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What is a lead-carbon battery? What are the advantages and disadvantages of lead-carbon batteries

In fields such as grid-scale energy storage applications and hybrid electric vehicles, batteries usually need to be cycled under high current density conditions, that is, high-rate charge-discharge operations. Lead-acid batteries often fail due to sulfation of the negative electrode, which greatly affects lead-acid The service life of the battery. The lead-carbon battery adds carbon to the traditional lead-acid battery, which greatly improves the life of the lead-acid battery.

Lead carbon battery performance

The charging time of lead-carbon batteries is one-eighth that of lead-acid batteries, and the cycle life is more than four times that of lead-acid batteries. Compared with lithium-ion batteries, they also have the advantages of good low-temperature performance, low cost, and mature production and recycling processes. The rate performance has also been greatly improved, and the industrial application of lead-carbon batteries in the field of energy storage has begun to mature.

Yang Yusheng, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, believes that with the significant advantages of low cost, safety, easy availability of raw materials, reliability, and mature industrialization technology, lead-carbon batteries have been successfully applied to urban micro-grids, wind and solar energy storage power stations, wind circuit lights and other systems. It is a kind of energy storage battery that is in line with my country's industrial layout and manufacturing level to supply kinetic energy for various electric vehicles.

The composition of lead-carbon batteries

Lead-carbon battery is a special capacitive lead-acid battery. The traditional lead-acid battery cell is composed of a lead dioxide positive plate and a spongy lead negative plate, while asymmetric supercapacitors are made of lead dioxide positive electrode. Plate and carbon negative plate. Since the two have a common positive plate, they can be combined in the same battery system to form a so-called lead-carbon battery.

Advantages and disadvantages of lead-carbon batteries

It can be seen from Figure 1 that compared to traditional lead-acid batteries, lead-carbon batteries add carbon materials to the negative electrode. The addition of carbon materials accelerates the conversion of active materials in the conversion process. New active centers are formed on the surface of activated carbon, which reduces the polarization during the charging process of the plates and inhibits the growth of lead sulfate particles, which is beneficial to the reduction of lead sulfate. Therefore, adding an appropriate amount of carbon to the lead-acid battery can effectively inhibit the accumulation of lead sulfate crystals on the surface of the negative electrode, slow down the trend of sulfation, and significantly increase the cycle life of the battery.

At the same time, in the process of high-rate charge and discharge, the supercapacitor can quickly supply and absorb charge, and play the role of a buffer. Therefore, the cooperation with the super capacitor increases the power of the battery and prolongs the cycle life of the battery.

Energy storage system composition

In the energy storage system, in addition to the application of batteries, battery management systems (BMS) and process control systems (PCS) are also involved. BMS is mainly used to estimate the state of charge of the power lithium battery pack, that is, the remaining battery capacity; dynamic monitoring during battery charging and discharging, etc., is a key technology in the battery energy management system. Figure 2 shows a schematic diagram of the operation and management system of the energy storage power station.

Advantages and disadvantages of lead-carbon batteries

Advantages and disadvantages of lead-carbon batteries

When the energy storage power station cooperates with photovoltaic grid-connected power generation, photovoltaic modules first use the photovoltaic effect of solar panels to convert light energy into electrical energy, then charge the battery pack, and convert DC power to AC power through an inverter to supply power to the load; BMS According to the change of sunlight intensity and load, the charging and discharging state of the battery pack is adjusted in real time, so that the whole system maintains continuity and stability.

The battery pack plays an important role in energy regulation and load balancing in the entire energy storage system. It converts electrical energy into chemical energy and stores it when the electricity is low, so that it can be used when the power supply is insufficient. The lead-carbon battery itself has better charge and discharge receiving capacity (after 100% deep discharge, charge at 2.35V/unit constant voltage limit current 0.15C10 (A) for 10 hours, and the charge capacity is more than 98% of the discharged power); The self-discharge of 70% DOD, and the expected cycle life of 4000 times and the recyclability of 70% DOD make lead-carbon batteries more advantageous than traditional lead-acid batteries in relation to energy storage systems.

