Press Release –
Firefly Energy Inc. (www.fireflyenergy.com), the Peoria Illinois-based company developing an innovative carbon-graphite foam lead acid battery for commercial and military applications, said today it was named a co-winner in the energy category in 2007’s The Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards. Los Alamos National Laboratory was the category’s other co-winner.
The seventh annual awards competition recognizes technological breakthroughs by individuals, companies and organizations around the world in a wide range of disciplines including medicine, energy, software, hardware, the Internet, broadcasting, the environment and other categories.
In his overview, Michael Totty, a news editor for The Journal Report in San Francisco, said Firefly Energy won for developing a “power supply that replaces the heavy lead plates in vehicle batteries with a carbon-graphite foam. The result is smaller and lighter, yet can deliver as much power as more advanced and more costly technologies.”
Ed Williams, CEO of Firefly Energy, said: “It is truly a unique honor to be selected out of 800 companies as one of the co-winners of this award, and from such a prestigious sponsor as Dow Jones and Company’s The Wall Street Journal. Winning the Journal’s 2007 award is a clear reflection on the talents and ingenuity of our team and their impassioned focus on introducing greater energy storage performance, at lower costs, with greener battery technology.”
Kurt Kelley, the inventor of Firefly’s graphite foam battery technology, added that removing corrosive heavy lead grids and replacing them with graphite foam helps unleash the innate power of lead acid chemistry. “Our battery technology can rival other advanced chemistries in performance, take advantage of an existing manufacturing base, and addresses environmental concerns through the significant reduction of lead content resulting from the use of carbon-graphite foam,” he said.
Firefly Energy is currently applying the first version of its battery technology in several commercial and military markets. The company’s battery technology may also serve emerging applications such as hybrid electric vehicles, which historically haven’t been served effectively by traditional lead acid batteries due to heavy weight and poor cycle life.
Firefly Energy’s “3D” carbon-graphite foam lead acid battery, the first of several innovations from the company’s technology portfolio for lead acid batteries, uses a three dimensional high surface area foam material that unleashes the high power potential of lead acid chemistry which was impossible to achieve in the past.
The technology not only reduces the lead content– making the batteries smaller and lighter–but also enables faster, deeper and more reliable discharges and recharges, significantly extends the battery life, is more environmentally friendly and, is less expensive than lithium and nickel battery chemistries.
The carbon-graphite foam also enables a much cooler overall battery performance – a key feature considering that the corrosion rate of lead doubles for every 15 degrees the temperature rises above 70-degrees Fahrenheit.
Examples of end-use applications of the Firefly Energy technology include lawn and garden care equipment, commercial and military vehicles, and uninterruptible power supplies.