Axion Power explains the lead-carbon interplay in its PbC batteries

Axion Power energy storageLast week, Axion Power International CEO Richard Bogan and vice president of engineering Jack Shindle were interviewed on National Public Radio, 90.5 WESA Pittsburgh, discussing the capabilities and usefulness of Axion’s PbC technology.

Shindle and Bogan are referenced explaining the difference between PbC batteries and standard lead acid batteries. “The challenge with the traditional lead acid battery is that the battery never gets a chance to fully recharge and ends up operating in partial state of charge,” Shindle said. “Lead acid batteries are made of a series of negatively and positively charged lead plates.”

With PbC batteries, “instead of a negative lead plate, it uses an activated carbon plate which helps the battery better perform with a partial state of charge,” Bogan said. Axion’s negative electrodes are designed to be directly substituted for lead acid negative electrodes producing the unique benefits of the Axion carbon technology.

RELATED: Is there a PV storage solution between lead-acid and lithium ion? 

Among its features mentioned is PbC technology’s ability to quickly recharge, operate in a partial state of charge, and maintain a longer cycle life. The plates used by Axion are the same size and shape as the ones used for standard lead acid manufacturing, making them compatible for equipment in existing production facilities. “It’s a drop-in technology for anywhere in the world there is manufacturing for lead acid batteries,” Bogan said.

Axion launched their first consumer-ready products earlier this year – the DIY Off-Grid Solar Light Kit and a residential energy storage system. Bogan is clear, however, that the company does not plan to enter into mass production of its batteries anytime soon.

“Being able to license our products, that’s the direction we’re going,” he said. “We will become much more of a royalty streaming company. Selling the secret sauce, if you will.”

— Solar Builder magazine

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