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Lithium Batteries Will Be Replaced By Solid Batteries? Not For At Least 5 Years

- Sep 10, 2018 -

After nearly a decade of publicity on electric vehicles, although the fuel car business has barely fallen, Tesla has successfully attracted attention to electric vehicles, and automakers began to follow Tesla to join the electric car race. Policies in China, Europe and other countries are stimulating or requiring automakers to produce more low-emission vehicles, a move that has greatly boosted the development of electric vehicles.

Globally, automakers say they will turn dozens of new or modified models into electric vehicles and promise to invest $90 billion in designing new models, tuning manufacturing plants and developing new technologies.

The influx of large amounts of money will definitely bring huge changes to the battery market. The most obvious change is to add more capacity to the already oversupply battery industry, which raises questions about what kind of battery technology is practical and what next-generation battery technology will be and when it will be ready.ER18505-4.jpg

Computer equipment suppliers and consumer electronics suppliers have been the main consumers of lithium-ion batteries and are the most vulnerable to battery technology. 26 years after the first Sony CCD-TR1 camcorder, the previous battery technology is still the industry standard.

A bunch of patents and published papers only show how much research work has done on batteries. However, technology development is much slower than anything else in the technology business.

According to AK Srouji, chief battery scientist at Loso-based battery technology manufacturing company Romeo Power, battery performance, such as energy density, increases by an average of 4% to 6% per year. Lithium battery storage requires a certain amount of space, and energy density increases can further drive electric The development of the car.

Over the years, people have been studying alternatives to lithium-ion batteries. A battery can be fabricated using sodium or magnesium ions as a charge carrier, but the chemical reaction is not stable enough, and it may take more than ten years to switch to a new charge carrier. In lithium ion batteries, many chemical reactions also occur. For example, cathodes, composite anodes and other components have been improved, but all high performance batteries use liquid electrolytes. One expected shift is an all-solid electrolyte that can increase energy density by up to 40% during its development, but there are still many electrochemical reactions and manufacturing challenges that can take up to ten years. Time to develop.

Small electronic scale solid-state batteries with low power consumption are mainly aimed at consumers and may start appearing on the market within five years. The key support technologies are actually low-power radio chips and wireless charging technology. People have been expecting battery life to be extended, but battery vendors and handset manufacturers are also expanding other functions, expecting to achieve 4 watts to 5 watts of power.

lithium battery

Lithium-ion batteries have always dominated the electronics market, with energy intensive and stable charge. Most analysts see that lithium-ion batteries are still the mainstream of the market, and at least three to five years in the market for energy storage.

IHS Markit analyst Olivier Nowak said that solid-state batteries will definitely appear, but will not appear in the next five years. Electronic consumers and manufacturers alike want longer battery life, but existing lithium-ion batteries are not a bad solution for mobile electronics. Of course, lithium-ion batteries occasionally fire, and the geometry and mechanical design of the battery is already very flexible. Except for unexpected breakthroughs in solid state battery technology, no major changes will occur in other areas.

Curiously, physicist John Bannister Goodenough, who invented lithium-ion batteries, was not happy at the speed of increasing energy density. He said that technology will develop step by step, rather than pursuing speed. In addition, he also revealed that his "super battery" may replace lithium batteries.

Goodenough completed the basic design at the University of Oxford using a lithium cobalt oxide cathode in 1980, but Oxford University rejected his patent application. Goodenough won the Medal of Freedom in 2011 for his invention, but did not receive a bonus. But when he returned to the battery research at the age of 94, he used a paper to describe a solid-state battery, claiming that the battery is non-flammable, has a long life, fast charging rate and 10 times energy density. Upgrade. The solid-state battery he describes is made of a glass electrolyte on both sides of the electrolyte and pure metal lithium or sodium.

A colleague at Goodenough said that the solid-state battery capacity described was abnormal and did not produce any voltage at all. And Goodenough said that this solid-state battery does not violate any thermodynamic laws. After repeated tests, it has been proven that this solid-state battery can obtain 3 volts in 500 cycles of testing.

Solid state battery

Solid-state batteries have been a hot topic in the battery industry for many years. Physicist Farid El Gabaly said that solid-state batteries are stable and powerful, but they are very difficult to implement and must be able to pass lithium ions through the solid wall rather than the electrolyte-electrolyte interface.

El Gabaly recently published the results of his three-year study to study the process of electrodes touching the electrolyte to find the answer. El Gabaly and one of his colleagues used X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and electrochemical techniques to study how ions can easily and quickly pass from one cathode through the solid interface to the other.

The focus of the study was on small solid-state batteries, and researchers had to layer the material over several layers of molecules one after the other until the battery was discharged. The technology will eventually be used to add sensors, wireless functional devices and other components, all of which are powered by a permanent solid-state component mounted on the chip, integrated with the power supply in the battery.

El Gabaly said that before this study, no one could observe these phenomena at the battery interface, and ions moved faster or slower in many processes. In his research, he looked at the battery interface at a very high resolution and looked at the process that needed improvement. If you understand the dynamics and want to complete the battery discharge in five seconds, you can do this. If you want to charge your electricity in one minute, you need to know how fast the ions move. Considering the difficulty of raising solid-state batteries to high levels, El Gabaly expects that the solid-state batteries it describes will not appear at least for the next three to five years.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 exploded the previous year and forced it to recall the phone. According to industry insiders, the explosion of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was caused by the wrong specifications of the two battery manufacturers. When the battery is charged and discharged, the electrode expands, but the lack of a radius of curvature causes the foil on the positive and negative electrodes to contact, causing overheating.

Boeing's new 787 aircraft was forced to withdraw in 2013 after several airlines reported that lithium-ion batteries would generate smoke and fire. Last November, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said that since 2015, more than 250 explosion-related explosions have been discovered involving about 14,000 devices.

The occurrence of these events tells us that no matter how slow the development of battery technology is, it is most important to ensure safety. The problems in those batteries may cause safety hazards in electronic devices. The most terrible thing is that we think during use. It is a matter of course, not in my heart.

AK Srouji said that when building high-performance full-featured and integrated battery systems that use a large number of single, stable batteries to achieve performance on a large scale, the most important thing is security.

Battery technology will be further developed, not only to study the chemical composition of battery components, but also to design batteries, modules and systems to ensure that when a battery enters thermal runaway, heat is not transmitted except for the required cycle life. To the adjacent battery. Whether in the fast charging burst mode or the stable charging mode, the design of the electronic device itself and how to use the energy in the battery are also studied.

Batteries are increasingly becoming part of the energy ecosystem of electronic devices, prompting a new round of investment and research in battery technology by well-known companies such as startups, universities and Tesla. As battery technology shifts to more detail, making batteries compatible with a variety of devices requires more research and requires changes to multiple levels inside and outside the battery.