New Hitachi Li-ion batteries to last ten years

Apr 09, 2010 by Lin Edwards report
Image credit: Hitachi

( -- Hitachi has announced they may be able to double the life of rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries through the development of a new cathode material. The material was developed in conjunction with the company Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery, and while it will not be useful initially for small applications such as laptops, cameras or smartphones, it may be ideal for larger batteries in hybrid or electric vehicles, and for storing excess energy produced by wind farm generators.

The new battery uses more for the positive electrode and reduces the use of the far more expensive cobalt. Hitachi says the new cathode material is the composite oxide lithium manganese spinel (LIMn2O4), a that is much more stable than the previous cathode material. Its stability makes the cathode more resistant to attack by the , and inhibits leaching of cathode material into the electrolyte (both processes that eventually stop the battery holding a charge). The new cathode material extends the life of the battery to ten years from the more usual average working life of five years, and it also boosts the battery’s capacity. The battery will also be cheaper than current lithium-ion batteries because of the reduced use of cobalt.

Lead-acid batteries are usually used for large installations because of their longer working life of up to 10 years, and also because of their lower cost. Lithium-ion batteries have about quadruple the power density of the lead-acid batteries, so if their lifetime could be doubled and the cost reduced, they could replace the traditional batteries for the larger applications.

Lithium-ion batteries are found in almost all portable these days, and the new may be able to be scaled down for use in these gadgets. The battery is at prototype stage at the moment, but Hitachi expects it to be available for larger scale industrial uses probably early in 2011.

The new battery was produced with the aid of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, and Hitachi hopes its concentration on batteries for ecologically sustainable industries such as wind farms and will help it return to profitability.

Explore further: Qi wireless charging standard offers more design freedom

More information: Original Hitachi paper (Japanese):… h/2010/04/0405a.html

Related Stories

Scientists Working Toward Better Batteries

Mar 09, 2006

As more and more people rely on cell phones, laptop computers, personal organizers, and even hybrid electric-gas vehicles, scientists are working to develop rechargeable batteries that are ever smaller, cheaper, ...

Increasing Electric Car Battery Performance

Sep 23, 2009

( -- Researchers have found that by replacing conventional graphite electrodes with silicon nanotube electrodes, lithium-ion batteries can store 10 times more charge.

Recommended for you

Qi wireless charging standard offers more design freedom

6 hours ago

Wireless charging is getting a new technology treatment which offers more design freedom. The Wireless Power Consortium's advance in its Qi wireless charging standard means that phones and chargers will no ...

'Wetting' a battery's appetite for renewable energy storage

11 hours ago

Sun, wind and other renewable energy sources could make up a larger portion of the electricity America consumes if better batteries could be built to store the intermittent energy for cloudy, windless days. Now a new material ...

New system to optimize public lighting power consumption

11 hours ago

In order to meet the efficiency requirements of the latest public lighting regulations, researchers from the School of Industrial Engineers of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), in collaboration with ...

Many tongues, one voice, one common ambition

Jul 31, 2014

There is much need to develop energy efficient solutions for residential buildings in Europe. The EU-funded project, MeeFS, due to be completed by the end of 2015, is developing an innovative multifunctional and energy efficient ...

Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant

Jul 31, 2014

(AP)—American electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. is teaming up with Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. to build a battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. expected to create 6,500 jobs.

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (1) Apr 09, 2010
the key phrase here is: "...may be able to..."
2 / 5 (1) Apr 09, 2010
Wow... Come on now, this has been announced by others including Altair NanoTechnology for years. In fact Altair's NanoSafe batteries will run for 30 years with very little deterioration in charge capacity.

Still, if they can keep the cost of these batteries low, (Altair's are expensive), it's a breakthrough. It has to last the life of a car at a minimum.
5 / 5 (2) Apr 09, 2010
Yea... I hear ya... My personal staff of scientific advisors have indicated that within the next year, I may very well be able to compress carbon into diamonds with little more than my gluteus maximus, all but erasing any debts I've amassed. As a result I will continue to spend money like a drunken sailor until further notice.
not rated yet Apr 09, 2010
Progress marches on, though perhaps not as fast as we would like it.
Still, even if this item comes to nothing there is a groundswell of tech lifting the performance of batteries generally.
Phrase for the day?
Hurry up and wait!
1 / 5 (1) Apr 09, 2010
It's almost too much, I can't wait. Longer lasting batteries, lithium air, lithium silica, etc. I feel like we are just on the brink of another battery revolution that will completely change the way we feel about batteries.