The Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) will focus on the affordable 48 volts “intelligent electrification” of next generation hybrid vehicles at the 14th European Lead Battery Conference (14ELBC).

ALABC said this new class of hybrid aims to keep the cost down and the voltage below the critical 60 volt safety threshold. Organized by the International Lead Association (ILA), the conference and exhibition is being held this week, September nine to twelve, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

“Recent work and results in the design of a new class of low voltage hybrid vehicle will help reduce carbon emissions and bring about major improvements in fuel efficiency,” said ALABC European projects coordinator Allan Cooper, who also works with the event’s organizing committee. “This can be achieved using advanced lead-carbon batteries, which currently provide the most cost effective solution for the automotive industry. New data will be published at ELBC on the use of higher levels of carbon in the negative active mass, a development which is resulting in much improved battery performance.”

The new battery technology has already been applied to the LC Super Hybrid program, which includes both 12V stop-start and 48V hybrid demonstrator vehicles.

“We can meet the vehicle OEM cost target of $250 per kilowatt-hour as an alternative to more expensive lithium-ion batteries,” said Pat Moseley, president emeritus ALABC. “Moreover, a technical advantage of high power lead-carbon batteries is their ability to handle the high rate partial state-of-charge cycling requirements of 48V hybridization, thereby maximizing the use of fast acting kinetic and thermal energy recovery systems in these vehicles.”

The LC Super Hybrid program’s test vehicle is far from being the only concept integrating 48 volts components.

Kia_Future_48_Volts_Concept-668ALABC said Carsten Kaup manager hybrid and electric powertrain systems at AVL Schrick GmbH will present a complementary paper entitled ‘A 48V Diesel Hybrid with Lead-Acid Batteries is not a Contradiction: It is Reality” which discusses a new 48V Kia diesel hybrid scheduled for display at the forthcoming Paris Motor Show in October – again utilizing advanced lead carbon batteries. The Kia development team behind the mild hybrid powertrain selected lead-carbon batteries over lithium-ion equivalents as they require no active cooling, are more easily recyclable at the end of the vehicle’s life and can function much more efficiently in sub-zero temperatures.

Also, Philip Williams, principal engineer for hybrid vehicles at Ricardo, and project manager for the Advanced Diesel Electric Powertrain project (ADEPT), will provide a mid-term report ‘on the potential for 48V based intelligent electrification in delivering full hybrid-scale fuel efficiency from a highly cost-effective package’. The ADEPT research team – led by Ricardo and including Ford Motor Company, Controlled Power Technologies, the European Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium, Faurecia and the University of Nottingham – has recently completed the build of the first functional integration prototype.

Based on a Ford Focus, this ADEPT prototype is said to incorporate a 48V electrical architecture, a SpeedStart 10 kilowatt (later to be upgraded to 12.5 kilowatt) belt integrated starter generator and TIGERS turbine integrated exhaust gas energy recovery system, both switched reluctance machines supplied by CPT, with an advanced lead carbon battery pack provided by ALABC.