SolidEnergy Systems, a battery company that originated on MIT, is producing a revolutionary lithium-metal battery that could make gasoline engines obsolete. But before that happens, the developers plan to commercialize to an industry that is much in need of an advance in the matter: smartphone batteries that will last twice the time are expected to arrive in 2017.
The battery is made of some lithium metal instead of the standard carbon anode. Carbon anode is the preferred component because it doesn’t heat up as other materials, and the MIT spinoff is on the path to crack down the temperature problem. They have already reduced the size of the battery in the process.
However, the Ultra-Thin Lithium Metal batteries would not work unless heated up to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Such is the obvious showstopper the company has to fix before smartphone users can see a much-anticipated improvement.
Lithium-metal batteries with half the size of modern batteries
SolidEnergy CEO Qiao Hu is at the helm of the research group. Currently, they are working on a formula of his, a type of non-flammable liquid with little resistance that won’t heat up when it reacts with the lithium metal.
The team is also developing a solid electrolyte coating for the lithium metal foil that functions as a temperature protector, a safe net between the ultrathin metal anode and the cathode.
The result of Hu’s efforts would be a battery as powerful as any modern battery but with half the size.
The company states that they are building materials, not batteries so that their research can be implemented in every cell manufacturing process.
Their promo video promises to change the Ion-battery market forever by 2017.
It would obviously be a game-changing event, but breakthroughs in the industry are hard to accomplish
An electric car using SolidEnergy tech could go twice as far, and a smartphone live twice as much. In bigger numbers, the upcoming 280-mile range Tesla Model S could ramp up the distance to 560 miles.
SolidEnergy itself is working on the old laboratories of another MIT spinoff called A123 system. A123 filed bankruptcy after a major recall of faulted batteries supplied to Michigan’s FiskerAutomotive.
Solid is also working towards a November 16 launch of drones powered by their technology. Following that, they plan to commercialize battery materials for smartphones and other electronics in 2017, with EV batteries coming on the line for 2018.