A Small Company Has Commercialized a Novel Product Based on ERC-Developd Technology

Achievement date: 

A small company, General Capacitor, has commercialized a product based on technology from the NSF-funded Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Engineering Research Center (ERC), headquartered at North Carolina State University. The product is a lithium-ion capacitor (LIC), which combines activated carbon with the special properties of lithium to create a device with high energy density, high power density, and long life—a true super-capacitor. 


LICs can be used in automotive, renewable energy, and uninterruptible-power-supply applications. Activated carbon creates a very large anode capacity and hence a high cell capacity. In addition to high specific energy and specific power, LICs have low self-discharge and operate reliably in extreme temperatures (i.e., -20 C and 70 C). Dr. Jim Zheng (Florida A&M University, a FREEDM partner) also combined LICs with lithium-ion batteries (LIB) into a single package that retains the benefits of both. 


General Capacitor licensed the technology from FREEDM in 2013 and established offices in Tallahassee, Florida to maintain close relationships with key faculty members. General Capacitor, currently with 15 employees, has worked closely with Dr. Zheng to commercialize its LIC product. One step toward full production was to create a joint venture with the China Aviation Lithium Battery Company, one of China’s largest lithium battery manufacturers, to explore development of a novel chemistry with excellent specific-energy ratings.

LIC and LIB devices are rated at over 5 kW/kg, 15-30 Wh/kg, and over 100,000 cycles. General Capacitor's LIC is shown in the figure.