Three new kinds of battery that just might change the world (feat. Battery Lab Manager Greg Less)
So, it’s time to ask again: Why aren’t we all driving around in oxygen-powered cars? Well, the chemical reaction that produces energy in these batteries also happens to come with a considerable drawback. As it interacts with the oxygen, the aluminum degrades over time. It’s a type of battery called a “primary” cell, which means current only flows one way, from the anode to the cathode. That means they can’t be recharged. Instead, the batteries have to be swapped out and recycled after running down.
This week, technicians at the University of Michigan Battery Lab installed the facility's prismatic cell winder. The machine places punched anode and cathode coupons between layers of separator film in a precision process to create a battery similar to what you might find in your cellphone, tablet, or laptop computer. Also, it looks awesome.
A multidisciplinary University of Michigan research group exploring more efficient materials for hydrogen fuel cells has been awarded a $1.2 million Department of Energy (DOE) grant aimed at isolating and developing “best-in-class” hydrogen storage technology.
Trucks rolled in to the Energy Institute BattLab last week, delivering pilot line electrode preparation equipment, including the coater, electro-densification press, and a slitter. The BattLab’s dry room construction is complete save for air handling equipment, and glove boxes have arrived.
This study analyzes the real impacts of raising Michigan’s Renewable Portfolio Standard - the policy mandating the percentage of the state’s electric generation capacity that must be provided by renewable power. The study, sponsored by the University of Michigan Energy Institute, analyzes several scenarios, detailing the changes to different power generation sources such as coal and natural gas, the environmental benefits to the state, and the associated costs under each.
Recent developments, including the introduction of competitive wholesale markets for electricity services and greater use of renewables, have increased interest in energy storage. Despite these positive developments, energy storage deployment is still hampered by a number of market design, regulatory, and modeling issues. In this talk, these issues hampering efficient storage deployment and use are further discussed. We also provide some recommendations on future research directions that can help address these issues.
North campus just got a little bit safer. On January 27-29, energy storage and lithium battery safety training seminars were held at the Battery Fabrication and Characterization User Facility for those doing energy storage research or using the facility. Dedicated in Fall 2013 and currently nearing completion, the facility, dubbed the Battlab, is a space developed in cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Ford Motor Company.
A new technique developed by University of Michigan Materials Science and Engineering professor Richard Laine’s research group holds promise for the quest to create a scalable solid-state alternative to traditional lithium-ion batteries. The work was recently published in the Journal of Power Sources.