Tesla’s breakthrough in battery design reduced costs by 50% by eliminating one piece

Tram Ho

During Tesla’s Battery Day event in September, the electric vehicle maker sent a message to metallurgists and chemical engineers around the world: Tesla is developing a new battery cell. , named 4680, with a much larger capacity than the 2170 battery cell currently in use.

While the 4680 cell is only in prototype form and won’t go into mass production until 2022, CEO Elon Musk and engineers are confident that this new size cell will start the process. Tesla’s car design with 4680 battery cells became part of the vehicle’s construction.

The key change in this new design is the removal of the “tab” – a piece of metal that attaches to two electrodes on the battery to charge and discharge. Instead of that tab there is a conductive strip attached to the sides of the electrode plate. This design helps to shorten the journey of electrons in the electrode plates, as well as reduce the resistance, reduce the heat generated during the charging process.

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With the new design of the 4680 battery, the small tab pieces that attach the two positive and negative electrodes on the battery cell will be removed

With the new design, the 4680 cell will store more energy, and according to Tesla, it will help make production faster and cheaper. And with larger sizes than 2170 battery cells, they can be arranged to form the Tesla floor, increasing the rigidity of the mid-body part as well as eliminating many complex components during assembly. .

But few people pay attention to this big move for Tesla – except for one technician.

“I’ll give them an A +”. Shirley Meng, who studies nanotechnology and materials science at the University of California San Diego. It is also where she became the founding director of the school’s Center for Sustainable Energy and Electricity.

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Tesla’s patent shows that the edge of the electrode plate will have a new layer of conductor, replacing the fragile tab.

According to Ms. Meng, the tabless design in the new Tesla battery cell “is truly a technical achievement.”

That’s because “that tab used to be the weakest link,” she explained. “Tesla deserves 10 out of 10 for solving this tough problem.”

Ms. Meng also admits that the design of the 4680 battery cell (this name because it is 46mm in diameter and 80mm long) has some aspects beyond her understanding, a scientist who has worked in the field. this over a decade now.

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Tesla’s new 4680 cell battery looks like this from above

This is because the cell has multiple contacts placed inside the cell, which provide better energy distribution, instead of “every single electron has to go through a tiny cable”. By eliminating this weakness, the new battery cell is capable of better heat management than the current 2170 cell.

This is the most innovative point in the cell design when Ms. Meng said “it is completely new from what I know. The Academy teams did not look at this design. We usually don’t talk about it.” pin at this level. ”

Tesla’s goal for the new battery cell cuts production costs by just 50% while drastically increasing the amount of electricity it can store. On the stage of Battery Day, Musk and Tesla vice president Drew Baglino said that a new, better battery cell is the only way the company can achieve an ambitious goal: total capacity. output will reach 3 TeraWatt (each TeraWatt equals 1,000 billion Watt) by 2023.

That’s an enormous amount – compared to the total worldwide electricity used per year around 18 TeraWatt – but it’s still small when Musk estimates that all vehicles are replaced. Currently by electric vehicle, it will take a total of about 10 TeraWatt battery capacity to meet demand.

Apparently the world is thirsty for batteries than ever.

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Source : Genk