As we transition towards a sustainable energy future, batteries will play an increasingly significant role. Companies and automakers alike are investing heavily in developing cheaper, denser and lighter batteries with improved energy storage capacities.
Advances in battery chemistry range from tweaking existing methods for incremental gains to revolutionary changes that deliver unparalleled performance. Ultimately, electric vehicles (EVs) will cover greater distances and recharge faster in an increasingly electric world.
Lithium-ion batteries are the ideal battery technology for portable and mobile devices due to their high power-to-weight ratio and long cycle life. Furthermore, these batteries offer safety features as well.
Lithium-ion batteries offer several advantages over flooded lead acid batteries, including no venting of dangerous gases and the ability to store in confined spaces without need for active cooling or ventilation. Furthermore, these chemistries can be charged up to higher voltages than most other battery chemistries.
In addition to the cathode and anode, a Li-ion cell also includes a nonaqueous electrolyte composed of lithium salts that is dissolved in an organic solvent. This medium allows lithium ions to move from the anode to the cathode.
Cells are separated by porous plastic films that permit ion flow but prevent direct contact between anode and cathode. These separators can be constructed out of polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), or a laminate of both. To guarantee proper separation, their porosity must be controlled and their size uniform.
Lithium iron phosphate
If you’re shopping for a new battery, be sure to select the highest quality technology. Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries are some of the strongest and safest on the market today.
It’s the ideal solution for solar setups, camping gear and even commercial use. Furthermore, its light weight makes it ideal for transporting around your RV or travel trailer.
Another fantastic advantage of LFP is its superior depth of discharge (DOD). This means you can repeatedly deep-cycle the battery without damaging it, giving you more performance from your system.
It is also more eco-friendly than lithium-ion batteries, since it utilizes earth-abundant materials for the cathode instead of nickel and cobalt. This helps circumvent supply chain problems and inflated prices.
For the optimal battery technology, it must be able to store more energy, be safer and offer lower costs. Furthermore, it needs to meet the demands of today’s electronics and electric vehicles.
Sodium-ion batteries are becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to lithium-ion due to their low cost and abundance of mineral raw materials, such as soda ash. While they share similar operating principles to lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion offers several advantages such as higher capacity, faster charging speed, and safety.
However, as with any battery technology, the development of sodium-ion batteries has presented its share of challenges. These include setting up production lines, increasing capacity and achieving consistent mass production.
Researchers at PNNL are making great strides toward solving these challenges and pushing sodium-ion batteries to the forefront of technology. They have discovered a way to enhance charge storage capacities and are developing biocompatible electrolytes suitable for wearable or implantable devices – these batteries could eventually power everything from smart homes and electric cars, to solar farms and wind farms.
As more people make the switch to electric vehicles, battery technology is expected to become even more essential. As such, researchers are working hard on developing novel concepts for batteries that offer several advantages over current options on the market, such as increased energy density and longer battery life in a smaller package.
Solid-state electrolytes are one potential choice, which can be made with various materials such as oxides, sulfides and organics. However, selecting the appropriate electrolyte has an immense effect on battery performance, processing costs and timeliness, as well as materials availability.
Scientists from Florida State University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory devised a solution to this problem, employing elements that are less dependent on one element, especially pricey metals with supply chain issues. These strategies, which are now being applied by other researchers, could improve battery efficiency and safety in the future.