Printed on August ninth, 2019 |
by Steve Hanley
August ninth, 2019 by Steve Hanley
Tesla watchers know that Jeff Dahn and his staff at Dalhousie College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, are world leaders in lithium-ion battery analysis. For years, Dahn labored solely for 3M, however when that association ended, Tesla swooped in and signed a contract for Dahn to work for the Silicon Valley automobile/tech/vitality firm.
For years, the Holy Grail of battery analysis has been making solid-state battery cells that substitute the liquid electrolyte in standard cells with stable supplies. Strong-state batteries are believed to be cheaper to supply, have increased vitality density, and have an extended lifespan than standard lithium-ion batteries. Nicely, if somebody can crack the ultimate code for commercially viable cells.
As well as, solid-state batteries are much less wish to catch fireplace or explode in the event that they get too sizzling. That in flip means electrical automobile producers could make less complicated, more cost effective cooling methods for his or her battery packs, driving down the price of EVs. It additionally reassures the general public their shiny new electrical vehicles aren’t going to explode in the garage, as just lately occurred to the proprietor of a Hyundai Kona EV in Canada.
Analysis printed by Dahn and his staff within the journal Nature Energy on July 15 reveals they’ve created new lithium-ion pouch cells which will outperform solid-state expertise battery. Right here’s the summary of that analysis report:
“Cells with lithium-metal anodes are seen as probably the most viable future expertise, with increased vitality density than current lithium-ion batteries. Many researchers consider that for lithium-metal cells, the standard liquid electrolyte utilized in lithium-ion batteries should be changed with a solid-state electrolyte to keep up the flat, dendrite-free lithium morphologies vital for long-term secure biking.
“Right here, we present that anode-free lithium-metal pouch cells with a dual-salt LiDFOB/LiBF4 liquid electrolyte have 80% capability remaining after 90 cost–discharge cycles, which is the longest life demonstrated so far for cells with zero extra lithium. The liquid electrolyte allows easy dendrite-free lithium morphology comprised of densely packed columns even after 50 cost — discharge cycles. NMR measurements reveal that the electrolyte salts liable for the wonderful lithium morphology are slowly consumed throughout biking.”
These pesky dendrites are the bane of lithium-ion batteries. They’re little projections like stalagmites in caves that may poke by way of the insulating layer inside particular person cells, resulting in quick circuits and potential fires. Eliminating them can be a giant step ahead, significantly to be used in electrical automobiles.
Is Tesla on the verge of changing the cylindrical cells in its battery packs with Jeff Dahn’s pouch cells? Not simply but. There’s quite a lot of analysis and testing left to do earlier than they turns into appropriate for industrial manufacturing, however they might sign an necessary step ahead for vitality storage within the years forward.
Under is a video of Dahn when he received the distinguished Nationwide Sciences and Engineering Analysis Council of Canada award in 2017. Here’s a fellow who is aware of what he’s speaking about. If he says pouch cells can outperform stable state cells, we must always pay heed.