Stop-Start systems have already been widely adopted in Europe, where more than 40% of the cars are already reported to be equipped with this technology today, according to the AAA. More recent studies from leading research firms such as Lux Research predict there will be 39 million Stop-Start vehicles on the road by 2017, with up to 70% system adoption anticipated in Europe.
For as little as $300 extra, Stop-Start technology is one of the most cost-effective means of improving fuel economy. Representing a much-less expensive option than mild or full hybrid systems, Stop-Start can still bring in approximately 5% fuel economy improvements. Next-generation systems could even see up to 8% to 10% improvements. However, to date, the main challenge to the widespread implementation and adoption of such next-generation Stop-Start systems, at an acceptable cost, has been the performance limitations of the incumbent lead acid battery technology.
Nickel-zinc (NiZn) offers several advantages over the present leading as well as alternative energy storage technologies. It is a real single-source “drop in” energy storage system that is perfectly suited to meet both the technical and cost challenges of next-generation systems, while maintaining very high levels of safety.
Stricter emissions standards are forcing automakers to deploy advanced features that deliver fuel economy improvements beyond simple stop-start technology. To meet these requirements, auto OEMs are shifting most non-traction functions – including electrical suspension, electronic AC compressors, window heaters, water/fuel/vacuum pumps, etc. – to batteries in what is known as a micro-hybrid system.
Increasing loads on the 12V PowerNet in recent years has resulted in currents in excess of 200A, and in some cases approaching a very critical borderline of 300A. This unfortunately results in maximum electrical power of ~3kW for 12V systems. By increasing battery voltage to 48V, automakers are able to achieve up to 12kW of peak power while still maintaining currents in a healthy range. This opens potential for both a wider range of functions and greater CO2 emissions reduction with the 48V micro-hybrid systems. High cost and safety issues have raised significant concerns in adopting alternative lead-acid and lithium-ion based technologies for such applications.
ZincFive's 48V NiZn battery system is a much more cost effective solution, also offering long service life, enhanced safety, and consistent peak power performance over a much wider temperature range.