Hey Guy! Whats up and welcome back to our weekly insight story where we take on a specific aspect of technology and share our views. Today our focus is on battery / cell.
Now battery has changed our lives, the way we are now able to use technology be it mobiles, laptop or simple torch light. There is no stopping to it, the tech is now going inside Electronic Vehicles and is set to change the way we are thinking of alternative source to energy.
Current batteries are great. Especially Lithium Ion / Lithium Polymers. They come in different sizes, can go inside thin and light mobiles and can be charged abruptly without much adverse effect. But have you ever felt that it is somewhat… stagnating? We are going to massive sizes like 5000mah to 6000mah inside mobiles. fast charge is now getting to the point of 100W which can charge in 15 min flat! But no what we do, we still charge our mobiles everyday. This issue multiplies further when looking at Electric Vehicles. They take multiple hours to charge and still travel range is low.
Lithium Ion batteries hark back to 1970s and its time for change!
Here are the two possibilities
- Improvement in current Tech (Liquid State): Lithium Ion tech are liquid based and can be further improved using different material. For example, silicon (or simply put sand) can be used as alternative material which can boost battery performance from 20% to 200%. Similarly Lithium Sulfur batteries can enhance battery capacity by 4 times.
- New Tech (Solid State): If Li-ion batteries brought paradigm shift in usage of battery in mobile devices, solid state could bring the same advantage to Electric Vehicle. In all-solid-state batteries, the liquid electrolyte is replaced by a solid compound.
Here are the advantages of solid state batteries:
a) Safer: Unlike liquid state batteries which can catch fire when heated up (hello Samsung Galaxy Note 6), solid state are non flammable.
b) High Capacity: These batteries shows 2x to 3x battery capacity when compared to Li-ion batteries.
c) Light: Compared to LI-ion, these are much lighter and thus high capacity batteries can be placed to enhance the capacity or less capacity can be used for lighter vehicles.
d) Longer Shelf Life: These batteries have potential to run for 20 or more years and thus may represent permanent fixed batteries with no maintenance at all and unlimited times charging.
d) fast charge: These can be charged in minutes and thus can be the real alternative to gas based energy.
So why we are not seeing this in our mobiles phones or cars? No doubt many companies including oil producers are heavily investing in this type of battery tech but the problem for any business is commercial viability. If the said batteries cant be produced in large volume and cant be cheaper to produce, they will always be doomed from day one. Once the tech if mature enough and can be cheaply produced in large quantities, we might see our lives changing completely and this tech alone may bring in a new paradigm shift in the history of humanity.