saving benefits are limited – fuel is still being converted into electricity. The fuel saving benefits are strongly enhanced, however, if the battery can be charged by converting kinetic energy available when the car is braking, and storing the energy in the battery. This energy is “free”.
The ability to recover the kinetic energy available during braking is, however, only as strong as the weakest link in the system, and right now, the weakest link is the battery. While cars may be able to generate currents of 80 to 120 amps for the 5-10 seconds of a typical braking event, a state-of-the-art Lead Acid Battery is only able to store a maximum current of around 30-40 amps.
So this is why DCA drives fuel economy:
Another key fuel saving technology is “idle elimination” or “start/stop” - when the car is at rest, the engine is switched off. Sounds simple, but this feature is incredibly challenging for the battery:
With start/stop it is therefore relatively easy for a car battery's state of charge to become so low that, if not managed, it could result in the car not starting after a start/stop event. Automotive companies naturally protect against this possibility and ensure that the condition of the battery is continually monitored. If the battery is approaching a low state of charge, the start/stop functionality is disabled until the battery recharges. While allowing the car to re-start, this clearly disables the fuel saving possibilities. Thus the better the car battery's DCA, the greater the number of stop-start events, and the greater the fuel saving.
Since 1881, lead battery electrodes have had a standard configuration; a lead grid with a lead paste inserted into it. There have been many, many improvements to the base invention over the years, but the fundamental architecture has been retained.
In 2009, Associate Professor John Abrahamson envisioned a different way to make a lead battery negative electrode, using a carbon fibre fabric instead of the lead grid, and inserting the same lead paste into this fabric. The concept was to overcome sulphation, by allowing lead nanoparticle generation on the carbon fibre surfaces as the battery is charged and discharged, and from this, retain fine lead (and lead sulphate) structures within the electrode - thereby overcoming sulphation.
While the use of carbon additives in lead acid batteries is not new, the ability of carbon to improve DCA has only recently been recognised and is one of the highest priority research topics in the industry today. ArcActive's approach is unique - we employ a carbon fibre fabric as the structural and electrical framework for the electrode's active material. While there are many innovations incorporated within ArcActive's electrode, the use of a carbon fibre fabric not only allows ArcActive's electrodes to contain much higher carbon content (by unit mass), but the electrochemically active, permanently electrically connected carbon fibre dramatically constrains sulfation (the agglomeration of lead sulfate particles) and allows for the regeneration of the fine lead and lead sulfate structures with use. This is one of the keys to ArcActive’s sustained DCA performance.
ArcActive has actively engaged in IP protection since it's inception and today holds issued product and process patents in many of the World's major automotive and battery markets.