Paper Battery Company Member Spotlight


Paper Battery VP Engineering, Sudhir Kulkarni

Paper Battery Company, Inc., based in Troy, NY, develops and commercializes ultrathin ultracapacitors for better power management solutions in energy storage systems. PBC’s ultrathin ultracapacitors deliver unprecedented flexibility and benefits in structural integration and distribution of high energy and power densities in electronic devices.  The company’s technology is based on ultrathin devices that can be integrated into structures around, over or under existing PCB boards, batteries or casings, leading to a radically different approach that allows its products to be integrated into industrial designs of portable consumer devices.  Smart electronics combined in such a planar power sheet provides a multifunctional, distributed power management system that reduces overall component cost and enables longer battery life and smaller devices. Current customers are from applications in mobile computing and wireless sensor products like wearables, Internet of Things, smartphones and tablets.

The company’s first product line, PowerWrapper™, provides scalable voltage, energy and power in a single, multi-function package that represents a transformation in the management of power and energy in small and large batteries from mobile computing and wearables to electric vehicles.   The PowerWrapper product line consists of ultrathin, patternable ultracapacitor devices with interconnects and packaging designed to make compact energy modules with operating voltages ranging from 2V – 7.8V depending on the desired lifetime.  
The ultracapacitor technology uses electrodes composed of high surface area activated carbon along with paper or other porous polymer separators to hold the electrolyte and separate the electrodes. Current collectors, usually aluminum foil, attach to the electrodes and carry the charges in and out.  As electronic devices and sensors get increasingly embedded in everyday objects, their power storage needs to shrink to match.  PowerWrapper allows for smaller and denser systems by eliminating the bulky packaging used in conventional energy storage devices.    

Ultracapacitors have reached mainstream commercial applications in wind turbines and automotive systems over the last decade, growing at 15-20%/year, with an established materials supply chain. Paper Battery’s PowerWrapper ultracapacitor product can be made in high volume using existing production equipment and currently-available commercial scale materials. The company has also developed an ultrathin packaging method that can deliver a 200 um thick, 4.5V device or a multi-component, multi-contact power sheet which can provide a distributed capacitance over a larger area with smart power management. This allows the company to deliver a variety of product packages for specific customer needs and better product integration.

PBC’s products lead to better performance from existing lithium batteries, reducing waste and cost, and can be designed in as a structural component that can be wrapped around the battery, or fit in or around the tight confines of other electronic components in portable devices. The company’s innovative business model and technology garnered the TIE50 2013 award, a prestigious Silicon Valley annual award for start-up companies.

Paper Battery has garnered interest from leading smartphone OEMs who have validated its prototype devices and the benefits they provide.  The company has also established a commercial partnership for sales with a leading global battery pack manufacturer.  The company anticipates that its business will primarily include direct sales to OEMs as well as additional sales through commercialization partnerships.  Paper Battery’s CEO, Shreefal Mehta, said, "We value our participation and support we receive from NY-BEST as a founding member and the opportunity this association creates to build a forum of specialized companies in the energy storage field in NY."

Paper Battery Company was founded in late 2008 by a team of scientists and an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship at RPI.  The company has one issued patent and over 20 patent applications protecting its architecture, materials and applications.  Initially funded by venture capitalists, angel investor groups, individuals, and by competitive grants from NYSERDA, Paper Battery has recently raised additional capital to establish its pilot manufacturing line and anticipates initial production and product revenues in 2015.  With an innovative and unique technology aimed at some of the most potentially explosive new markets, Paper Battery Company is one of the most intriguing entries into New York’s growing energy storage industry.