Customer Inquiry
Andrii Buvailo
Last visit date 03 October 2013
Yurii Maletin
Last visit date 19 May 2010
Alexander Shnaydruk
Last visit date 15 December 2011

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Trip to CeBIT fair, Hannover, 4-10 March, 2013.

(We got stuck in Vienna airport because of delayed flight from Hannov and I decided to kill the time by writing a little bit about our experience with CeBit… ).

Arrival, March 4

So, here we are, finally got to Hannover. The weather is nice – sunny and quite warm, which is not typical for Germany during this season.

Having done accommodation routine, we took Tram 1 and went directly to the Exhibition Center, “Messe”, which is one of the biggest trade platforms in Europe and across the world.

The Center is really huge, the halls are scattered across a large area. It takes about 25 minutes to get from the tram station to Hall 16 where our booth will be held. Starting from the official opening day – 5 March, there will be shuttle buses circulating around the Center, so it will be easier.

CeBIT 2013 Hannover Messe

The whole exhibition area is one complete mess – everybody is setting up their booths, the halls are filled up with constructors, carpenters and other supplementary staff – there are many companies out there to help you build your booth and bring it to the exhibition, just pay and go. However, the price of a professional booth is rather high, I saw prices starting from 5 thousands Euro – the simplest construction.

In our case everything is easier as we are participating as a startup company within a framework of a competition organized by Code_N group. This competition had initially targeted 250 startups from around the globe and later they chose 50 finalists to present their innovations at CeBIT for free. YUNASKO appeared to be among the fifty lucky teams. So our booth is very simple:

CeBIT 2013 Yunasko booth


At CeBIT

Nice thing about presenting at CeBIT is that after registration they give you special card which gives right to travel on all the common transportation for free. This is a very nice bonus as the prices for the transportation are high. The city is divided into several zones and depending on where you wanna go, you need to pay some extra for each zone. For example, for the first time we bought a ticket for 2 zones out of 3 and it was worth around 6 Euro per person.

As in any huge exhibition, the managers at the central office know nothing about our particular Code_N competition and cannot help us with directions and other stuff. Well, probably they are not supposed to… Finally, we reached the guys from Code_N and the situation began changing for the better.

In fact, the staff at Code_N appeared to be helpful and pleasant, they assisted us with getting known the place and also provided some guides as to what and how to do in Hall 16.

CeBIT 2013 Hall 16

I will skip detailed description of how we were assembling the booth and working for several days towards popularizing ultracapacitors and YUNASKO, giving away our business cards and materials, getting new useful contacts etc. During the whole duration we were interviewed a couple of times about ultracapacitors and energy storage in general (http://youtu.be/s6gQrXs85Qo) and also, some nice image of 200 F, 15 V YUNASKO ultracapacitor module was published on Cnet News (http://news.cnet.com/2300-11386_3-10016047-2.html). So we got a pretty good media coverage. Other things are not really worth mentioning, just usual exhibition routine.

What I should mention, though, in the evening of day one there was a nice concert show with “Clair”. Good singing, indeed. The singer was a nice girl with a strong voice and some German accent in her English.

On 7 March I gave a presentation on the stage, it was Ok, the microphone didn’t broke. Although the main audience didn’t seem to be the guys, who would be interested in giving money or becoming useful partners for buying ultracapacitors from YUNASKO. Primarily, some random visitors, students and other finalists, like us.

Me at stage CeBIT 2013

On March 8 there was the Award Show. It was very nice, a lot of music and dancers on the stage.

As it had been expected, the 2 winners were chosen from the IT-related startups – Changers.com and Greenclouds. Well, I have to admit, the guys presented really nice ideas.

Among of people at Award Show CeBIT 2013

The next day I had a chance to walk a little bit around the area of CeBIT and see what was going on in the world of IT and technology. Below are just several random photos taken with my cellphone….

One of the Halls at CeBIT 2013

3D-printer

Clever robot

Displair: the most amazing display in the world

Electric sportcar

Another electric car

Volocopter

Interesting thing about weather in Hannover: we came there on a sunny day and were enjoying German spring for another two days. Then it changed to clouds and later – rain. So, a classic autumn has come in the middle of our stay at CeBIT. And the last day, March 10 was the witness of a nice snowfall.

Why ultracapacitors?

There is sad statistics: some 85% of energy consumption in the world is covered by the burning of fossil fuels - oil, gas and coal - and projections suggest that oil and gas reserves will be able to satisfy the needs of humanity for 50 - 60 more years. And then what? Beginning of the crisis is already in view, especially if you compare prices at gas stations today and some 20 years ago.


So, the prices for petrol have been rising, the amount of petrol is decreasing and this trend will proceed ... until petrol disappears completely. And what in return?  In fact, various chemical energy sources may come into play. Some ideas have already been probed in hybrid cars and electric vehicles. To understand what kind of power supply may be the most promising it is useful to compare them in terms of specific energy (i.e. energy per unit mass), the ability to produce necessary power (i.e. energy per unit time), the number of recharge cycles, working temperature range, etc.

