In today’s fast-paced world, storing energy in new and improved ways has become almost a necessity. Feasible energy storage is just as important as efficient production and use of energy. That is why a group of researchers from the Imperial College London led a group of nine companies to develop a carbon fiber covered, lithium battery.
The results of the research have proven to be quite fruitful. The final product charges faster than conventional batteries. Besides this, the battery is able to be molded into different shapes due to the carbon fiber structure, meaning it can be incorporated into the the body of the vehicle with greater ease.The carbon fiber, besides adding flexibility, also makes the structure stronger. Volvo claims that this new system of energy storage can reduce the weight of a vehicle by 15%. This weight reduction will also make the car more fuel efficient and hence reduce the damage to the environment.
This new storage material consists of carbon fiber, nano structured batteries and super capacitors. It offers a lighter structure which saves on weight and volume, while allowing for a range of cost effective structural options and is also eco-friendly. The battery can easily be recharged by the power provided whenever the brakes are used or the car is accelerated. Funded as a part of an European Union project, the project’s academic head was the Imperial College of London along with the following eight organizations:
- Nanocyl, NCYL, Belgium
- Swerea Sicomp AB, Sweden
- Volvo Car Group, Sweden
- Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung BAM, Germany
- ETC Battery and FuelCells, Sweden
- Inasco, Greece
- Chalmers (Swedish Hybrid Centre), Sweden
- Cytec Industries (prev UMECO/ACG), United Kingdom
Volvo has already started testing of the new design on it’s gasoline powered S80. They have created a boot lid and plenum cover to be used on the vehicle without using the conventional battery in the car. Together, they both have the capability to replace the standard 12V system in the car, resulting in a weight reduction of the car and consequently improving its performance.
Surface of the battery
The new boot lid of the S80
Preparation of the new StorAGE boot lid
Fitting of the StorAGE battery
Attaching the new plenum cover