A whole new technique could pave how for increasing the lithium battery found in automobiles, mobile devices as well as other devices to ensure that it can recharge within minutes
A new twist in the familiar lithium ion battery has yielded a variety of power-storing material that charges and discharges at lightning speed. The finding could give a boost for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles and perhaps allow cellular phone batteries to regain a whole charge within minutes as an alternative to hours.
Scientists on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) report by nature today that they devised an easy method for lithium ions in the battery to zip inside and out about 100 times faster than previously demonstrated. “We took a basically great material called lithium iron phosphate [LiFePO4] and we tried to improve it further,” says study author Byoungwoo Kang, a graduate student in M.I.T.’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Rechargeable lithium ion batteries are small, and light, yet can store copious levels of energy, which makes them perfect for use within everyday electronic devices such as iPods and laptops. This valuable property, called energy density, could be scaled up for hybrid cars as well as for the all-electric Roadster built by Tesla Motors that relies upon lithium ion batteries (6,831 individual cells) as well as the similarly powered Chevy Volt plug-in electric, going to hit the market.
One downside: lithium ion batteries will not dispense their 24v lithium battery, hence the energy source’s name-rapidly compared to some other kinds of storage batteries. Like a huge auditorium that merely has a few doors, receiving a large amount of patrons (lithium ions) inside and outside is a drawn-out affair. This phenomenon explains why some electric vehicles (the rip-roaring $109,000 Tesla Roadster featuring its massive battery pack excluded) can reach high speeds, nevertheless they suffer from poor acceleration compared with the propulsive force unleashed with the rapid succession of mini explosions within an internal combustion engine. The slow exchange of ions entails lithium ion batteries recharge slowly-just think of how much time you 02dexspky to charge your tiny cell phone.
In order to pick-up the pace, the M.I.T. researchers coated the lithium iron phosphate material with an ion conductor, which in this instance was really a layer of glasslike lithium phosphate. Sure enough, the charge-carrying ions traveled much quicker off their storage medium; a prototype battery the scientists built completely charged in about 10 to 20 seconds.
The results have impressed some battery experts. “I do believe this work is a very exciting breakthrough with clear commercial applications,” says Yi Cui, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University.
Two companies have licensed the technology, based on Kang. Researchers are not sure simply how much these batteries costs once they hit the current market, but Kang says they must be affordable, provided that it should be relatively cheap to produce them.
The study notes that residences cannot draw enough energy from the electrical grid to quickly charge a hybrid car’s battery containing the latest material, though 3.7v lithium ion battery for gadgets and maybe power tools should not have that catch. But future roadside plug-in stations (service stations selling electricity as an alternative to gasoline) with greater power pull could do the trick for vehicles, Kang says.