- Tram Ho
Although becoming the standard for rechargeable batteries, Lithium-Ion battery technology still contains many disadvantages for the development of electric vehicle industry. They depend on hard-to-exploit resources, which always present the risk of overheating and fire or even explosion if there is an error in the production process. In addition, the low energy density of the Li-Ion battery still limits the range of electric vehicles.
This is a time when a series of industries need a new, easier-to-build battery architecture. Ideally, the battery design must also have a higher energy density and a shorter charging time to match the electric vehicle’s needs. Many new battery technologies have been launched to answer this demand, but so far no technology has become a reality.
However, startup XNRGI in Portland, Oregon is bringing a different technology from previous generations. The difference is that their miraculous battery technology is made up of current technologies, making production much easier than creating an entirely new battery technology.
Take advantage of old technology for new purposes
While conventional Li-Ion batteries use a layer of graphene as a two-way conductor in the battery, XNRGI’s battery makes a porous silicon disk, with three-dimensional empty holes containing Lithium and other metals acting as positive and negative battery. The technology for making silicon disks is not new, they have been used for decades by the semiconductor industry.
Silicon discs with tens of millions of tiny holes on the surface.
XNRGI’s design uses these porous wafer plates to create a surface like a waffle type. Each 12-inch diameter silicon disc can carry 36 million micro holes with a length of 20 micrometers per side. Each disc is then coated with a non-conductive material on one side. The other side of the disc will be covered with an electrically conductive metal to carry the current.
XNRGI CEO Chris D’Couto said: ” The metal cover and insulation we use are all taken from the chip industry. We didn’t have to invent anything in the process. reason. ”
Advantages of porous design
Naturally, holes in the wafer’s surface increase the surface area of the battery up to 70 times that of a two-way surface in a conventional battery. Each hole is separated from the neighboring holes to eliminate the possibility of internal short-circuit and help the battery resist aging after a certain time.
D’Couto said: ” Each of these tiny holes acts as a very small battery. When any small holes are broken, the damage will not spread out. This architecture makes the battery complete. It is safe to prevent heat escape and explosion . ”
With a porous design on the silicon wafer surface, the anode surface (anode) on XNRGI battery will be 70 times larger than the graphene anode in conventional batteries. In addition to using pure Lithium metal, the anode in the Powerchip battery will have a power density 10 times greater than the positive on existing Lithium-Ion batteries.
According to XNRGI, Powerchip batteries using their Lithium metal have an energy density of up to 400 Wh / kg, almost double that of 18650 battery cells on current Tesla electric cars with energy density. About 240 Wh / kg. But this is not the end point of XNRGI, the company’s generation of Lithium Metal Air batteries launched in 2020 is expected to increase the energy density to 680 Wh / kg, nearly three times the current density. of Tesla car battery.
Other advantages in new batteries
One reason for aging battery types over time is when the current flows into the anode to the cathode during charging and discharging, it accumulates non-conductive chemicals (dendrite) on the surface. the positive side – similar to the process of creating stalactites in caves. Eventually this phenomenon will create a barrier between the anode and cathode, causing the battery to stop working.
Meanwhile, XNRGI’s design makes the battery anode resistant to the accumulation of non-conductive material in the surface, thanks to a non-conductive coating on the surface of a silicon wafer. These elements will make lithium ions not adhere to the anode surface and therefore it is difficult to accumulate chemicals that interfere with battery performance.
Each small hole on the surface of the silicon disk will look like a small battery.
Mr. D’Couto estimates that XNRGI’s Powerchip batteries will last 3 to 5 times longer than today’s Lithium-Ion batteries.
Most notably, the XNRGI battery is made from thicker, older silicon wafers that are no longer in demand. Manufacturing facilities around the globe can supply these wafer discs for cheap and large quantities.
Reduce charging time – an ideal feature for electric vehicles
A significant increase in the electrode surface area in the Powerchip battery also means that the battery can charge and discharge much faster than traditional Lithium-Ion battery cells. This is very meaningful for electric vehicles when the charging time is also an important factor.
According to D’Couto, the Powerchip battery’s anode is capable of charging from 0% to 80% in just 15 minutes. Besides fast charging, XNRGI also estimates that their batteries will increase the range of electric vehicles up to 280% when compared to conventional Lithium-Ion battery blocks with the same weight.
This means electric cars with a popular range of 400 km can increase to more than 1,100 km. Furthermore, since XNRGI’s battery cells are much lighter than conventional battery cells, electric cars can hold even more batteries to operate with farther range with the same weight.
When will this great battery come out on the market?
Currently XNRGI is cooperating with companies that are using batteries for a variety of purposes, from small consumer electronics to electric car firms or even power networks. The company expects consumer product deployment and licensing agreements will begin to take place from 2 to 3 years, depending on the application of the new battery.
Meanwhile, the battery for electric vehicles will take longer because of the testing process of automakers.
D’Couto said: ” We expect our batteries to be used in moving products such as electric scooters, electric bicycles, drones, robots and more in 2020. As for cars. electricity, likely to be 2022 or 2023 in limited quantities, and will begin to be accepted in large numbers on electric cars by 2024. That’s normal for the automobile industry due to time. Their extended test . ”
Reference Digital Trends
Source : Trí Thức Trẻ