Skeleton Technologies GmbH

Schücostr. 8, 01900 Großröhrsdorf
Germany

Hall map

Energy Storage Europe 2018 hall map (Hall 8b): stand E07A

Fairground map

Energy Storage Europe 2018 fairground map: Hall 8b

Contact

Spartak Rasov

Senior Application Engineer

Sylvia Kleimann

Vice President Marketing & Communications

Sten Tamberg

Sales & Business Development Manager

Our products

Product category: Super Capacitors / Double Layer Capacitors

SkelCap Industrial Ultracapacitor Cells - Superior power and energy density with competitive cost

The SkelCap industrial ultracapacitor cell series brings the benefits of our patented production technology to a form factor most commonly found in industry. Industry-leading performance for mass market applications to give you the upper hand over the competition.

Our SkelCap ultracapacitor line has a much higher power density than other manufacturers. The SkelCap series was launched in 2012 and has gained considerable interest in the motorsport, automotive and aerospace sectors, among others. All our ultracapacitors are manufactured in the EU.

The SkelCap industrial cells are available at 2,85 V from 500 to 3200 Farad cells, with a very low ESR. They have highest performance on the ultracapacitor market with specific power up to 110 kW/kg and specific energy up to 6,8 Wh/kg.

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Product category: Super Capacitors / Double Layer Capacitors

SkelMod 51V Module - Industry-leading power for automotive and transportation

The SkelMod 51V 177F ultracapacitor module packs a lot of power in a small package. It's based on our SkelCap ultracapacitors with extremely low ESR, which makes it possible for SkelMod 51V 177F to be used with minimal cooling.

SkelMod 51V 177F has multiple applications and our customers use it in for example:

Hybrid and electric buses
Forklifts and AGVs in material handling
Heavy transportation
But the versatility of the SkelMod 51V module makes it ideal for use in a number of industries and applications including rail voltage stabilization and rail propulsion systems, regenerative power systems, and many more.

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Product category: Super Capacitors / Double Layer Capacitors

SkelMod 51V Module - Industry-leading power for automotive and transportation

The SkelMod 51V 177F ultracapacitor module packs a lot of power in a small package. It's based on our SkelCap ultracapacitors with extremely low ESR, which makes it possible for SkelMod 51V 177F to be used with minimal cooling.

SkelMod 51V 177F has multiple applications and our customers use it in for example:

  • Hybrid and electric buses
  • Forklifts and AGVs in material handling
  • Heavy transportation
But the versatility of the SkelMod 51V module makes it ideal for use in a number of industries and applications including rail voltage stabilization and rail propulsion systems, regenerative power systems, and many more.

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Company news

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Topic

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Mar 5, 2018

How Can We Ensure Batteries Don't Get Recycled Too Early?

Range anxiety is perceived as the biggest issue for people who do not own an EV (Electric Vehicle), but during the practical use of an EV, this is managed using range prediction estimators. 

Most trips are well within the range of the vehicle. Commuting to work, regular shopping trips, social visits, these activities never usually reach even half of the range available on a mainstream EV.  The big challenge on an EV is if you go for a car trip spanning several countries.

The onboard computer and satnav system can plot routes, times, most efficient average speed and recharge stops along to way to ensure that the dreaded "0%" does not happen.

It is always best to factor for adverse conditions such as cold temperatures and adverse wind, and there is already a lot of online resource such as forums and websites dedicated to the issue.

But lurking behind, the EV owner has another anxiety more difficult to manage.  It often talked about in EV owners' forums.  It is the lifetime anxiety.

What is the lifetime anxiety?

The EV battery has a limited number of cycles (charge – discharge) that it goes through during its lifetime.  Typically, this is of the order of a few thousand – maybe a bit more - maybe a bit less.  This depends on the load inflicted on the battery during its operation and at what temperature it is allowed to run at.

Why is it so difficult to manage?

Contrary to managing the EV range which is well taken care of by the car's software and depending on driving style and surrounding conditions (temperature, topology, weather, ambient light…). The range is estimated and refined as the charge goes down and the driven distance increases.

Concerning lifetime,  there is no software provided with the EV that optimizes the charging at this time.

The amount of cycles varies from several factors and this is not always explained to the EV owner upon purchasing the car, so they generally must study and find this out themselves. 

Recently Tesla has given advice that the battery should almost never be fully discharged, that it should only be fully charged maybe 3 or 4 times a year, that it is best to use the battery between the levels of 80% and 20%.  This is because when the battery is fully discharged, some chemical connections become frozen.

Also to get fully charged, a battery needs to go through a saturation cycle, which is also not beneficial to its lifetime. A gentle recharge overnight is best as a lower charge rate is preferred over a high charge rate (for fast charging).

The battery chemistry limits the speed at which the electrons move and the higher the current flow, the more heat is generated through the battery which harms lifetime.

It is the same for the discharge rate, and in order to keep this to a manageable level without creating too much heat, the manufacturers generally oversize the battery pack and include heat dissipation systems such as liquid cooling.  

Apart from adding weight, this oversizing brings another problem to the fore.  The raw material supply for batteries is a hot topic. 

With the price volatility of raw materials such as lithium, nickel, copper, and cobalt, the risks are high and getting higher. The cost of batteries has been tapered down thanks to high volumes and a streamlined production that includes heavy automation and reliable processes.

