Storage Highlights Countdown #8; Supercapacitators – fast and powerful Skeleton Technologies


This week we continue our Storage Highlights Countdown, in the run up to Energy Storage Europe Düsseldorf – March 12 -14. Messe Düsseldorf have partnered with pv magazine to produce a special publication dedicated to the event. As part of this, we tasked an independent jury of experts to rank a range of new Energy Storage Highlights that will be exhibited at the event.

The full ranking will appear in the Energy storage special issue. Last week we already presented aa self-sufficient multi family house in Switzerland and DNV GL’s approach to a battery performance scorecard.

This week we continue with…..

#8 Skeleton Technologies

Supercapacitators – fast and powerful

Supercapacitors are well suited to the provision of high power for very short times, and they can be charged up to one million times.

Skeleton Technologies has high power industrial cells (Skelcap) and modules (Skelmod) in its portfolio. The company says that it has developed and patented a manufacturing process by which it can produce curved graphene. The material boosts the voltage inside the cell to more than 2.85 V. This increases the energy and power density of supercapacitors. The product also features a very low series resistance, which in turn reduces heat build-up. The Scottish island of Eigg is an example of where the Skelcap/Skelmod energy package could be deployed. The island with its 100 inhabitants is not connected to the mainland U.K. grid, and covers its electricity demand through a 174 kW renewables portfolio. A lead-acid battery storage system helps to balance fluctuations in generation.

However, in the event of a very sudden peak load, a brownout of several seconds can occur. After this, the battery requires several minutes before it can resume normal operation, says Olivier Chabilan of Skeleton Technologies. To give the battery time to slowly reboot, the local energy provider deploys flywheels and the supercapacitors of Skeleton. Only the supercapacitors, however, are fast enough to ensure that changes between the energy sources go unnoticed.

Also, the combination of supercapacitors with lithium-ion batteries is a good match. A study on supercapacitors, published in the journal Energy in 2012, showed that a hybrid system combining the two technologies in vehicles marginally boosts range, but did improve performance and efficiency of the battery. Furthermore, the combination also allowed operation of the battery in a less strenuous way, increasing its lifespan by 40%.

The jury sees that this is a “useful application with small overall market segment targeted”. Another notes that it is unclear whether prolonging battery life justifies additional investment in a supercapacitor

Skeleton Technologies GmbH can be found at Energy Storage Europe Düsseldorf, 2019 in Hall 8b at booth number F18-9.

The jury

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Xavier Daval
Daval is an international solar and storage expert as well as CEO of French solar technical advisory firm kiloWattsol SAS, which he founded in 2007. He is an electrical engineer and former director for the EMEA region for an NYSE-listed manufacturer of tools for the electronics industry. He is also VP of French renewable energy association Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables, chair of its solar commission and director of the Global Solar Council.

Logan Goldie-Scot

Goldie-Scot heads the energy storage insight team at BloombergNEF. He leads the company’s analysis on the global energy storage markets, providing insights on technology, markets, policies and regulation, as well as the competitive landscape. He also oversees the company’s analysis of supply chains.

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Mark Higgins
Higgins is chief operating officer of Strategen, a professional services firm focused on market development for a decarbonized grid. His broad energy sector experience before Strategen included serving as director of utility west at SunEdison, VP of finance for Hu Honua Bioenergy, and as Pacific Gas & Electric’s lead in key policy areas including interconnection and transmission planning.

Julian Jansen
Jansen is a research manager at IHS Markit Technology. He leads the group’s global research on stationary energy storage and provides insight on the key value drivers and emerging business models accelerating storage deployment across Europe and North America. Jansen also delivers strategic advice for bespoke projects featuring new energy technologies.

Florian Mayr
Mayr is a partner at Apricum and head of its energy storage, digital energy and green mobility practices. He is an expert in strategy, business development and transaction advisory in global renewable energy markets. Mayr advises cleantech companies on corporate and project financing. Before Apricum, he spent eight years in senior positions at McKinsey & Company and RWE.

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