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  • Axion Power Concentrator 202: Jan. 24: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications Norfolk Southern [View instapost]
    You just reduce the charge voltage to 13.8V instead of 14.0, 14.4, and 14.8V. This is a pretty simple change and some chargers will do this already (high temp setting on AGM charger).

    Ed.
    Feb 3 11:46 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 201: Jan. 22: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications [View instapost]
    Thermal runaway is still a big issue for LFP. Fisker http://nyti.ms/S4W6Ps vehicle fires are occurring and they use LFP batteries:

    http://nyti.ms/S4W6Ps

    GM was testing A123 batteries when their battery lab burned down. Fire started in the A123 battery.

    http://aol.it/WpL7FR

    Putting Fe in a battery intentionally is very scary to anyone that has worked on lithium ion battery safety.
    Jan 29 04:59 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 202: Jan. 24: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications Norfolk Southern [View instapost]
    Xtreme power is really frustrating to me. It is the old Eagle Pitcher Horizon battery (lead acid) and they never will admit it.

    Compare this:
    http://prn.to/14mYjPr

    With this:
    http://bit.ly/WwqJA5

    And they catch fire too. Just ask Dynapower...
    http://bit.ly/MF8TqM

    Ed.
    Jan 28 04:16 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 202: Jan. 24: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications Norfolk Southern [View instapost]
    I would not put any stock in the carbon additive batteries to Ultrabatteries. As one person put it from Ford Research in Aachen Germany, carbon additive batteries or the Ultrabattery do not perform as well as a standard AGM battery.

    I've been asked by a few people to put my money where my mouth is on these topics. I am now running a small R&D lab in Tennessee manly for lithium ion and supercapacitor materials development (I've had to go where the money is). I would be happy to have these batteries built (maybe by Axion?) and then test them. The truth needs to come to light here.
    Jan 28 04:11 AM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 202: Jan. 24: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications Norfolk Southern [View instapost]
    Yes. Not all capacity can be recovered but lots can.
    Jan 28 04:11 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 202: Jan. 24: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications Norfolk Southern [View instapost]
    Interesting 787 presentation from NTSB:
    http://1.usa.gov/14mXANW
    Jan 28 04:10 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 202: Jan. 24: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications Norfolk Southern [View instapost]
    I think I answered the PbC vs Ultrabattery differences yesterday. If you still don't see it in this thread, let me know and I will repost.
    Jan 28 04:09 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 202: Jan. 24: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications Norfolk Southern [View instapost]
    Common theme, here is the post again:

    So while I was at Axion, we presented quite a bit of data about this topic at conferences. The Ultrabattery combines lead and carbon on the negative electrode and the PbC battery only has carbon. At first glance you might think the Ultrabattery is a good idea, lots of energy from the lead in the negative and through in some carbon to add power. Sounds great. Doesn't work.

    The reason for this is pretty simple, lead has a great discharge capability owing to the fact it oxidizes like a champ (gives up electrons very easily). So, although you can charge the carbon, you have to pretty much discharge the lead part of the negative down to nothing in order to get the energy you put in the carbon out. Basically the carbon is dead.

    Another issue we found is that the carbon material at the extreme low potential of the lead in the negative electrode, the carbon will hydrogenate or more simply picks up hydrogen. Ok, let's back up a little bit, if you mix two materials and put them in the same electrode (i.e. lead and carbon) they are touching eachother and so they have to be at the exact same potential. The carbon material has little capacity compared to lead and so while there is a combination of lead and lead sulfate in the electrode, you will be pinned to the extreme low potential of the lead (-0.3V vs SHE). This is very similar to ice and water. If they are found together (and you stir a bit) the water will be held at 0C. You have to melt the ice before it can change temperature. This is the same with lead and lead sulfate. If you want to go below -0.3V vs SHE, you electrode has to be all lead. If you want to go above -0.3V vs SHE the electrode has to be all lead sulphate. Combining lead with carbon doesn't work because the carbon material has a very sloping voltage profile. It just doesn't work.

    Another, probably bigger problem, is that the potential is too low for the carbon material when combine with lead/lead sulfate at -0.3V. The structure of the carbon changes from SP2 hybridization (graphite structure very conductive) to SP3 hybridization (diamond). The former is an excellent conductor and the later is an excellent insulator. When it changes to the insulator form, it stops it's ability to pick up electrons and becomes electrochemically dead. Axion has showed this many times.

    The PbC battery gets around this by eliminating the lead. Axion only goes to 2.3 volts per cell instead of the normal 2.4 volts per cell of a lead acid to keep the negative away from this dangerous potential.

    Ok - that was a lot for a first post. If something is unclear, send me some questions and we will get it resolved. This point is very important.

    One thing that I have always longed for is a good paper comparing the two battery technologies. This would really show the differences between the two
    Jan 28 04:08 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 202: Jan. 24: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications Norfolk Southern [View instapost]
    When I left 2 years ago, they had one line that was close to making 100 batteries a day. They built a second line to build 100 batteries a day that was more automated.

    Are they making at least 100 PbC batteries per day now? If not, when?
    Jan 28 04:08 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 202: Jan. 24: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications Norfolk Southern [View instapost]
    DCA is very good for NiMH and Lithium Ion. But Ni is expensive and you have thermal management issues with lithium ion. For example, lithium ion battery life is control by two things - voltage and temperature. Fully charged (4.2V) and hot 65C, lithium ion fail in a few months. Not good. But 65C is hot say the lithium manufacturers however at hot temperatures, say above 45C, you are not going to get more than a couple of years out of them. You get lots of days in the US when the ambient temperature is 40C. Now you start doing lots of regen pulses and discharge pulses for launch assist (5C stuff for the technical people here) and now you have a 5+ C temperature rise in the cells and you are in the short life zone. This is the problem. As the cells die, their resistance goes up, heating rates go up, and the problem exacerbates itself. Not good...