Lead-carbon battery cost analysis

According to the analysis in the first part, lead-carbon batteries are new types of lead-acid batteries that combine traditional lead-acid batteries and supercapacitors. In addition, in practice, the cost and price of lead-carbon batteries are affected by a series of element prices. Including: activated carbon price and supply, lead price fluctuations, capacitor prices and other factors such as additive graphene.

Advantages and disadvantages of lead-carbon batteries

Advantages and disadvantages of lead-carbon batteries

It can be seen from Figure 4 that in the second half of 2016, the price of activated carbon first dropped significantly, and then slowly recovered. According to the analysis in the last report of this series, the price of lead resources has generally been relatively stable in recent years, but the price has increased to a certain extent in the past six months. The specific trend chart is shown in Figure 5.

From the perspective of the impact of various raw materials, theoretically the price of lead-carbon batteries is largely determined by the price of lead, and the demand for lead is less elastic, and fluctuations in lead prices are likely to increase the cost of lead-carbon batteries. But on the other hand, usually the company has price linkage to downstream customers, and there is a time difference, so the fluctuation of lead price may also bring profit to both parties. As for graphene, which has good conductivity and ductility, compared with activated carbon, due to its high price, lead-carbon batteries are currently more elastic in demand for graphene, and it is a more common practice during processing. It is to add a certain amount of activated carbon to improve the performance of traditional lead-acid batteries.


Due to the use of lead-carbon technology, the performance of lead-carbon batteries is far superior to traditional lead-acid batteries. At the same time, it has a low-cost advantage similar to traditional lead-acid batteries and a mature industrial manufacturing foundation. It has strong applications in various fields. Competitive advantage.


In the current field of energy storage, in addition to lead-carbon batteries, there are also lithium-ion batteries that are widely used and paid attention to. In addition, pumped water storage is the most widely used and most mature physical energy storage method in the world today. Next, compare and analyze these three energy storage methods.

Lead Carbon Battery

Because the lead-carbon battery is developed on the traditional lead-acid battery, it has many advantages: first, it charges fast, increasing the charging speed by 8 times; second, the discharge power is increased by 3 times; third, the cycle life is increased to 6 times, The number of recharging cycles is up to 2,000; the fourth is cost-effective, which is higher than the price of lead-acid batteries, but the cycle life is greatly improved; the fifth is safe and stable in use, and can be widely used in various new energy and energy saving fields . With the increase in output, the cost of lead-carbon batteries will further decline as the scale effect increases, and the future application prospects will be broader.

Lithium Ion Battery

Another chemical energy storage method corresponding to lead-carbon batteries is lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries have the advantages of high energy density, long cycle life, low self-discharge rate and environmental protection, and are mainly used in the two major industries of notebooks and mobile phones. Due to its own advantages, lithium-ion batteries are also an ideal choice for large-scale energy storage systems in the future.

In future applications, lithium-ion batteries still have problems in terms of safety, cycle life, cost, and operating temperature range. Unlike other rechargeable batteries, the capacity of lithium-ion batteries will slowly decline, which is related to the number of uses and temperature. This decline can be expressed by a decrease in capacity or an increase in internal resistance.

Although with the promotion of the application of power lithium batteries, the technology and cost of lithium-ion batteries have been greatly improved, but the current cost of lithium-ion batteries is still more than three times that of lead-carbon batteries. In the field of energy storage, in addition to high-end data centers and use scenarios that have strict restrictions on the weight of energy storage batteries, there are currently very few commercial projects that use lithium-ion batteries for energy storage.

Pumped water storage

Pumped water storage is the most widely used and most mature energy storage method in the world today. It belongs to physical energy storage. Pumped water energy storage is a form of storing electric energy into gravitational potential energy when water is pumped from Xiachi Reservoir to Shangchi Reservoir during the low power load period. The overall efficiency is between 70% and 85%. It is used in the peak shaving and filling of power systems. Valley, frequency modulation, phase modulation, emergency standby, etc. However, the establishment of pumped energy storage largely depends on the choice of geographic location, so it will be subject to certain restrictions in future further development and application.


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