Germany-based Skeleton Technologies has been on the forefront of graphene-based supercapacitors improvement for a few years, and the corporate not too long ago made some main bulletins, together with a big (>€70 million) financing round, the super-battery undertaking and several other strategic prospects and tasks – together with ones with Medcom, Skoda, CAF, Wrightbus and Marubeni.
We not too long ago talked with Skeleton’s VP of automotive merchandise, Sebastian Pohlmann, who up to date us on the corporate’s enterprise and know-how.
Skeleton produces graphene-enhanced supercapacitors, based mostly on its curved-graphene know-how (we are going to clarify that under). In accordance with the corporate, its capacitors are the very best performing capacitors on this planet, with the very best density – and by a big margin over its competitors (see this US Navy test that compares Skeleton’s supercaps to four other types).
The improved efficiency is behind Skeleton’s extraordinarily quick development in the previous few years, as the corporate provides its options to a variety of purposes. The corporate studies a again log of over $200 million in merchandise that it’s going to provide within the subsequent years. To help its quick development, Skeleton is developing new production technologies and scaling up its capacity with support from the German government. Skeleton has tripled its revenues for 3 years in a row as much as 2020, and in 2021 it hopes to proceed its quick development.
Skeleton has already raised over 170 million Euro in non-public funding rounds, and acquired quite a few grants and undertaking awards. With these spectacular orders and financing rounds, we hope the corporate might turn out to be public by way of an IPO sooner or later.
Skeleton is focusing on 4 major markets: the automotive one (automobiles), transportation (trains, trams, buses, and many others.), industrial methods (equivalent to oil and gasoline methods, building, medical and extra) and the ability grid. It sees good demand and development in gross sales throughout all of its markets.
Two standard purposes at the moment are wind pitch management and grid power storage options. Wind pitch management methods are historically powered by lead-acid batteries, however newer generators are adopting supercapacitors which outperform the previous options. Skeleton is supplying its capacitors to many such generators, and this market will probably proceed to develop sooner or later.
One other vital utility lies within the grid. Giant energy banks (as much as 100Mw) are used at the moment to control the grid, and these installations have to launch their energy shortly, which is the place Skeleton’s supercapacitors come into play.
As we stated, the automotive market is of nice curiosity to Skeleton, though presently its gross sales don’t characterize a big portion of the corporate’s revenues. The corporate can share that it has began to provide supercapacitors to a number one automotive maker in Germany, that can use these in future energetic suspensions.
In future automobiles, nonetheless, Skeleton sees purposes in brakes buffer energy, and likewise in decrease voltage purposes – to take over the automobile’s 12V energy provide and exchange the currently-used Lead-Acid battery. Supercapacitors will outperform the batteries, and likewise are extra environmentally pleasant.
Trying even additional forward, Skeleton sees an enormous potential in hydrogen-powered automobiles (gas cells) and likewise in smaller automobiles that can have small batteries and so will make use of the supercapacitors for brake energy era.
Certainly one of Skeleton’s key tasks is its Superbattery, which additionally attracted a Letter of Intent from a major automotive OEM, in total worth of > 1$ billion. It is going to be a number of years earlier than this know-how enters the market, and the objective is to increase the efficiency of Skeleton’s supercapacitors to the purpose the place these will be adopted as the ability financial institution of hybrid automobiles. The know-how will increase power density by nearly an element of 10x whereas nonetheless enabling quick charging and the excessive energy density which supercapacitors are recognized for.
Skeleton’s major know-how is its curved graphene, which is a kind of graphene, however not a regular one – the fabric is nothing just like the single-layer graphene sheets, however reasonably resembles crumbled up graphene, leading to nanoscale 3D objects. The curved graphene retains the properties of graphene (excessive conductivity and enormous floor space) however will be inserted into electrodes way more simply in comparison with different graphene varieties. This allows Skeleton to realize the excessive efficiency in its supercapacitors.