Graphene capacitors aid fuel cell buses
Wrightbus tests hybrid system with Skeleton supercapacitors Metal Tech News – October 21, 2020
Last updated 10/20/2020 at 6:10pm
Skeleton Technologies, a global leader in graphene-based ultracapacitor energy storage, Oct. 19 announced a deal with Northern Ireland-based Wrightbus to supply its next generation high-energy ultracapacitor modules to hydrogen fuel cell buses in the United Kingdom.
"Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are of high strategic importance to lower CO2 emissions and fight against climate change, said Skeleton Technologies CEO Taavi Madiberk. "Skeleton's ultracapacitors are one of the key enablers of the hydrogen economy."
Ultracapacitors, which store energy in an electric field rather than in chemical reaction like batteries, can be recharged very quickly and release a large amount of power. This makes them ideal for storing energy produced from vehicle braking, which can be regenerated as a boost during acceleration.
This hybridization reduces the stress on fuel cells and benefits fuel economy, increasing the range and performance of fuel cell vehicles.
Estonia-based Skeleton says their newest generation of graphene-based ultracapacitors have twice the energy density of their closest energy storage competitors, making them ideally suited for delivering these benefits to hydrogen fuel cells in emissions-free transportation.
"Since fuel cells are not able to recuperate the braking energy and re-use it for acceleration, they need efficient energy storage devices to improve overall system efficiency and total cost of ownership," said Madiberk. "Combining ultracapacitors and fuel cells will speed up the market adoption of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles."
Wrightbus, which has committed to being a leader in zero-emissions transport, is focused on deploying at least 1,000 fuel cell electric buses and related infrastructure in European cities at commercially competitive rates.
"For hydrogen buses, Wrightbus is working with world-class leaders such as Ballard Power for fuel cells and Skeleton Technologies for ultracapacitors," said Wrightbus Chairman Jo Bamford. "Ultracapacitors and fuel cells are the ideal combination for better performance and lower cost of ownership but until now ultracapacitors were lacking in energy density. Skeleton's curved graphene technology brings these needed improvements by doubling the energy density of ultracapacitors, and will therefore strongly contribute to the widescale adoption of fuel cell electric buses."
Skeleton's newest generation of curved graphene ultracapacitors will be tested during a Wrightbus pilot project slated for completion in 2021.
"Wrightbus is at the forefront of development of hydrogen vehicles and we are very excited to work with one of the most ambitious companies in the sector," said Madiberk. "We see a clear potential of 1,000 buses in the next five years. Based on the technology and its underlying economics, we have reason to believe that all hydrogen powered trucks and buses could eventually adopt our products."