 

Consumer Needs

 

It is widely adopted to estimate the energy in Watt-hours (Wh) and therefore energy density - in Wh/kg. Lithium-ion batteries undoubtedly hold the first place amount commercially available energy storage systems in terms of specific energy -  the energy density reaches 150 - 200 Wh / kg which is greater than can be obtained from commonly used lead-acid batteries (30 – 50 Wh/kg).  It is true, however, that some energy sources are known to have much higher stored energy. Among them there are fuel cells with specific energy up to 950 Wh / kg and recently emerged  lithium-air elements with specific energy up to 1500 Wh / kg (the market is not aware of them yet!).

 

Of course, the consumer would like to have a cycle life of the accumulator up to hundreds of thousands of recharging cycles. And this is not just a whim. For instance, in modern micro-hybrids equipped with start-stop systems the engine needs to start and stop many times while the car toils its way thought the traffic jams… and no one would want to change the battery every two to three months.

 

There are other suggestions to improve the batteries when they are used in electric and hybrid vehicles: a good idea would be to increase the horsepower so that the vehicle could accelerate quickly… it is also good to extend the working temperature range ... that all would be good ... but the nature of the electrochemical processes is a hard thing to change. One of the solutions to many problems with batteries – assembling them together with ultracapacitors.

 

Ultracapacitors Can Help!

 

This new name - ultracapacitor (supercapacitor, electric double layer capacitor) – has just recently come to the lexicon of experts in the field of energy storage. Ultracapacitors are produced based on the special nanoporous electrode materials with a huge surface area – on the order of thousands of square meters per gram! Ultracapacitors differ from conventional capacitors in that the former have significantly higher specific energy - two to three orders of magnitude larger. And although batteries are still superior over ultracapacitors in the specific energy characteristics, the latter outperform batteries when it comes to power. Besides, the ultracapacitors can survive enormous number of charge / discharge cycles – up to a million and they can successfully operate at temperatures from -50 to +70 oC.

 

 

High power density (due to the low internal resistance), wide operating temperature range and virtually unlimited cycling - these benefits are attractive not only for car manufacturers. In recent years the ultracapacitor began invading various market niches, either as stand-alone systems, or in a combination with batteries. Some examples are:

 

Already In Use...

 

Japanese company NEC Tokin paralleled small ultracapacitors with lithium-ion batteries in digital cameras, cell phones and laptops - and increased battery life-time by 1,5 – 2 times. This is not surprising since all the power load peaks (although very short – but still harmful to the batteries) were dumped by the ultracapacitors.

 

Chinese company Aowei has already been producing electric city-buses for over four years. The only source of energy for such buses is the utlracapacitor module which recharges at every bus-stop. The overall mileage of these buses counts more than 20 million kilometers.

 

The German company AEG offered the use of ultracapacitors for smoothing peak loads on the batteries in portable electric drill and other consumer electronics devices. Such drills used to get stuck when encountering harder area because the accumulators would not cope with the extra load. Now the problem is solved at the expense of the ultracapacitors taking care of the extra power needed to drill through harder areas.

 

The company ELITE manufactures ultracapacitors for car audio equipment. Pleasant sounding of low frequencies with overtones can be hardly achieved by using only conventional accumulators. In this situation the ultracapacitors also help.

 

Very promising example of the ultracapacitors application is their use with batteries for alternative energy sources such as wind turbines and solar panels.

Perhaps enough examples for this time… A lot of issues in the field of energy storage can be solved by ultracapacitors and the market in now ready to accept this technology.  It is just needed to start producing good ultracapacitors… The Yunasko team is working hard to achieve this goal.

 

Written by: Yurii Maletin, Andrii Buvailo


As Featured On EzineArticles

Exploring new market niches for YUNASKO ultracapacitors…

Recently I had a conversation with Dr. Viacheslav Zgonnik, director of The Ukrainian Association for Hydrogen Energy (UAHE) (http://uahe.net.ua), about collaboration opportunities for YUNASKO in the field of fuel cells.  It is known that ultracapacitors can help fuel cells in similar way as they help Li-ion batteries – extend life-time of the fuel cell while increasing its efficiency.  This idea is far from being novel and one example of that is Honda which combined fuel cell with ultracapacitor module to provide energy for an electric vehicle.  So I thought it might be a good idea to closer explore this niche and market opportunities in this sector…

Several options for starting common research project were identified, in particular, with involvement of European programs (FP7) and other external sources of funding.  As the first step, UAHE is ready to provide YUNASKO with some market research data on fuel cells and current technology level in this field.  Undoubtedly, information support and consulting by UAHE will help get more insight into this potential niche for YUNASKO ultracapacitors.

 

About UAHE

 

Ukrainian Association for Hydrogen Energy was created in 2009 by researchers and businessmen ambitious about moving forward progress in hydrogen fuel technology. The organization is active in popularizing knowledge about hydrogen fuel research and providing educational and consulting support in the field of fuel cells.