EXTENDING BATTERY LIFE
INDUSTRIAL MOTIVE POWER, TRACTION, DEEP CYCLING BATTERIES
TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHTS - BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE
Battery sulfation remedies have been around for over a century. The technology has changed but the ultimate objective has not. It is extraordinarily difficult to make any real money out of ideas that have been around this long. Competition is fierce, margins are low. High time for a completely different approach.
BIGGEST BATTERY IN THE WORLD PROMPTED US TO DEVELOP BATTERYVITAMIN.
Load-leveling battery - reinforcement of local electricity grid network - rated at 40 MWh - located Chino, near Los Angeles, California. Eight strings, each string 1032 submarine-type lead-acid cells, each cell rated 3250 Ah. Extra long life materials were used, including micro-porous natural rubber separators and special lead-antimony-arsenic positive grid and lead-calcium negative grid alloys - to give a designed cell life expectancy of 4000, guaranteed cycle life expectancy of 2000 deep cycles.
We developed and manufactured the automatic watering valve - activated carbon stibine/ arsine filter - flame arrestor units for this battery. (Filter based on US Statutory Invention H816, assigned to US Secretary of the Navy.)
The Chino battery provided an important milestone in terms of battery life management. We recognized the unqualified success of this battery. It persuaded the directors of our company to invest serious time and money in R&D, to develop an easy to use technology that can give motive power battery operators hands-on control over the life expectancy of their valuable batteries. It took twelve years. We named it Batteryvitamin.
Batteryvitamin L is designed to greatly slow down the wearing-out process that occurs specifically in industrial motive power batteries, (positive grid corrosion accompanied by sludging of the positive active mass, followed by loss in ampere-hours). Batteryvitamin works by physics at a nanoscale level, (explained in detail, in plain language on other pages). Batteryvitamin typically adds 40-60% to the service life of hard working industrial motive power batteries. One part of Batteryvitamin concentrate in 125 parts battery refill water. New and in-use batteries.
Why do motive power batteries deliver only about 1500 deep cycles, yet load leveling batteries seem to be able go on and on for 3000 deep cycles? There does not appear to be that much difference in their design and construction. Nevertheless, they are not identical. The natural rubber separators preferred by knowledgeable battery operators for load leveling batteries possess a unique property - known in the trade as an ability to reduce antimony poisoning of the negative plates.
We investigated this in some considerable detail. This has been done many times before by the battery industry, apparently unsuccessfully. We tried many different approaches. The antimony that was poisoning the negatives had migrated there from the positives, so we reasoned that we should be looking at battery cells as electroplating cells - albeit very, very inefficient electroplating cells. After that, everything fell into place. We knew that additives in electroplating baths migrate to and are adsorbed onto the negatives. We succeeded in identifying the performance enhancing component. We analyzed the material's physical properties and synthesized equivalent materials with the same physical properties, although not chemically related. Finally, we developed improved versions, superior in every way to the material we had isolated, able to cut down grid corrosion to a bare minimum.
Our approach to business has always been "to make the footprints, not to follow in them". We do all our own research and development work.
Actual recorded cycling performance of two sets of batteries. Testing according to BCI specification.
reduces stand self-discharge;
protects the positives against corrosion;
improves battery life expectancy 40 - 60 percent.
On average 2 out of every 3 lead-acid batteries that go into service are replacements for worn out batteries.
John Fetter, (white overalls), CEO of F & H believes the operational and financial challenges that face industrial battery users can only be properly understood by going to the places where the batteries are used. Five ton locomotive battery charging bay - goldmine in South Africa, 8600 feet below ground, 3000 feet below sea level. Temperature of surrounding rock, 55 °C
Motorists strapped for cash can be relied upon to want to consider the alternative to buying a new battery - reviving their old battery. This is what kick-started sulfation (Brit. sulphation) cures in the first place and has been sustaining multitudes of bring-back-to-life remedies for as long as the lead-acid battery has been an item of commerce.
There are thousands of desulfation merchants competing for a finite pool of customers who do not have enough money to buy a new battery. Desulfation has become a highly competitive, cut-throat line of business.
The industrial motive power battery business is very different. The users of these batteries are very different. The money involved is very different.
The average retail price for a full-plate-count, non-discounted automobile battery is $110, (£68). The average price for an industrial motive power battery is $3500, (£2200). Selling industrial motive power batteries is potentially 32 times more attractive, per battery, than selling automobile batteries.
The total value of automobile batteries in use worldwide was $57 billion in 2010 and industrial motive power batteries $11 billion. The automobile market appears to be 5.18 times more attractive than the industrial motive power battery market. Automotive is, however, a hotly contested line of business, subject to aggressive price cutting.
These are, nevertheless, useful numbers that can be used to calculate a figure of merit for an industrial motive power battery related business start-up. Divide 32, the sales price advantage of motive power batteries, by 5.18, the market value advantage of automobile batteries. Less than one means best left untouched. Greater than one speaks of opportunity. Six is excellent.
Batteryvitamin typically injected into the battery refill water by water powered dosing unit. Ratio 1:125.
Batteries are watered in the normal way. Individual cells always receive optimum dose of Batteryvitamin.
Motive power batteries are rarely used alone or in small groups - are mostly used in groups of sixty, four hundred, a thousand batteries, per facility. In the UK, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose together run over 120 distribution warehouses, each has in the order of 200 motive power batteries powering forklift trucks, stackers and other types of vehicles. In the USA, Walmart, Kroger, Target, Costco, Home Depot, Wallgreen, Safeway, Amazon, (Click for distribution center details), etc., together run several thousand distribution warehouses. Logistics operators, industrial concerns, food and beverage manufacturers, etc. run many hundreds of similar large operations. Bear in mind that it is about helping corporate battery users to make up their minds they prefer the savings they can make from batteries that last longer to the extra expense of buying or leasing new batteries.
In 2000, Batteryvitamin was installed for the first time at a large facility, a 950 battery auto manufacturer parts distribution warehouse. A typical, smaller 400-battery warehouse can account for an investment in batteries of 400 X $3500 = $1.4 million, (£875 thousand). Extra 40% service life represents a saving of $560 thousand, (£350 thousand). The price the customer would be asked to pay for the service can be a ten-twenty percent portion of the saving.
Multiple installations, repeat business, minimal overheads - a potentially handsome line of business. A people oriented, marketing and sales, slightly actuarial, technical service line of business.
As an astute business person, you know we have provided only a basic outline, and that;
Cutting-edge technology is the beating heart of this kind of business, therefore;
It is essential that we provide you with comprehensive technical disclosures.
There are more than 20 pages with technical and general information on this website.
What we propose is a very simple business model. We provide technical support and product, follow up service - you provide marketing and distribution - under an exclusive-territory distribution/ licensing agreement.