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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/P002935/1
Title Higher Power Density Lead Acid Batteries
Status Completed
Energy Categories Energy Efficiency(Transport) 50%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Energy storage) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr JE Green
No email address given
Electronic and Electrical Engineering
University of Sheffield
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 16 January 2017
End Date 15 February 2018
Duration 13 months
Total Grant Value £100,806
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region Yorkshire & Humberside
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr JE Green , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , European Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (0.000%)
Project Contact , Controlled Power Technologies Ltd (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract This research is about batteries used in hybrid cars. Most batteries consist of three main parts: a positive electrode, a negative electrode and an electrolyte. The electrodes are connected to the terminals of a battery and allow electricity to flow in and out; charging and discharging the battery. The electrodes are covered in "active material", which reacts with the electrolyte to release or store electrical energy in the form of chemical bonds. In older car batteries, it used to be possible to top up the electrolyte by adding de-ionised water; however, modern batteries are generally not made this way for automotive applications any more.Lead acid batteries have been used in vehicle ignition systems for more than 70 years. They are safe, reliable at low and high temperatures, easy to recycle and can have a long working life. In the last decade, several car manufacturers have started selling hybrid electric vehicles, such as the Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. These vehicles, and others like them, store some energy in a battery. There are several approaches to how the energy is stored, but a common one is to store energy when the driver slows down and release it when the driver accelerates. This evens out the demand on the internal combustion engine and saves fuel. Lead batteries have not been used in a production electric car yet, but have been used in several test vehicles.Some lead acid batteries have been used in prototype hybrid vehicles and then dismantled to observe how they aged. This has shown that battery electrodes do not age evenly. A number of researchers have proposed various designs of battery electrode to make the electrode age more evenly and therefore use the battery as efficiently as possible. These designs have mostly been limited to situations in which the electrodes are flat or are coiled into a spiral shape. Even in a spiral shape, the distance between the electrodes is more or less constant (they are parallel). There is little appetite among battery manufacturers to move away from parallel plates because it is believed that the cost of production will increase or that production will be more difficult and expensive.However, CO2 targets are now at such stringent levels that every effort must be made to maximise the use of renewable energy sources or secondary energy sources (like rechargeable batteries). Transport (excluding international air travel) is responsible for about a quarter of CO2 emissions. Therefore, considerable overall CO2 reduction is possible by focusing on automotive applications. Of course, any improvements in this area are applicable to other areas, such as domestic electricity storage from wind turbines and solar panels. If it can be shown to be advantageous to vary the geometry in a test battery and a single manufacture takes up the design other manufacturers will follow or risk being at a commercial disadvantage. This research will change the shape of lead acid battery electrodes to make the battery age more evenly under most circumstances. This will ensure that the battery is as light and small as possible. This research will also investigate the feasibility of manufacturing more complex electrodes to ensure that the output of the work has practical value. The idea of geometry adjustment of battery electrodes is not limited to Lead batteries. With suitable consideration it is likely to be amenable to most battery types including Lithium
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 13/11/18