A new article by Prachi Patel-Predd in the December 2008 edition of IEEE Spectrum (http://spectrum.ieee.org/dec08/6991) examines the often-overlooked lead-acid battery — souped up with a variety of ultracapacitors or supercapacitors — as a less expensive solution for a variety of energy storage challenges. The most obvious is providing power for individual transportation (cars), whether EV, PEV or HEV.
According to the article, the new lead-acid batteries would cost a quarter as much as the expensive NiMH batteries in use now, and a good deal less than the much-talked about Li-ion batteries that seem to be on everyone’s lips these days.
Reference is made to East Penn Manufacturing Co in Lyon Station, PA, (http://www.eastpenn-deka.com/) and to Axion Power International Inc* in New Castle, PA (http://www.axionpower.com) . Axion’s PbC battery replaces lead with nanocarbon on the anode. Advantages of the lead-acid battery with ultracapacitors include almost 100% recyclability, comparable power and cycling capability, long life, ease of manufacturing, and prices that are a small fraction of the cost of more exotic batteries.