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BCI Start-Stop Panel Demonstrates Progress by Lead-Acid Industry
Last month, Battery Council International (BCI) highlighted start-stop technology and its potential for the industry by offering a start-stop technology panel presentation at its 124th Annual Convention in Scottsdale, AZ. The panel was prepared and chaired by Johnson Controls’ VP of Product and Advanced Engineering Robert Gruenstern, and presentations were provided by Mr. Gruenstern, ALABC President-emeritus Pat Moseley, European ALABC Projects Coordinator Allan Cooper, and Mark Rychlinski of General Motors.
Bob Gruenstern began the session with a presentation focused on the potential of AGM (absorbed glass mat) lead-acid batteries in start-stop applications. He began with a comprehensive overview of the start-stop market, and went on to discuss fuel-saving strategies enabled by the 12V battery and the relative stress factors and greater demand on battery systems in today’s market. He then presented significant evidence that AGM batteries are capable of meeting the cycling and charge acceptance demands in start-stop systems and other applications requiring low state-of-charge operation or high cycling.
Dr. Moseley’s presentation took a more technical look at how advanced lead carbon batteries are stepping up to the challenges of start-stop operation and partial state-of-charge (PSoC) duty. He began by addressing the potential pitfall of accumulation of lead sulfate on the negative plate during high-rate PSoC operation. He then described strategies to overcome this event, which involved either periodic conditioning to remove the sulfate or modification of the battery either by designing a grid for high power (twin tabs, etc.) or by adding a carbon component to the negative plate. In regard to the latter, Dr. Moseley detailed possible reasons for the positive effects of carbon and cited the success of ALABC-sponsored research in identifying potential technological solutions to overcome sulfation.
Allan Cooper provided an overview of some of the European ALABC’s vehicle demonstration programs, more notably the LC Super Hybrid and HyBoost projects, in which increased demand on the batteries was studied. His presentation opened with how the successes in ALABC-funded laboratory projects with carbon-enhanced VRLA batteries, like the UltraBattery, led to the development of these demonstration vehicles. He then provided significant details of the LC Super Hybrid project, which used carbon-enhanced Exide batteries, and presented an analysis of the results.
Finally, GM’s Mark Rychlinski offered a presentation on next generation 12V battery considerations from an OEM perspective. In his presentation, Mr. Rychlinski provided an overview of increasing demands on battery systems, the importance of regulating voltage control, and the impact of advanced vehicle controls like start/stop and “drive-by” systems (which include brake-by-wire and autonomous driving). While his presentation noted that failure rate/fault detection of the battery for redundant power needs will be a factor in the near future, Mr. Rychlinski did state that GM would produce according to consumer demand and that it would be likely that a range of power solutions could exist for different world economies.
For more information regarding the panel discussion at last month’s BCI meeting, please send requests to Boris Monahov care of Anita Wright at
Ford to Offer Start-Stop to U.S. Consumers in 2013 Fusion
Ford Motor Company is taking a step toward offering start-stop technology to consumers in the U.S. with the release of its 2013 Ford Fusion. The vehicle will be the first non-traditional (mild or full) hybrid available in the U.S. market to offer a start-stop system.
Already fast becoming a popular fuel-efficient option in Europe, start-stop technology provides fuel savings by shutting off the engine while the car is idle. Since lead-acid batteries continue to be the most common power supplier in start-stop systems, rapid adoption of this technology would be considered a significant boost to the lead industry.
According to the Ford press release, the stand-alone auto start-stop feature is expected to improve average fuel efficiency by 3.5%, although drivers in city traffic or heavy urban areas could experience up to 10% in increased fuel efficiency. Start-stop will be offered to U.S. consumers at a cost of $295.

The Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium
1822 NC Highway 54E, Suite 120, Durham, North Carolina 27713 USA
Tel: 919-361-4647 | Fax: 919-361-1957 |

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