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lithium-metal

SES reveals large-scale EV lithium-metal battery and gigfactory plans

Mon, 11/08/2021 - 11:07 -- Paul Crompton

Battery firm SES (formerly known as SolidEnergy Systems) has launched a 107Ah lithium-metal battery for the automotive industry.

The Apollo cell will be manufactured at SES’ 1GWh lithium-metal Shanghai Giga facility, which is being built in Shanghai, China.

The 300,000 square-foot facility is scheduled for completion in 2023, with the company aiming to start commercialisation of lithium-metal batteries two years later. 

The firm says the battery weighs 0.982kg, and has a specific energy of 417Wh/kg and energy density of 935 Wh/L. 

SES said the battery demonstrated similarly high capacity and energy density when tested at C/10 (10 hour discharge), C/3 (three hour discharge), and 1C (one hour discharge) at room temperature. 

SES’s hybrid Li-Metal batteries use a high-energy-density lithium-metal anode, a protective anode coating, a proprietary high-concentration solvent-in-salt liquid electrolyte, and artificial intelligence safety features. 

Vehicle OEM test samples

SES is working with vehicle OEMs GM and Hyundai to deliver practical automotive A-samples next year— a first for the industry.

The announcements were made at SES Battery World, the company’s inaugural Battery World virtual event that took place in the US on 3 November, and in South Korea and China on 4 November. 

Dr. Qichao Hu, founder and CEO, SES, said: “There’s a race among leading global carmakers and next generation battery suppliers to develop and demonstrate the world’s first 100Ah Li-Metal battery. 

“We did it. We will continue to work with our OEM partners to optimise this battery and bring it to commercial production. We are confident that we and our OEM partners will win this race, and be the first to commercialize this next generation Li-Metal battery.” 

The batteries will need to go through further testing and optimisation, to ensure they are capable of delivering high energy density over a wide range of temperature and power density. 

SES also introduced its three parallel development tracks: Hermes (platform for material development), Apollo (engineering capability for large automotive cells), and Avatar (AI-powered safety software to monitor battery health). 

Hu said: “The industry doesn’t need another battery breakthrough. What the world needs is someone who can take a battery breakthrough and make it work, truly, practically and completely, and then scale it up into hundreds of thousands and millions of vehicles. That’s what we’re here to do.”

Bob Galyen, owner of Galyen Energy and Former CTO of CATL, said: “Of all the public claims of new battery technologies, SES is the first which I am aware of to achieve large cell format Lithium metal anodes.

“With SES’s unique electrolyte-salt combination they have created a cell which has superior safety, impressive performance, achieved respectable life and utilises nearly the same manufacturing processes as used by the Lithium-Ion manufacturers today.” 

Founded in 2012 as a spin-out company of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SES operates two battery-prototyping facilities in the U.S. and China. 

Stock market listing

In July, SES announced plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) through a merger with Ivanhoe Capital Acquisition Corp. 

Upon the closing of the transaction, the combined company will be listed on the NYSE under the new ticker symbol SES.

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QuantumScape validates solid-state lithium-metal battery claims with third-party test results

Mon, 11/08/2021 - 10:45 -- Paul Crompton

Battery developer QuantumScape Corporation has released results from an independent third-party laboratory testing report on the performance of its solid-state lithium-metal battery cells.

The firm’s single-layer cells met automotive-relevant conditions, achieving more than 800 cycles— roughly equivalent to 240,000 miles driven for a 300-mile range vehicle, say the firm.

The results, from testing conducted by Mobile Power Solutions, go some way to answering questions over the company’s technology, or at least its claimed progress. 

The results reflect a complete cycle-life test that demonstrates conditions the company believe must be met, which include: operating at 25 °C, 1C (one hour) charge/discharge rates (with energy retention maintained at more than 80%), 100% depth of discharge and under 3.4 atmospheres of pressure.

Jagdeep Singh, CEO and co-founder of QuantumScape, said: “We are happy that these independent test results substantially replicate the cycling performance we reported at our December 2020 Battery Showcase.

“With the publication of this report, we will continue to focus on our product roadmap goals and delivering cells to our customers.”

Mobile Power Solutions is an independent battery laboratory, ANAB accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2017, based in Beaverton, Oregon.

The full cycle life test report from Mobile Power Solutions is available here.

Quantumscape believe the results, covering a group of three single-layer cells, are consistent with those initially reported by it last December, and subsequently questioned the following month.

The company’s stock price tumbled by around 41% on 4 January following a report on Seeking Alpha website by Dr Brian Morin, CEO of Soteria Battery Innovation Group, that questioned the technology’s capabilities.

At the time, Morin said that QuantumScape’s technology did not meet its claimed data on low temperature operation, low temperature life and energy density.

He said in the Seeking Alpha report: “They show 100 or so cycles at -100C. Respectable, except that these cycles are at C/5 charge and C/3 discharge. Thus, not 80% in 15 minutes, but rather 5% charge in 15 minutes.”

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Scientists develop solid-state lithium battery with 10,000 cycle life

Wed, 06/09/2021 - 11:26 -- Paul Crompton
Scientists develop solid-state lithium battery with 10,000 cycle life

A team from Harvard University in the US has designed a lithium-metal solid-state battery that can be cycled at least 10,000 times.

The researchers paired a multilayer battery that sandwiches materials of varying stabilities between the anode and cathode with a commercial, high energy density cathode material.

This multilayer, multi-material battery prevents the penetration of lithium dendrites by controlling and containing them, say the team.

The team from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) published the findings in the journal Nature.

The first electrolyte (chemical name Li5.5PS4.5Cl1.5or LPSCI) was more stable with lithium, but prone to dendrite penetration; the second electrolyte, (Li10Ge1P2S12or LGPS), was less stable with lithium, but the researchers found it was immune to dendrites. 

In the second design, dendrites were allowed to grow through the graphite and first electrolyte, but were stopped when they reached the second. 

The cycling performance of the lithium metal anode paired with a LiNi0.8Mn0.1Co0.1 O2 cathode was found to be stable, with an 82% capacity retention after 10,000 cycles at a 20C rate (8.6 milliamps per centimetre squared) and 81.3% capacity retention after 2,000 cycles at a 1.5C rate (0.64 milliamps per centimetre squared). 

The team’s battery recorded a specific power of 110.6kW/kg and specific energy up to 631.1Wh/kg watt at the micrometre-sized cathode material level.

Luhan Ye, co-author of the paper and graduate student at SEAS, said: “Our strategy of incorporating instability in order to stabilise the battery feels counterintuitive but just like an anchor can guide and control a screw going into a wall, so too can our multilayer design guide and control the growth of dendrites.” 

The difference was the researchers’ anchor quickly becomes too tight for the dendrite to drill through, so the dendrite growth is stopped.

The battery is also self-healing; its chemistry allows it to backfill holes created by the dendrites. 

Xin Li, associate professor of Materials Science at SEAS, said: “This proof-of-concept design shows that lithium-metal solid-state batteries could be competitive with commercial lithium-ion batteries.

“And the flexibility and versatility of our multilayer design makes it potentially compatible with mass production procedures in the battery industry. Scaling it up to the commercial battery wont’ be easy and there are still some practical challenges, but we believe they will be overcome.”

 (Image courtesy of Second Bay Studios/Harvard SEAS)

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Electrodes hold key to doubling EV lithium battery performance

Mon, 09/05/2016 - 14:40 -- Paul Crompton
Electrodes hold key to doubling EV lithium battery performance

A consortium of US companies will receive $50million in federal funding to develop the next generation lithium-metal batteries.

The Battery500 consortium will receive up to $10 million a year over five years from the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

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