Articles

Ultra-Fast Charging: Respecting the Limits of a Battery when Feeding

Content Contributed by Isidor Buchmann, CEO & Founder, Cadex Electronics, Inc.

Consumers demand faster charging times. Leading in this movement is the electric vehicle (EV) industry that strives for charge times similar to filling up a vehicle at a gas station. Pumping 50 liters (13 gallons) of fuel into a tank holds a calorific value of 600 kWh. The fill-up is quick. An EV battery, in comparison, only stores between 50 to 100 kWh of energy and charging takes a long time. Continue reading

Gone in 60 Seconds: Five Ways Next-Generation Ultrafast-Charging EV Batteries are About to Change Everything

Contributed commentary by Robert A. Rango, President and CEO, Enevate Corp.

Electric vehicles are the most revolutionary development in the auto industry since the internal combustion engine. Every day they get more advanced and more popular. Electric cars and plug-in hybrids are projected to account for an average of 8 percent of all cars sold in the United States by 2020. While that shows tremendous growth in electric vehicles (EVs), you don’t have to be a statistician to notice that this is still a fairly small percentage. EVs are becoming more affordable (although they may not be as affordable as cars with internal combustion engines until the 2020s). Plus, there are great government incentives that make it easy, and at least comparable in price to standard auto sales, for people to switch to EVs. So what’s holding the market back? Continue reading

Saving Money on Cooling with Better Battery Management

Contributed commentary by Alex Rawitz, Servato

Lead-acid batteries are the workhorse battery of standby power. Safe, reliable, and cheap, they dominate industries like telecom and utilities where backup batteries are essential in maintaining uninterrupted operations. Today, tens of millions of Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) batteries are in use at millions of sites across the country. Continue reading

Negative-Stiffness Vibration Isolation Facilitates Nano-Research into Superionic Solid Electrolytes for Next-Generation Lithium Batteries

Contributed commentary by Patrick Roberts, Michigan Technical University

Advances in materials testing techniques have enabled scientists and engineers to measure mechanical properties, and observe and characterize mechanical phenomena that control deformation and failure down to nearly the atomic level. One field that is benefiting from such advances in testing techniques is energy storage. The option of creating higher energy capacity batteries has direct implications on performance with laptops, smartphones, and electric vehicles. Continue reading

Lithium Ion Batteries: Exposing Safety Risks Via Testing on a Budget

Contributed commentary by John C. Copeland, VP/COO, Energy Assurance LLC

As a commercial test lab specializing in regulatory and performance testing of rechargeable lithium batteries, we assist a wide variety of clients spanning all aspects of the electronics industry.  Many come from highly-regulated product types that typically have well established requirements for safety, quality, and reliability.  They also tend to have the engineering and compliance resources to support these requirements, and as such, command a corresponding price premium.  In short, they inherently understand the value of testing favoring a more proactive approach.  Continue reading

Seeking a Safer Future for Advanced Lithium-Ion Battery Technologies

Contributed commentary by David Lee, CEO, BioSolar
Dr. Sung-Jin Cho, Assistant Professor, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

While there are many different battery technologies currently available and in use, the energy storage industry is focused mainly on advancing lithium-ion battery technology because of its overwhelming advantages over other types of batteries commercially available on the market. For instance, compared to other existing batteries, lithium-ion batteries have a substantially higher energy storage density that requires a smaller footprint. This structure minimizes the weight and size of the devices, and its “memoryless” nature makes it more suitable for use in hybrid vehicles that require constant charges and discharges of its batteries in stop and go traffic. It is also important to note that with a low self-discharge property, the battery’s stored electrical energy lasts longer. Though more substantial energy density improvement may be achievable by the so-called “beyond lithium-ion” batteries in the future, lithium-ion battery is expected to stay the mainstream battery chemistry for the next decade or maybe even longer.  Continue reading

The Looming Problem of Battery Waste in Wearables and How to Solve It

Contributed commentary by Jeffrey Ortega, Ph.D., Director of Research, ZPower

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans buy approximately three billion dry-cell batteries each year to power common household devices, including radios, toys, phones and computers. This volume creates nearly 180,000 tons of battery waste that is either recycled or ends up in landfills, where it can leach toxic chemicals into the ground and water supply. And while this number is staggering in and of itself, we live in a battery-powered world, and our need is only growing. Continue reading