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Posted on February 22, 2011 by

Solid state batteries to rival their lithium-ion counterparts

Developers have been researching technology to improve the efficiency and cost of batteries that can be utilised in not only smart phones but also in electric vehicles.
 
The advanced battery technology developed by Planar Energy has three times the energy density of current li-ion batteries, costing less than half the price per kilowatt-hour. These findings have been verified by independent researchers at the Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Centre of the University of Central Florida. Initially the batteries will be trialed in small electronic equipment but thanks to the company's new deposition process (SPEED), can be scaled up to create large format batteries.
 
The researchers have confirmed that Planar Energy's solid state electrolysis produces ionic conductivity metrics equivalent to liquid electrolytes used in traditional chemical batteries, maintaining high-performance whilst reducing bulk. Conventional batteries have a shorter battery life and are less safe due to the combination of liquid electrolytes, polymers and solvents. The inorganic, solid state materials used by Planar create a stable, longer-lasting unit. The company says that Streaming Protocol for Electroless Electrochemical Deposition (SPEED) is "a low-cost, high-speed, roll-to-roll deposition process, which is significantly more flexible and scalable than existing deposition methods". Thin-film materials are deposited sequentially on a substrate enabling enhanced control of the final product and making it intrinsically safe. This process will enable manufacturers to reduce costs by more than 50 percent whilst increasing capacity by 200-300 percent. Applying this to the automotive industry allows for a decrease in cost and increase in the practicality of EVs. Like its customers and competitor Oxis Energy with a solid state lithium sulphur traction battery technology, Planar Energy will operate globally.The giant automotive companies with electric vehilce interests take a global view. For example, GM has its Adam Opel and other subsidiaries across the world and Tata of India has Tata Motors Europe and other subsidaairies across the world promoting its electric vehicles. Now smaller automotive companies such as Tara International, Tesla Motors, Peraves, Bluebird Automotive, eCRP and Alke' are also expanding globally with electric vehicles. A similar thing is happening with aerospace companies involved in electric aircraft such as EADS and boat companies, even small ones such as Kopf Solarschiff.
 
 
 
 
The company intend to commercially distribute their technology in small-scale applications, such as smart phones, before trialing the larger, vehicle-targeted versions. M. Scott Faris, CEO, revealed the firm is in talks with electronics companies to provide batteries for the latest power-hungry phones soon to emerge onto the market.
 
The company received $4m of funding for innovative energy storage development from the ARPA-E initiative 'Batteries for Electrical Energy Storage in Transportation' (BEEST). The programme provides financial support to projects it believes will have a significant impact on energy storage applications. The aim is to manufacture a cell with 600 Wh/kg and 1,000 cycles by 2015.
 
which has now been renamed from Future of Electric Vehicles to reflect its unique covering of the whole subject.
 
Image source: Planar Energy
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