Eil to use Firefly#39;s tech for deep cycle batteries

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 14, 2011 19:40 hrs

Firefly Energy India, plans to manufacture and introduce deep cycle batteries in Ahmedabad based on the carbon foam technology. Firefly Energy India has announced licensing of the battery technology from Illinois based Firefly International Energy.

Gujarat based electric two-wheeler maker Electrotherm India Ltd's (EIL) promoters were in talks to acquire the US based firm last year. Firefly International had applied for a bankruptcy in US in March last year, with a loan of $6 million with PNC Bank. Firefly Energy India is now independently promoted by the owners of Electrotherm. It is, however, not a subsidiary of Electrotherm India.

The Illinois company had developed a carbon graphite foam lead-acid battery that has multiple applications in locomotives, power stations, UPS, automotives and telecom towers. These environment-friendly batteries will replace the conventional lead acid units used in vehicles and generators and are targeted at high-end applications. Unlike the conventional lead acid batteries, the carbon foam batteries are designed to take deep discharge cycles and can last up to 1200 cycles, thrice the life of the existing VRLA batteries. Apart from being light-weight, these batteries can withstand extreme weather conditions, have extremely rapid recharge capability and are 98 per cent recyclable, the company claimed.

"At present, there are vast and critical new challenges in the field of energy storage and management. We at Firefly Energy India believe that these challenges require nothing less than a revolution in the way we think of battery power. Firefly Energy India is poised to overcome long-standing performance bottlenecks of existing batteries by utilising fresh, untapped technologies, with a strategic vision to create market-driven, cost-effective solutions to the energy challenges of today and tomorrow. The company wants to be the world's foremost supplier of breakthrough battery technology that attains new levels of price, performance, efficiency, and durability while being easily recyclable&" said Mukesh Bhandari, chairman & CEO of Firefly Energy India Limited.

He explained that while traditional lead acid battery technology has had many decades of ongoing development, new demands are stretching its fundamental design capabilities to the limit. Notwithstanding its relatively low cost, many industries, such as the electric vehicle industry, have been forced by these limitations to turn to much more expensive technologies that hold significant issues of their own.

"Firefly Energy has developed a method to coat the membrane, a fan-like lead lattice that allows the battery to generate electrons, with carbon foam. This development means a more efficient battery that can extract more electricity from the active chemistry, release more electricity per charge, and endure more charging cycles. This also makes the battery last longer.", said Kurtis C Kelley, chief technical officer, Firefly International Energy (USA) said in a statement.

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