Skeleton Technologies is a developer and manufacturer of high energy and power density ultracapacitors. The company provides green and cost-effective energy storage solutions for the automotive, transportation, industrial and renewable energy markets.
Skeleton Technologies’ SkelCap line of ultracapacitors are based on patented technologies of ultracapacitor design and advanced nanostructured carbon allowing for higher energy and power density than competitors. The company has devised a process that uses silicon carbide to make what they call "curved graphene".
The Skeleton Technologies production facility is located in Großröhrsdorf, Germany, but a big part of the raw material R&D and innovation takes place in the Black Magic facility in Bitterfeld, Germany. Within Skeleton Technologies, Black Magic focuses on material development and scaling of the synthesis process for its “curved graphene” material. Then, the black powder from the Bitterfeld production facility is to be delivered to Großröhrsdorf for production of supercapacitor energy storage solutions.
Skeleton Technologies’ production facility in Grossröhrsdorf, Germany, is located in a cluster of high-tech manufacturing companies, in an area known colloquially as Silicon Saxony. In fact, the availability of skilled workforce and existing infrastructure were some of the key reasons behind Skeleton's decision to locate the new production facility in Saxony.
Skeleton is reportedly working on increasing the manufacturing capacity for the Grossröhrsdorf production facility from half a million to about 1,000,000 supercapacitors per year in 2020. In terms of footprint, the current 3,500 square meters will be double to about 7,000 square meters by 2020.
Following the scale-up, the plan is to implement the next generation cell design, optimized for automated production and cell assembly. Further automation enables scaling up production capacity to 4,000,000 cells in the first phase, and ultimately to 10,000,000 supercapacitors to meet demand from automotive, grid, and transportation.
As far as electrode manufacturing capacity goes, already in 2017 Skeleton was producing the equivalent of 2,000,000 supercapacitors worth of electrode, and can easily double production to 4,000,000 cell equivalents.
The custom-design electrode mixing unit in Grossröhrsdorf is currently scaled to about 4,000,000 supercapacitor cells, fully automated, and highly advanced. The unit was designed and developed together with an industry specialist system manufacturer to reach faster cycle times than standard machinery can achieve.
One of the key capabilities Skeleton possesses is laser-welding, which makes it possible to design a huge variety of sizes and shapes for supercapacitor modules. On top of in-house laser-welding, Skeleton also does all module and systems design an assembly in-house.
In August 2016 Skeleton raised €13 million, which brings total financing to €26.7 million. In February 2017 Skeleton received a €15 million loan from the Europrean Investment Bank.
Skeleton Technologies’ high-performance supercapacitors are set to be launched into orbit as part of a European Space Agency project and are also available as part of a hybrid Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) for defence applications. In August 2015, Skeleton entered the commercial truck fleet market when it launched a graphene-based device that helps truck drivers start their engines after long periods of inactivity or in cold weather. In July 2016, Skeleton Technologies announced that it will join French firm Flying Whales’ programme to build a 60-ton Large Capacity Airship, or LCA60T, for the global transport market.
In 2019 Skeleton Technologies stated its plan to invest €25 million in its plant located in the German state of Saxony. With this investment, Skeleton aims to expand its research and development as well as scale its production.
The latest Skeleton Technologies graphene news:
Skeleton Technologies, European developer of graphene-based supercapacitors and energy storage systems for transportation and grid applications, will supply supercapacitor systems to Škoda Electric, a traction equipment manufacturer, for 114 trams to be delivered by Škoda Transportation to Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Ludwigshafen in Germany.
The system recuperates the braking energy of the trams and uses it for re-acceleration, saving energy and decreasing costs. Supercapacitors are ideal for this application due to their high efficiency, reliability, and ability to recharge in seconds.
US Navy finds Skeleton's graphene-enhanced supercapacitors outperform competitors for transient load applications
A study led by John Heinzel from the US Naval Surface Warfare Center in Philadelphia, along with researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington, has compared the performance of supercapacitors from four different manufacturers: Maxwell, Ioxus, JM Energy, and Skeleton. Of the four tested, only the Skeleton supercapacitors are graphene-enhanced.
The team studied cells from the four different manufacturers under high pulsed load conditions to measure their power density into low-impedance loads. The researchers found that the Skeleton cell far outperformed the other cells tested, and graphene was mentioned as the probable cause for this efficiency.
Skeleton Technologies, an Estonia-based company that produces graphene-based supercapacitors and energy storage systems, is to invest €25 million in its plant located in the German state of Saxony. With this investment, Skeleton aims to expand its research and development as well as scale its production.
"In 2017, we announced our first stage in Saxony — €6.2 million were invested in the production of ultracapacitors in Großröhrsdorf," Skeleton co-founder and CEO Taavi Madiberk said in a press release. "We have successfully entered the market and helped save fuel and reduce emissions from buses, trucks, railway vehicles and industrial machinery".
Skeleton Technologies and British bus manufacturer Wrights Group have announced the signing of a high-volume, multi-million-euro contract for the next 5 years. Skeleton Technologies will supply graphene-based supercapacitors to the latest KERS enabled hybrid-electric double and single deck buses produced by the Wrights Group.
The demand to reduce CO2 emissions in city centers is one of the key drivers for WrightBus to implement new technology which cuts such emissions by saving fuel. The integration of graphene-based supercapacitors into test WrightBus double deck buses reportedly enables a 36% fuel saving compared to a UK-based EuroVI diesel bus baseline. It also adds at least another 3 passengers to the capacity of these buses compared to a lithium battery-based hybrid equivalent.
Skeleton Technologies and Sumitomo Corporation Europe sign agreement to distribute graphene-based supercapacitors
Skeleton Technologies has announced the signing of a distribution agreement with Sumitomo Corporation Europe, with the aim of providing energy storage solutions for the rapidly growing hybrid electric and electric vehicle industry.
In electric vehicles, graphene-based supercapacitors can be used in tandem with lithium-ion batteries, doubling the battery lifetime and downsizing the cell receiving the peak power from supercapacitors and the long-term energy from the batteries.