Benjamin Franklin’s experiments with electricity in the 18th century ultimately led to the creation of the world’s first battery. Its subsequent evolution and continued importance proves its status as one of mankind’s most important accomplishments.
Batteries are generally used in applications and devices that need constant, low current. This is why they are a common feature in products such as remote controls, digital cameras, watches, mobile phones, laptops and other portable electronics. But what if the device you’re powering is more complex and has more demanding requirements? This is where Skeleton Technologies is making waves.
This Estonian-based start-up was formed in 2009 as a six-person research team and has developed rapidly since then. Its main focus is the design and manufacture of ultracapacitors – a novel energy storage technology that offers high power density (which means they can provide very high current), almost instant (less than a minute) recharging, and a very long lifetime (over 1 million charge-discharge cycles).
In addition, ultracapacitors – also called supercapacitors or fast energy storage – are significantly lighter than batteries, have high tolerance for extreme temperatures and, unlike batteries, don’t contain harmful chemicals or toxic metals. This makes them a great solution for a wide range of markets including automotive, aerospace, heavy transportation, maritime, renewables and grid.
Also at the heart of Skeleton Technologies’ solution is an emphasis on research into curved graphene. Curved graphene differs significantly from regular activated carbons, which are generally used by other ultracapacitor manufacturers. Skeleton’s competitors use organic pre-cursor materials, mostly carbon made from coconut. Skeleton is the only company to use an inorganic pre-cursor and has patented the synthesis process for its proprietary material.
Recently, Skeleton Technologies was recognised as one of the most promising young businesses in energy transition and climate protection, winning the 2018 SET Award in the innovative mobility category. This distinction is designed to single out and reward groundbreaking new technologies and business models in adopting greener practices and boosting electrification in transport.
InnoEnergy is a company investing in solutions in the area of energy, cleantech, mobility and broadly understood smart technologies. Through knowledge, financing and network of contacts, we support the commercialisation of products and their introduction to international markets. InnoEnergy is present in 40 countries, where we cooperate with more than 430 partners – the largest industrial companies, leading research and academic centres and innovative entrepreneurs, investing about 100€ million annually in solutions that increase the competitiveness of our economy thanks to cleaner, better and more efficient technologies.
One of the most important InnoEnergy projects is the PowerUp! competition for start-ups in the energy and cleantech sectors in 24 countries in Central-Eastern Europe. Its winners receive cash prizes and the opportunity to participate in the prestigious Highway® programme, which provides financial support of up to 150 000€, assistance in building a team and access to foreign clients and investors.
By PowerUp! Team on in PowerUp! 2019