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Lead-acid technology is 150-year-old technology, but an Australian company has put a new spin on it to give batteries a longer life and higher efficiency.

UltraBattery is a hybrid, long-life lead-acid energy storage device that was developed by CSIRO in Australia, and manufactured by East Penn Manufacturing in the United States and the Furukawa Battery Company in Japan.

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A new lead acid battery developed by a consortium with the CSIRO is being trialled on off-grid conditions, including as storage for intermittent renewable energy.

Called the UltraBattery, it takes the 150-year-old lead-acid battery technology, like those used to start cars, and adds a super-capacitor.

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by Solar Choice Staff on December 14, 2015 in Batteries & Energy Storage, Solar System Products

Ecoult is the developer of a hybrid battery and carbon-based ultracapacitor called the ‘UltraBattery’ that rivals lithium-ion batteries on performance and beats them on costs. Already deployed in a number of grid-support and industrial applications, the company is also aiming to bring the UltraBattery into homes and small businesses in the near future.

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On King Island, UltraBattery forms part of the Island’s revamped off-grid power system. The  King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project (KIREIP), run by Hydro Tasmania, is designed to reduce the Island’s dependence on diesel. When complete, renewables (solar, wind and biodiesel) will supply up to 65% of the islands energy needs, augmenting the existing diesel plant. To date, diesel fuel use has been reduced by 45%; from 4.5 million litres to around 2.6 million litres annually.

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Two Australian companies have cracked the ranks of the 2013 Global Cleantech 100, double the number represented on last year’s peer-nominated list which, each year, is whittled down from around 5000 companies worldwide.

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Ecoult’s Ultrabattery offers a solution to integrating renewable energy into grids. The Cleantech 100 list has been culled from more than 6,000 nominees worldwide.

Sydney based Ecoult was today named in the Cleantech Group’s prestigious 2013 Global Cleantech 100 as one of the world’s top 100 private companies in clean technology from a field of 6,000 nominated global companies.

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Integrating renewable resources such as solar photovoltaic (PV) onto the grid can create challenges for system operators. Fortunately, energy storage technologies have been identified as a potential resource to help operators deal with their intermittent nature.

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Many worry about the impact of data centers on the grid.

But with a few technological advances and some clever business planning, data centers could become one of the best friends of the electric power industry.

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“Batteries are a little bit like bacon. Everything is better with batteries,” quipped Michelle Taylor of Queensland utility Ergon Energy at a session on energy storage at Clean Energy Week in Brisbane. “There’s no doubt that storage linked with the appropriate interface mechanism presents fantastic opportunities for the customer and utility,” the utility’s technology development manager added more formally. Yet in Ergon’s home state of Queensland, grid-connected batteries supporting solar PV are currently unavailable to residential customers.

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Three years ago, the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) was asked to demonstrate the durability of lead-carbon batteries in the high-rate, partial state-of-charge operation of a hybrid electric vehicle. Today, in a project co-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by Ecotality North America, the Consortium has proven just that with a Honda Civic HEV retrofitted with lead-carbon UltraBattery modules (provided by East Penn Manufacturing) that has recorded over 100,000 miles of courier duty in the local area of Phoenix, AZ.

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