Published on September 11th, 2012 | by James Ayre20
Lithium-Ion Battery that Charges 120 Times Faster than Normal Developed
A super fast-charging lithium-ion battery capable of being recharged 30 to 120 times faster than conventional li-ion batteries has been developed by researchers.
The researchers think that they can use this technology to create a battery pack for electric vehicles that will fully charge in less than a minute.
The primary issue with rechargeable batteries is the increased charging time that results as their volume grows. Since batteries charge from the outside towards the inside, the thicker the battery becomes the longer it will takes to charge. This is solvable to a degree by breaking the larger battery into smaller individual cells, but there are limits to that.
“The Korean method takes the cathode material — standard lithium manganese oxide (LMO) in this case — and soaks it in a solution containing graphite. Then, by carbonizing the graphite-soaked LMO, the graphite turns into a dense network of conductive traces that run throughout the cathode. This new cathode is then packaged normally, with an electrolyte and graphite anode, to create the fast-charging li-ion battery. Other factors, such as the battery’s energy density and cycle life seem to remain unchanged.”
The networks of carbonized graphite created by this process essentially function as blood vessels. They allow nearly the whole of the battery to recharge at the same time, speeding the recharge up by 30 to 120 times.
“Now, for all intents and purposes, this is a standard lithium-ion battery that could be used in smartphones and laptops — but the network of conductive traces does increase the overall size of the battery, so it’s probably better suited for use in electric vehicles (EVs). Obviously, an EV that can be recharged in under a minute is pretty crazy — though it still only brings them in-line with their gas-guzzling cousins. Being able to charge quickly is convenient, but it doesn’t get around the fact that li-ion battery packs are incredibly expensive — and the Korean carbonized LMO battery certainly won’t be cheap.”
Fast-charging batteries for phones and computers sound very appealing, though, so I can’t imagine that this technology won’t end up being applied that way eventually. The researchers also mention potential applications in wireless mice and keyboards, and other small electronics.
Imagine being able to charge an electric car in a minute; cheap, fast, no gasoline fumes, and no CO2 emissions.
Source: Extreme Tech
Image Credits: VARTA