Batteries by Design: Unique Perspectives Through Multi-Scale Imaging

Commentary contributed by Jeff Gelb, Carl Zeiss Microscopy

Batteries are complex systems. From the protective mechanisms in the packaging to the finest details of the active materials, a wide range of structures must work together in order for a battery to function properly. As consumers and government agencies alike demand higher energy densities at lower costs per kwh, optimizing these complex systems is of critical importance to furthering battery technologies. In parallel with optimizing the functionality of the cells, it is equally important to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the battery product, during normal use, storage, or extreme conditions. Addressing these issues requires a full understanding of a battery’s life cycle, from formation through performance, so that root-causes can be identified and modifications to structure and/or chemistry may be made. Read more about Batteries by Design: Unique Perspectives Through Multi-Scale Imaging

Battery Failures in the News: How Does a Manufacturer Mitigate Risk?

Contributed commentary by Jim Green, Global Business Manager, Energy Storage, CSA Group

Recent safety recalls of portable device and computer batteries point out the challenges that manufacturers face in an environment where consumers continually demand smaller devices, with higher power, longer run time, and lower cost. Manufacturers strive to make these improvements without sacrificing safety, quality and manufacturability. Read more about Battery Failures in the News: How Does a Manufacturer Mitigate Risk?

Getting Battery Energy Storage Systems Installed in the Built Environment

Contributed commentary by Laurie Florence, Principal Engineer, UL

Battery energy storage systems are being utilized for numerous applications including support for intermittent renewable energy sources, grid balancing and load leveling, reliability and resiliency, and providing costs savings to users by providing power during peak/high cost times. Utilities have been installing energy storage at various utility controlled areas to provide renewable support or ancillary services. More recently, these systems are being installed at commercial sites, on private property and even within mixed occupied buildings including residential locations.  Read more about Getting Battery Energy Storage Systems Installed in the Built Environment

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. Read more about Ultra-Fast Charging: Respecting the Limits of a Battery when Feeding

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 dont 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 whats holding the market back? Read more about Gone in 60 Seconds: Five Ways Next-Generation Ultrafast-Charging EV Batteries are About to Change Everything

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. Read more about Saving Money on Cooling with Better Battery Management

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