Illinois-based company Firefly Energy, Inc., is developing an innovative carbongraphite foam lead acid battery for both commercial and military applications, and it recently announced that it is the recipient of the 2007 R&D Magazine R&D 100 award. The company believes its battery technology could eventually serve hybrid electric vehicles since lead acid batteries of the past have proved too heavy with poor cycle lives.

R&D 100

R&D 100 awards are presented to producers of the most promising technological products introduced world wide in the past year. Credit: R&D Magazine

Chicago Tribune recognizes the R&D 100 awards as the “Oscars of Invention.” The 100 awards are given to the most promising technological products introduced world wide in the past year. Firefly Energy will have the opportunity to exhibit at the 45th annual black tie R&D 100 awards ceremony at Chicago’s Navy Pier in mid-October.

“The drive for technological innovation inherent at Firefly Energy reflects the same spirit found in past winners of this prestigious award,” said Ed Williams, CEO of Firefly Energy. “It’s a special honor for our team to receive the R&D 100 award. It provides a well-deserved recognition to an exceptional engineering team and a technology breakthrough that has the potential to bring high performance and lower cost to many of the world’s battery markets.”

Kurt Kelley, the inventor of Firefly’s graphite foam battery technology, adds that removing corrosive, heavy lead grids and replacing them with graphite foam helps unleash the innate power of lead acid chemistry. “Our battery technology can rival other advanced chemistries in performance, take advantage of an existing manufacturing base, and address environmental concerns through the removal of up to two-thirds of the lead content,” Kelley said.

Firefly Energy’s 3D carbongraphite foam lead acid battery, the first of several battery technology innovations from the company’s technology portfolio for lead acid batteries, uses a three dimensional high surface area foam material that unleashes the high power potential of lead acid chemistry that was impossible to achieve in the past. The porous, conductive nature of the foam electrode enables faster, deeper, and more reliable discharges and recharges. Battery life is extended since sulfation is reduced, the carbongraphite foam makes the battery more environmentally friendly, and the battery is less expensive than lithium and nickel battery chemistries. The carbongraphite foam replacing much of the lead content also enables the battery to perform at cooler temperatures—a key feature considering that the corrosion rate of lead doubles for every 15 degrees the temperature rises above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

R&D Magazine will feature Firefly Energy and the other award winners in its September 2007 issue.




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