Pricing will determine success or failure.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Oct. 27, 2012
Power Net SuperCap Technology from Continental for the light duty commercial truck market.
Continental is now making its Power Net Supercap Technology available for light trucks, bringing the full benefits of start-stop technology to urban delivery vans. At the heart of the design is a double-layer supercap. These energy storage devices offer much faster charging and discharging rates and much higher reliability than a conventional battery “regardless of temperature
At the same time, all
electrically operated on-board equipment, including a full A/C load according to Continental. Navigation and telematics will also remain fully functional, even when a large amount of power is required to restart the engine.
The key to a supercap is its ability to absorb large current inflows making brake regeneration possible without a massively large and parallel NiMH or Li-Ion battery we are used to seeing in a conventional hybrid vehicle.
In addition, their output can be controlled at the same voltage that vehicle electrical systems run today.
Double-layer capacitor complements the conventional 12V battery
Start-stop systems are a simple and cost-effective means of achieving a reduction in fuel consumption in everyday driving. Delivery trucks that operate around town will benefit more than most. When the vehicle is stationary, the engine automatically shuts down. However, frequent restarts place a great strain on the vehicle electrical system with upwards of 600 amps of power needed for the initial spin up.
With a conventional Pb-Acid battery, the engine cannot be shut down because the active on-board 12V ancillaries are quickly drawing down the battery’s capacity that there may not be enough available for restarting. Continental’s Power Net Technology is said to stabilize the electrical systems.
The double-layer capacitor has an internal capacity of up to 3,000 farads per cell – enough to handle several restarts in rapid succession says the company. This method of electrical storage complements rather than replaces a conventional battery. It can store and discharge its entire energy content in just a few seconds, which makes it the ideal means of handling peak loads or storing the energy recovered by braking regeneration.
Supercaps also retain their performance at temperatures far below zero and can handle up to one million charging and discharging cycles without degradation. This is something even the most hardy, advanced NiMH and Li-Ion’s cannot achieve today.
Based on Power Net Technology, Continental’s engineers have put together an energy storage system that also takes in the starter battery, combining the advantages of the supercap (high power density) with those of the battery (high energy density) to best effect. A battery controller governs the flow of energy to or from the respective storage device.
The big question(s) are what does the supercap cost and when scaled down to the passenger automobile, can it be made cost effective with the far more robust starter taking the largest piece of the pie in terms of cost. With Toyota pushing their NiMH based HSD down to as low as $1,760 in some vehicles, a simple Start/Stop system with a supercap and controller in parallel with a larger 12V AGM is going to have to be cheap, cheap cheap to compete.