    Real life data - look at the Nissan Leaf. Lawsuit by owners says they see a 27% loss in capacity in year one in southern climates. YIKES!

    See Leaf issues:
    http://aol.it/14mXbv3
    Jan 28 04:08 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 202: Jan. 24: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications Norfolk Southern [View instapost]
    There is at least one study that I know Enders presented that showed when the batteries were intentionally connected at different SOC and cycled together, the conformed to the same SOC. This is truly unique to the PbC technology. AGM and lead acid will have some overcharge tolerance due to gasing and recombination but PbC seems to be very good here. This is important for many applications and eliminates the need for expensive and complicated charge clamping BMS systems like what is needed for lithium ion and supercapacitors.
    Jan 28 04:07 AM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 202: Jan. 24: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications Norfolk Southern [View instapost]
    Thank you for the warm reception.
    Jan 25 08:46 AM | 18 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 202: Jan. 24: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications Norfolk Southern [View instapost]
    Maxwell clearly has a profitable business mainly selling modules for hybrid buses and cells for wind turbine pitch control. They also sell a module into the automobile industry through Continental for voltage support during cranking for start-stop cars.

    Maxwell is building a new plant in Arizona. Lishen, the maker of Maxwell's 350F cells for wind turbine pitch control systems, pulled the customs information and found out they are installing equipment to produce 350F cells themselves. There seems to be no intent to replace Belkin that produces the 3000F cells for hybrid bus modules largely because they bring the cells back to Maxwell to assemble into systems (no threat). However, Lishen was getting more involved with selling cells to Chinese wind turbine pitch control systems and I think this threatened Maxwell. In any event, Lishen and Maxwell could be on a collision coarse. If Lishen starts making and selling their own cells, this could hurt Maxwell's business.

    Another potentially dangerous issue is that Maxwell stole the patent rights to the modules for hybrid buses from ISC. ISC went bankrupt but before that ISC and Maxwell had a clear agreement that said all things module belonged to ISC and all things cell belongs to Maxwell. A clever European figured this out and snatched up ISC in bankruptcy. If he enforces the agreement, Maxwell could have to pay royalties. Watch out for that bomb shell...
    Jan 25 03:21 AM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 202: Jan. 24: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications Norfolk Southern [View instapost]
    So while I was at Axion, we presented quite a bit of data about this topic at conferences. The Ultrabattery combines lead and carbon on the negative electrode and the PbC battery only has carbon. At first glance you might think the Ultrabattery is a good idea, lots of energy from the lead in the negative and through in some carbon to add power. Sounds great. Doesn't work.

    The reason for this is pretty simple, lead has a great discharge capability owing to the fact it oxidizes like a champ (gives up electrons very easily). So, although you can charge the carbon, you have to pretty much discharge the lead part of the negative down to nothing in order to get the energy you put in the carbon out. Basically the carbon is dead.

    Another issue we found is that the carbon material at the extreme low potential of the lead in the negative electrode, the carbon will hydrogenate or more simply picks up hydrogen. Ok, let's back up a little bit, if you mix two materials and put them in the same electrode (i.e. lead and carbon) they are touching eachother and so they have to be at the exact same potential. The carbon material has little capacity compared to lead and so while there is a combination of lead and lead sulfate in the electrode, you will be pinned to the extreme low potential of the lead (-0.3V vs SHE). This is very similar to ice and water. If they are found together (and you stir a bit) the water will be held at 0C. You have to melt the ice before it can change temperature. This is the same with lead and lead sulfate. If you want to go below -0.3V vs SHE, you electrode has to be all lead. If you want to go above -0.3V vs SHE the electrode has to be all lead sulphate. Combining lead with carbon doesn't work because the carbon material has a very sloping voltage profile. It just doesn't work.

    Another, probably bigger problem, is that the potential is too low for the carbon material when combine with lead/lead sulfate at -0.3V. The structure of the carbon changes from SP2 hybridization (graphite structure very conductive) to SP3 hybridization (diamond). The former is an excellent conductor and the later is an excellent insulator. When it changes to the insulator form, it stops it's ability to pick up electrons and becomes electrochemically dead. Axion has showed this many times.

    The PbC battery gets around this by eliminating the lead. Axion only goes to 2.3 volts per cell instead of the normal 2.4 volts per cell of a lead acid to keep the negative away from this dangerous potential.

    Ok - that was a lot for a first post. If something is unclear, send me some questions and we will get it resolved. This point is very important.

    One thing that I have always longed for is a good paper comparing the two battery technologies. This would really show the differences between the two.
    Jan 25 03:20 AM | 30 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 202: Jan. 24: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications Norfolk Southern [View instapost]
    The system would not be working for most of the miles while the truck is running on the highway. Just during start/stop, regen, and launch assist. Correct?

    PbC batteries also benefit from being equalized. We found that after 100,000 miles if you could just charge the batteries for 36-48h continuously, then most of the capacity could be recovered as you break up sulfate on the positive electrode. Automobile companies wouldn't consider this but I bet the ePower truck could have such an option to just plug it in for a few days when the truck was down in maintenance or just off the road (weekend?). This could greatly extend the life.
    Jan 25 03:20 AM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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