ZSW engineers build lithium-ion battery able to last for 27 years

Jun 10, 2013 by Bob Yirka report
Credit: ZSW

(Phys.org) —Officials at Germany's Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg, (ZSW) have issued a press release describing improvements they've made to lithium-ion batteries. They claim their improvements allow a single battery to be recharged up to 10,000 times while still retaining 85 percent of its charging capacity. Such a battery, if used in an electric car, they note, would allow its owner to recharge the battery every day for 27.4 years.

Besides the initial high cost of for , one of the main factors preventing further adoption of electric vehicles is the knowledge that the batteries will need to be replaced after just eight to ten years of use (and in some cases as few as just 3). Batteries that could last 25 or 30 years would likely outlive many of the other cars' parts, or the car itself, and if not too expensive, could finally give car buyers a compelling reason to switch from those that still rely on gasoline.

ZSW's announcement doesn't come as a surprise to most in the auto industry—the company published a paper in Journal of Power Sources last year describing ongoing research into electrode manufacturing process improvements that they claimed could dramatically improve the longevity of lithium-ion batteries. They noted then that electrode thickness changes, how much the electrodes compact during use and the type of conducting agent used in their construction when engineered in a new way, could help such batteries endure more recharging.

The newly redesigned batteries have approximately four times the density of current batteries (1,100 Watts per kilogram) and have been designed for use in storing power created by wind and and also in automotive vehicles.

ZSW doesn't say in its press release when they expect to deliver their new battery to manufacturers for use in actual cars or alternative . This likely means the company is still testing its concept to ensure that not only will the batteries hold up to claims of longevity but are safe in other ways as well. The company also noted that it has designed the new cell type itself as well as developing the manufacturing process used to make the battery. They've also made several prototype batteries in the 18650 format.

Explore further: Study IDs benefits, potential environmental/health impacts of li-ion batteries for electric vehicles

More information: www.zsw-bw.de/uploads/media/pi06-2013-ZSW-SpitzenwertLithiumbatterien_EN.pdf

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User comments : 8

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5 / 5 (1) Jun 10, 2013
10000 cycles, and 1100 W/Kg. Sounds too good to be true. If that's the case the ICE is dead. But as usual it is probably years/decades away from commercialization
1 / 5 (3) Jun 10, 2013
Removed by author
4 / 5 (9) Jun 10, 2013
They've also made several prototype batteries in the 18650 format.

If anyone is wondering: The 18650 format is the one commonly used in EVs (like the Tesla roadster) or laptop batteries.

The press release notes that their next step will be to work on large cells and scaling up the process.

The newly redesigned batteries have approximately four times the density of current batteries (1,100 Watts per kilogram)

Important to note that this is the POWER density (i.e. the figure of merit how fast they can be charged/discharged) - not the energy density (which is measured in Wh/kg).

The press release doesn't specify the energy density ( though the energy density of Li-ion bateries is usually in the 100-250Wh/kg range.)
1 / 5 (2) Jun 10, 2013
Since I live near the 45th parallel, I always wonder how new batteries will perform in the cold. Usually little is mentioned about cold tests.
not rated yet Jun 11, 2013
Usually Li-Ion batteries are best at slightly elevated temperatures and not so great in colder ranges. At least the ones I work with are - max out (start exploding) around 150 deg C and optimal around 40 to 60 deg C and up. The colder the weaker generally.....
3 / 5 (8) Jun 12, 2013
Since I live near the 45th parallel, I always wonder how new batteries will perform in the cold. Usually little is mentioned about cold tests.

Wow, that far south, eh?
1 / 5 (2) Jun 12, 2013
yeah easy to use "power" casually even when you know better. Seems more plausible than a big energy density increase. Couple things about higher power density: 1) means less heat for same discharge power, 2) it usually means a proportional increase in max. charge rate, which is very important. IDK if it does with this new design, but if it does, it makes you wonder, how will we deliver such high charge amps if multiple cars are charging at once? Maybe put some batteries in the charge station? (lol). Seriously though, that's a LOT of charge amps-the energy to drive a car 200 miles in say, 5 mins. Maybe need to go beyond 220v ? (otherwise cables/parts too big? etc)
1 / 5 (2) Jun 13, 2013
If this battery could be produced at about the same price range as todays batteries, this is actually a step forward. At a cost of - say - 1000 USD per kWh and 10 000 cycles, this equates to 10 cents per stored kWh in battery wear and tear. It is still not sufficiently cheap to store base power, but it is reduces the cost per mile in an electrical car. Let us hope it is real!

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