However, cobalt is touted as the "new oil" not for its energy characteristics, but more for its propensity to fly high and low in terms of price per ton. 

Cobalt comes mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country that has been plagued by complex political conditions for decades.  Ensuring a safe and continuous production of cobalt is difficult, unless battery recycling becomes the norm.

Recently, Chinese mining conglomerate China Molybdenum acquired the Tenke mine  in Congo. This implies China now outputs 62% of the world's refined cobalt production.  Except for china, this can also drive the volatility upwards.  So, if it is possible to use less of these raw materials, then this is a good thing.

Is it possible? - Certainly!

Simulated configurations show that adding ultracapacitors to a LEAF can increase its range by 8%, but not only that, the battery pack's lifetime will increase by up to 40%. Ultracapacitors are not limited by a chemical reaction and their charge cycles can be executed in seconds.  The inconvenience is that they cannot store much energy, but this is increasing.

Because the power delivery can be quasi-instantaneous with ultracapacitors, they are ideal to handle accelerations and braking phases.

During the first second of acceleration they can supply all the propulsive energy required by the car whilst the battery gears up to supply the energy needed to keep the car going. 

When braking is required, the ultracapacitors can take all the energy from the system, no matter what rate it is delivered at, although to keep things comfortable, it is best to keep this toned down!

This way, by reducing the battery volume and workload the ultracapacitors can ensure that energy is saved, raw materials are extracted parsimoniously and best of all, the battery lifetime gets longer.

Surely, ultracapacitors need raw materials too?

Yes, they do! Graphene (pure carbon) and aluminium; these are neither volatile nor in short supply.

Better still, they are even easier to recycle!

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Mar 5, 2018

Making a Deal With Gravity - Muuga Crane Case Study

Skeleton Technologies Port Crane KERS Muuga  In the container port of Muuga, in Estonia, there is an interesting experiment taking place.

The role of a crane is simple, it needs to move a container, a piece of cargo, or anything that can be hooked to it from point A to point B.  The main movement is up and down, and also the crane can move on the ground thanks to its rubber tire wheels.

During the up and down movement, a diesel crane needs to be powered at all times, energy is consumed during lift and also during the laying down of freight.

How can this energy be harvested to be used again?

Ultracapacitors allow energy storage, at a very quick rate.  So, if a crane is fitted with ultracapacitors it should be able to capture the energy whilst braking the drop down of a container and reuse it for the next lift phase.

The initial tests at Muuga showed that energy was saved thanks to the ultracapacitor module.  The test highlighted the need for liquid cooling as during the 10 minutes of testing,  the temperature inside the module had raised by about 5°C.

During the braking phase, the voltage increases inside the ultracapacitors, the energy gets stored, and when the voltage decreases as the module releases energy during the next lift phase.  This system works very similarly to a KERS system on a car or a truck.  The idea is to capture the braking energy in order to redistribute it later for acceleration phases, it the case of a crane, this is for lifting.

A complete system including ultracapacitor modules with their cell balancing ability together with the DC-DC converter and the control panels has been fitted to the crane to capture and monitor the on-board parameters.

The DC-DC converter is used to reduce the voltage during charging and discharging. The rated voltage of the crane's system is 620 VDC, and the rated voltage of both capacitor modules is 320 VDC (160VDC each), hence the requirement for the DC-DC converter.  The ultracapacitor modules can now store the energy released by the brakes of the engines instead of it being dissipated by the crane's resistors. 

The control unit controls the energy transfer between the capacitor modules and the direct current line. In the event of an error or a fault, the control unit switches off the system to prevent any damage to the equipment.

Results :

The purpose of crane hybridization is to reduce fuel consumption and thereby save money.

Measurements of the fuel consumption were done before and after the addition of supercapacitors. 

Prior to adding the capacitors, a total of 274.4 crane use hours were logged, and 4498 liters of fuel were consumed. The average fuel consumption was 16.67 l/h.

After the addition of capacitors, 200 hours have been recorded and 2205 liters of fuel have been consumed. The average fuel consumption during this period is 11.0 l/h.

Fuel consumption decreased by 34%. 

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About us

Company details

Skeleton Technologies is the global leader in graphene-based ultracapacitors and energy-storage systems. We deliver high power, high energy, reliable and long-life storage solutions across the industry. Through the use of patented ‘curved graphene’, we have achieved global breakthroughs in ultracapacitor performance and successfully commercialized our ultracapacitors, in trucks, buses, and grid applications.

Since our foundation in 2009, we have raised 42 M EUR to support manufacturing scale-up in Germany and in Estonia and grown our headcount from 4 to 100 people.

Our ultracapacitors deliver twice the energy density and 4 times the power density offered by other manufacturers. Our current customer base ranges from leading Tier One automotive firms and industrial equipment OEMs to truck fleet operators and aerospace prime contractors.

www.skeletontech.com

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Company data

Number of employees

100-499

Foundation

2009

Area of business

Storage systems

Target groups
  • Energy sector (representatives from PV, wind, biomass etc.)
  • Power plant and supply managements of utility companies
  • Carrier of electricity grids
  • Cities
  • Facility manager
  • Manufactures for components for compressors, generators, block heating stations

Company information as a PDF file