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Lithium-ion

— Science

Additives keep lithium-ion batteries from catching fire

By - June 25, 2015 4 Pictures
Processor chips may get all the glory, but if it wasn't for lithium-ion batteries, modern electronics would look like something out of the 1950s. Unfortunately, while they may be compact and long lasting, these batteries also suffer from overheating and can become fire hazards as they get old. Now a team led by Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has come up with an additive that holds the promise of extending lithium battery life while improving safety and performance. Read More
— Environment

Tesla unveils battery storage system for home, business and utility use

By - May 1, 2015 5 Pictures
The Tesla home battery system hinted at by CEO Elon Musk several months ago has finally been unveiled by Musk himself at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, California. Dubbed the Powerwall, the stationary home battery offers 10 kWh of storage capacity for the relatively modest price of US$3,500. A smaller unit is also available at 7 kWh for $3,000, and homeowners can stack multiple units if needed. Read More
— Urban Transport

Gogoro's battery-swapping Smartscooter ready to roll in Taiwan

By - March 30, 2015 4 Pictures
Taiwan-based startup Gogoro drew plenty of attention when it unveiled its Smartscooter at CES earlier this year. The thinking is that these electric two-wheelers will be ridden around urban centers and their lithium-ion batteries switched over at exchanges when they run out of juice. The idea is now one step closer to reality, with the announcement of a pilot program in Taiwan ahead of a launch this coming summer. Read More
— Environment

Packing peanuts could be reused in better batteries

By - March 23, 2015 1 Picture
When a new lab was recently being set up at Purdue University in Indiana, a lot of the equipment arrived in boxes full of protective packing "peanuts." Unfortunately, few facilities exist for recycling the little pieces of foam, so they typically end up sitting in (or getting blown around) landfills for several decades. A team of Purdue researchers, however, discovered that they could find use in better-performing lithium-ion batteries. Read More
— Electronics

Silk-derived material could boost battery performance

By - March 12, 2015 1 Picture
Next-generation lithium-ion batteries may hold more charge for a greater number of cycles thanks to a new material derived from natural silk. Scientists at the Beijing Institute of Technology found that not only does their regenerated silk fibroin material work for over 10,000 cycles but it also stores five times more lithium than graphite, which is the most common choice for the anode (negative electrode) in lithium-ion batteries. Read More
— Electronics

New electrolyte promises to rid lithium batteries of short-circuiting dendrites

By - March 2, 2015 2 Pictures
Dendrites – thin conductive filaments that form inside lithium batteries – reduce the life of these cells and are often responsible for them catching fire. Scientists working at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) of the US Department of Energy claim to have produced a new electrolyte for lithium batteries that not only completely eliminates dendrites, but also promises to increase battery efficiency and vastly improve current carrying capacity. Read More
— Science

High-performance flow battery could rival lithium-ions for EVs and grid storage

By - February 27, 2015 2 Pictures
A new redox flow battery developed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) more than doubles the amount of energy that this type of cell can pack in a given volume, approaching the numbers of lithium-ion batteries. If the device reaches mass production, it could find use in fast-charging transportation, portable electronics and grid storage. Read More
— Electronics

Going small with silicon potentially has big implications for lithium-ion battery capacity

By - February 25, 2015 3 Pictures
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) have developed a silicon anode for lithium-ion batteries that outperforms current materials and gets around previous issues that would cause the battery to be inefficient and quickly degrade (or even fail catastrophically) with use. As the researchers focus on scaling up production, the advance could pave the way for higher-performance electric vehicles, electronics and all-around portable power. Read More
— Electronics

Lithium-ion batteries inspired by snail shells could prove longer-lasting

By - February 11, 2015 3 Pictures
In an ongoing effort to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries, scientists have looked to the techniques that snails use to control the growth of their shells. This biological inspiration, combined with a peptide found to bind very effectively with materials used to make cathodes, has potential for making lighter and longer-lasting batteries. Read More
— Motorcycles Feature

Geeking out on electric motorcycles – a trip to the Zero factory

Regular readers will know I'm a bit of a fan of Zero's electric motorcycles – as the market leader in performance electric two-wheelers, Zero offers a glimpse into a future where gasoline engines feel frankly archaic. So I was very excited to score myself an invitation to come and visit Zero's head office and factory to see where the company is at, get to know the Zero team, and ride the company's entire 2015 range through the breathtaking mountain ranges of California. It was a great chance to talk about batteries, production lines, the 2015 Zero range and how America's fast-charge infrastructure is letting riders down. Read More
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