Case study from ALLOTROPE Power Systems: New high-power energy storage devices
OREANDA-NEWS. April 20, 2016. Through Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) funding, Basingstoke-based SME ALLOTROPE Power Systems (a spin-out of MAST Carbon) has successfully demonstrated a process to produce a functioning pseudocapacitor (an energy storage device) using its high surface area carbon support technology combined with standard battery materials. The pseudocapacitor combines battery levels of energy density with capacitor rates of charging.
Due to difficulties in production, the pseudocapacitor is currently under-exploited, despite its advantages for many applications. Now, ALLOTROPE Power Systems has been able to use a new design and production method that can translate the energy storing properties of traditional battery materials into a device capable of high discharge power.
This opens the door to a range of novel energy storage devices, which offer an improved energy density over supercapacitors, with higher power capability than lithium-ion batteries. Potential uses could include the hybrid car sector, rapid-charge consumer items such as power tools, as well as offering new capabilities to space-based applications and uninterruptable power sources.
Pete Wilson, Project Lead, ALLOTROPE Power Systems says:
The funding from CDE allowed us to pursue a technological theory to the point of a successful proof-of-concept, which was otherwise beyond the capability of our organisation. Put simply, the funding has opened an exciting new opportunity in advanced energy storage.
Next steps for the project include optimising materials to create a useable cell, which could offer real commercial viability through a unique matching of power and energy density, cycle life and cost.
MAST Carbon was founded in 1995, specialising in applications requiring high-precision activated carbons. It has grown to 17 employees and collaborates on projects focusing on filtration, catalysis and energy storage. In 2008 MAST Carbon was brought into an EU FP7 program to advance supercapacitors as the energy storage buffer in hybrid vehicles. After the project, the group moved into MAST Carbon International to continue development and focus on commercialisation, from this, ALLOTROPE Power Systems was formed.
CDE funds novel, high-risk, high-potential-benefit research. We work with the broadest possible range of science and technology providers, including academia and small companies, to develop cost-effective capabilities for UK armed forces and national security.
CDE is part of Dstl.