Planar Energy Develops 'Solid-State' Lithium-ion Battery

Battery eliminates need for liquid electrolyte and uses roll-to-roll manufacturing process.

Published: 20-Jul-2010

An Orlando startup has developed new manufacturing techniques that could improve the stability and lifetime of batteries used in electric vehicles. Planar Energy, a spin-off of the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL), is working on scaling up solid-state lithium-ion batteries.

Conventional batteries, which typically use a liquid electrolyte, can suffer from undesirable chemical reactions that damage the battery's cathode. Replacing the liquid electrolyte with a solid ion conductor can improve battery stability and lifetime, and also allow a battery to be smaller because additional components aren't needed to maintain stability. Solid electrolytes are also compatible with a wider range of battery chemistries that could potentially offer higher power or storage density.

But solid-state batteries are expensive to make and have been difficult to scale up to the size needed for laptops or vehicles. Like other solid-state devices, solid-state batteries are normally made using complex, costly, vacuum-based deposition methods. The vacuum deposition limits the thickness of solid-state batteries, which, in turn, limits their energy storage capacity. So these thin-film batteries have been limited to use in small devices.

<< PREVIOUSNEXT >>
RELATED NEWS ITEMS

Sakti3 founder Ann Marie Sastry

Josie Garthwaite with Earth3Tech profiles more than a dozen promising battery start-ups including Sakti3, founded by Ann Marie Sastry.

MidAmerican CEO David Sokol with BYD Chairman Wang at 2009 Detroit Auto Show.

The automaker has jumped fivefold in Hong Kong trading since the deal was announced on Sept. 27, 2008.

Like oil reserves, the US has few lithium deposits compared to those in South America

Stratfor analysis of lithium resources globally.

READER COMMENTS

blog comments powered by Disqus