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January 21, 2008


Cyril R.

That makes sense as a low cost hybrid. Certainly, letting the ultracapacitor take the strain will make the lead acid last longer.

Using Firefly's may be a bit more expensive but would probably make for even better performance and life.

Still, they could probably mass produce these things quickly and make a difference relatively soon.


I like this. Sounds promising for hybrids, which is all they're claiming. Plug-in hybrids need higher energy density, so there's still a need for advanced batteries.


JohnF: interestingly CalCars plugin Prius kit uses leadacid abtteries. Although I tend to agree with you that higer energy density should be important.


Ideally, such batteries would be used in mild hybrid applications first (stop-start) and in huge numbers (read: all new produced cars). This would lead to ~5% reduced fuel demand in 10 years (depressing, I know).

Once economies of scale are established (~3-5years), these batteries would be used in full HEVs in mass. Broad HEV acceptance would result in a ~25% reduction in fuel demand from current levels.

This would occur as (second generation) biofuels and GTL come online reducing our fuel demand ~35% from current levels. If we act fast, we can prevent the major shocks of a post Peak Oil world.

For what its worth, I see tremendous potential in GTL mainly because the process is based on methane which can readily be sourced from biomass and waste. The Shell GTL process produces a very consistent, clean, and stable synthetic fuel that lends itself to use in diesels or diesel PHEVs. A recent post on this site showed a study indicating that methane from waste/biomass could replace all of Europe's imports.

Said methane can be sourced from waste dumps or anaerobic dig esters. Alternately, I've read about thermal de-polymerization which is significantly faster, has a smaller footprint, and, supposedly, is much more efficient. Search for Startech.

Jack Mastbrook

Is anyone aware of the new activated carbon technology patented by XXXX Inc.? (USPT).

This process uses activated carbon and vastly improves it's porosity and conductivity.

It can be used in ultracapacitors and for water purification (capacitive deionization)

We are presently working with overseas investors to utilize this technology.

The process yeilds carbon which is far superior to Aerogel and much less costly to produce. We are seeking investors to improve the manufacturing repeatability which uses a Hot Isostatic Press.

Harvey D


Any good reasons why combo super-caps + lower cost batteries could not be used in affordable PHEVs?

Super Caps + Firefly Lead batteries could make a very good lower cost ESSU for many PHEVs. Inital short duration heavy discharge + high breaking energy recouperation could be handled by the Super Caps, keeping the batteries higher energy for extended cruising speed.

The proper combination + effective controls could extend batteries life considerably.


I don't see anything holding back supercapacitor/battery combos. I do, however, see lead acid batteries being limited to HEVs. 80wh/kg just won't cut it for a PHEV. 220lbs of batteries will only give you 8kw/h of energy. Electrovaya's "doped" li-ions can do 30kw/h at the same weight.


What's the real reason for keeping lead acid? I think the supercapacitor sent the lead acid battery companies into a panic and they managed to get a deal so their old technology would still live for a while to give them time to adapt. And because they are still using lead acid, the battery will require replacement sooner than later. But still they manage to pass it as a great idea.

Jack Mastbrook

Cyril, I have not heard from you concerning my answer to your question.

I was not aware that I was not supposed to put a company's name on the posting. It was removed. The patent number is stil there, however.

I would like to hear from you.


Regarding Big Tom's suggestion about using FireFly's technology for PHEV's, Firefly claims 50% greater energy density than lead acid and 70% less cost than NiMH. I reckon that's 60 Wh / Kg and $0.30 / Wh. If 7 Kwh gives a 30 mi. range, that would cost a manufacturer $2,100 and weigh 120 Kg. Using Li ion batteries would save 50% of the weight, incease mileage 10%, but increase the cost 10 times. Who would pay $20,000 to save the weight of one extra passenger?

Kit P

But then you could save 100% of the weight of energy storage by not putting it in a HEV in the first place.

Cyril R.

Hi Jack, thanks for the info on the carbon caps, but I think you misplaced the kilo on energy density!

For mobile applications, one concern would be that such small carbon structures may not be sturdy enough.

I think supercap/battery combo's show real promise in increasing life and performance of plug-in hybrids and pure EV's, so I wish you luck on trying activated carbon.

Jack Mastbrook

Cyril, thank you pointing that out.

Probably our first foray is going to be in the desalination of brackish water. This is more complex technology that caps, but is really needed in many parts of the developing world. (Only 3% of the the world's fresh water is readily drinkable.

My e mail is [email protected] if you want to exchange addresses. I will then keep you informed about our progress.


Jack Mastbrook


It may be slightly off topic... but what about using Deluge Inc.'s thermal piston pumps in reverse osmosis desalination applications. Supposedly, their pumps can turn low level heat directly into mechanical power. I think the minimum temperature for the hot side is around 180 degrees F, with a delta T somewhere around 100 degrees F. With hot side temperatures that low, it could run off solar heated water or power plant waste heat. If it works as advertised, it might make desalination a lot more affordable. Just my 2 cents worth.

Lead Acid Battery Supplier

Great stuff. We want more insight like this!


This is the first time I visited your blog and I actually like it. I bookmarked it too. I love sites about cars.


I'm starting to imagine cars on the streets all run by a single battery. Isn't that cool? No pollution, no hazards. Thanks for this well inovated battery. With all its advantages, it do stand-out from a typical car run by fuels. Nice!

vigilon complaints

Now that is what i call real efficiency.


The electric car is having a hard time people are still worried about performance and speed rather than price and practicality the majority will com around but when is the question?


SEO Services

Good to know the car can make it to 100,000 miles!

Air Purifier

Is this battery being used in any cars on the market?

Chinese Auto Lease Broker Los Angeles

So awesome, can't tell what type of car that is- was it just a one time test model? The end looks kind of like a Prius...

backup camera

I would take a car that is electric and can reach 100,000 miles any day of the week.

Rug Cleaning Los Angeles

Why can't we buy this yet?

Dentist west hollywood

Are they selling this in the UK? They seem to have a good electric vehicle market going already.

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Regarding Big Tom's suggestion about using FireFly's technology for PHEV's, Firefly claims 50% greater energy density than lead acid and 70% less cost than NiMH.

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