We've seen Toshiba's SCiB (super-charge ion batteries) before at last summer's Consumer Electronics Show, where they were providing the power storage for a battery-assisted bike. SCiB batteries are useful for a wide range of functions, from electric bicycles and hybrid and electric vehicles, to industrial equipment and renewable energy storage. Toshiba has now opened a US-based technical support center to aid in developing the SCiB, particularly for vehicles, grid storage, and wind and solar power applications.
The SCiB has characteristics that make it very appealing. It performs like an ultracapacitor with rapid charge times, reaching 90% charge in about 5 minutes. It is good for thousands of cycles without extensive capacity loss, and it has a life span of 10 years or more. And, of potentially particular interest for vehicle manufacturers, it is able to perform even at low temperatures down to -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit).
The SCiB batteries are based on lithium chemistry, as are many other batteries currently in use. However, according to Toshiba, in addition to the other beneficial features the SCiB offers, they also have an internal structure which helps prevent short circuits and avoid "thermal runaway" even if they do develop a short circuit.
via: NA Windpower
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