With the ability to recharge in 60 seconds to power a mobile phone or allow an electric vehicle to travel 300 miles with a 5 minute charge is StorDot’s FlashBattery represent the future of rechargeable battery technology?
By: Ringo Bones
During the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show – CES – in Las Vegas, Nevada, an Israeli firm called StoreDot demonstrated a newfangled battery technology that can power a mobile phone with just a 60-second charge and a bigger version that could drive an electric vehicle for 300 miles (480 kilometers) on a 5 minute charge. With such capability, StoreDot’s FlashBattery technology could represent the future of rechargeable battery technology where battery recharging of electric cars and other electric vehicles could be as fast as the time it takes to fill up with gasoline in your local gasoline filling station. According to StoreDot, their newfangled FlashBattery represents an evolutionary step forward of the current ubiquitous lithium ion batteries.
Lithium ion batteries have been traditionally used for powering most portable devices and electric vehicles. While exhibiting relatively slow charging and discharging capabilities, over time, these chemical processes reduce the lithium battery’s ability to retain energy. Yet StoreDot has succeeded in isolating and maximizing the charge transfer rate and has enhanced it to heighten the superior characteristics of the FlashBattery.
Lithium ion batteries contain inorganic compounds in the battery’s cathode, typically comprising metal oxides or polyanions which are continuously recharged by the insertion of lithium ions. This process limits ionic conductivity, thereby reducing the power density and shortening the battery’s life expectancy. Moreover, the electrolyte used in lithium ion batteries is highly volatile and flammable, posing a severe risk to consumers, critical especially in electric cars.
This optimized charging ability is achieved through an innovative electrode structure containing proprietary organic polymers with legacy lithium metal oxide components on the cathode end that trigger reduction-oxidation chemical reactions. This solution causes ions to flow from a modified anode to a modified cathode at a speed that could not be attained through existing lithium ion battery technologies. Together with a proprietary separator and electrolyte, this new architecture delivers a high current and low internal resistance with enhanced energy density and a prolonged battery life.
While some battery manufacturers were able to improve only one of the following properties – either an increase in capacity, fast charging or extended battery life – StoreDot’s novel technology has optimized all three simultaneously, in addition to enhancing its safety. StoreDot’s organic compounds and newfangled proprietary battery architecture provide 4 times more charge / discharge cycles compared to any existing rechargeable battery, increasing the number of cycles from 500 to 2,000. Using compounds that are less likely to metalize during these cycles, StoreDot’s FlashBattery eliminates the risk of an internal electrical short almost entirely, which significantly prolongs battery life expectancy.
Specially designed for high current charging, StoreDot’s FlashBattery contains, in addition to lithium, non-flammable organic compounds encased in multi-layer safety-protection structure that prevents over voltage and heating and is therefore considerably safer than traditional lithium ion batteries. Containing their proprietary electrolyte which is an ecologically-friendly material, the FlashBattery meshes polymers and metal oxide together, resulting in an increased electrode stability and SEI performance at high temperatures.