Published On: Mon, Jun 29th, 2015

New Battery Design Cuts Lithium-Ion Battery Cost in Half

A commander prolongation plant during 24M’s domicile in Cambridge has constructed thousands of exam batteries to denote a potency of a new design.

By regulating a battery pattern that is a hybrid between upsurge batteries and required plain ones, engineers have grown a new prolongation proceed that slices lithium-ion battery cost in half.

An modernized prolongation proceed for lithium-ion batteries, grown by researchers during MIT and during a spinoff association called 24M, promises to significantly condense a cost of a many widely used form of rechargeable batteries while also improving their opening and creation them easier to recycle.

“We’ve reinvented a process,” says Yet-Ming Chiang, a Kyocera Professor of Ceramics during MIT and a co-founder of 24M (and formerly a co-founder of battery association A123). The existent routine for prolongation lithium-ion batteries, he says, has frequency altered in a dual decades given a record was invented, and is inefficient, with some-more stairs and components than are unequivocally needed.

The new routine is formed on a judgment grown 5 years ago by Chiang and colleagues including W. Craig Carter, a POSCO Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. In this supposed “flow battery,” a electrodes are suspensions of little particles carried by a glass and pumped by several compartments of a battery.

The new battery pattern is a hybrid between upsurge batteries and required plain ones: In this version, while a electrode element does not flow, it is stoical of a matching semisolid, colloidal cessation of particles. Chiang and Carter impute to this as a “semisolid battery.”

Simpler prolongation process

This proceed severely simplifies manufacturing, and also creates batteries that are stretchable and resistant to damage, says Chiang, who is comparison author of a paper in a Journal of Power Sources examining a tradeoffs concerned in selecting between plain and flow-type batteries, depending on their sold applications and chemical components.

This investigate demonstrates that while a flow-battery complement is suitable for battery chemistries with a low appetite firmness (those that can usually store a singular volume of appetite for a given weight), for high-energy-density inclination such as lithium-ion batteries, a additional complexity and components of a upsurge complement would supplement nonessential additional cost.

Almost immediately after edition a progressing investigate on a upsurge battery, Chiang says, “We satisfied that a improved proceed to make use of this flowable electrode record was to reinvent a [lithium ion] prolongation process.”

Instead of a customary routine of requesting glass coatings to a hurl of subsidy material, and afterwards carrying to wait for that element to dry before it can pierce to a subsequent prolongation step, a new routine keeps a electrode element in a glass state and requires no drying theatre during all. Using fewer, thicker electrodes, a complement reduces a required battery architecture’s series of graphic layers, as good as a volume of nonfunctional element in a structure, by 80 percent.

Having a electrode in a form of little dangling particles instead of combined slabs severely reduces a trail length for charged particles as they pierce by a element — a skill famous as “tortuosity.” A reduction curved trail creates it probable to use thicker electrodes, which, in turn, simplifies prolongation and lowers cost.

Cross-sectional blueprint shows how a new pattern for lithium-ion battery cells by 24M increases a density of electrode layers and severely reduces a series of layers needed, shortening prolongation costs.

Bendable and foldable

In further to streamlining prolongation adequate to cut battery costs by half, Chiang says, a new complement produces a battery that is some-more stretchable and resilient. While required lithium-ion batteries are stoical of crisp electrodes that can moment underneath stress, a new plan produces battery cells that can be bent, folded or even penetrated by bullets but failing. This should urge both reserve and durability, he says.

The association has so distant done about 10,000 batteries on a antecedent public lines, many of that are undergoing contrast by 3 industrial partners, including an oil association in Thailand and Japanese heavy-equipment manufacturer IHI Corp. The routine has perceived 8 patents and has 75 additional patents underneath review; 24M has lifted $50 million in financing from try collateral firms and a U.S. Department of Energy grant.

The association is primarily focusing on grid-scale installations, used to assistance well-spoken out appetite loads and yield backup for renewable appetite sources that furnish few output, such as breeze and solar power. But Chiang says a record is also good matched to applications where weight and volume are limited, such as in electric vehicles.

Another advantage of this approach, Chiang says, is that factories regulating a routine can be scaled adult by simply adding matching units. With normal lithium-ion production, plants contingency be built during vast scale from a commencement in sequence to keep down section costs, so they need most incomparable initial collateral expenditures. By 2020, Chiang estimates that 24M will be means to furnish batteries for reduction than $100 per kilowatt-hour of capacity.

Venkat Viswanathan, an partner highbrow of automatic engineering during Carnegie Mellon University who was not concerned in this work, says a investigate presented in a new paper “addresses a really critical doubt of when is it improved to build a upsurge battery contra a immobile model. … This paper will offer as a pivotal apparatus for creation pattern choices and go-no go decisions.”

Viswanathan adds that 24M’s new battery pattern “could do a same arrange of intrusion to [lithium ion] batteries prolongation as what mini-mills did to a integrated steel mills.”

In further to Chiang, a Power Sources paper was co-authored by connoisseur tyro Brandon Hopkins, automatic engineering highbrow Alexander Slocum, and Kyle Smith of a University of Illinois during Urbana-Champaign. The work was upheld by a U.S. Department of Energy’s Center for Energy Storage Research, formed during Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

Publication: Component-cost and opening formed comparison of upsurge and immobile batteries

Source: David L. Chandler, MIT News Office

Images: Courtesy of 24M

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