anup singh
anup singh
06 Mar 2017

Newly developed non-combustible solid state batteries are cheaper and have 3x more energy density

In 1980, John Goodenough invented Li-ion battery which worked due to movement of Li+ ions between the two electrodes. It has been more than 30 years and we are still using the same principle in batteries. Although the efficiency is much better compared to 2000s, but it seems we have reached the limit of this technology. The more we try to make Li-ion batteries compact and cheaper, the riskier it gets. The same physicist John Goodenough, now 94 years old, along with Maria Helena Braga has developed solid state battery showing enough caliber to power the next generation of electric cars, smartphones etc.

Lithium ion batteries are explosive, due to the use of a highly flammable electrolyte liquid, expensive and have slow charging rates. These limitations have crippled the growth rate of electronics industry. This new battery is claimed to have 3 times the energy density of Li-ion ones. This means your tesla’s mileage might get tripled just by replacing the conventional battery pack with similar sized Solid State battery. Other improvements include long life cycle, faster charging and discharging rates, non-combustible and lower cost.

This battery works on the principle of solid glass electrolyte. The liquid electrolyte is replaced by a conductive glass material eliminating any chances of explosion. These modifications allow it to perform efficiently at temperatures as low as -20-degree C. This concept also replaces Lithium with sodium which could easily be obtained from sea water. Thus, the manufacturing cost is further reduced.

This is not the first time that some concept battery has shown potential. Graphene batteries also showed promising results few years back and are nowhere to be seen in general consumer markets (few gimmicks can be seen). If this one is actually something more realistic, it’s going to bring extensive changes in virtually every industry.

Source: University of Texas

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