Amprius Demonstrates New Tool For High-Volume Manufacturing Of 3D Silicon Nanowire Anodes For High Energy Batteries (400 Wh/kg)

JUN 15 2016 BY MARK KANE 28

Amprius announced a revolutionary new tool for high-volume manufacturing of 3D silicon nanowire anodes for high-energy lithium-ion batteries.

If it’s truly revolutionary, Amprius should be closer to actual commercialization of battery cells that can store up to 1,000 Wh/L and up to 400 Wh/kg.  EVs are obviously targeted as one of the applications for the tech.

Higher denisty battery technology is key for improving range abiilities in PHEVs such as in the upcoming Hyundai IONIQ Plug-in

Higher denisty battery technology is key for improving range abiilities in PHEVs such as in the upcoming Hyundai IONIQ Plug-in

Demonstration of the new applications is scheduled for June 29 at a Meyer Burger facility in the Netherlands, and we look forward to the results.

“The new tool, a first-of-its-kind system for inline, continuous, and roll-to-roll production of three-dimensional silicon nanowire anodes, will enable Amprius to scale manufacturing and deliver lightweight and long-lasting batteries for unmanned vehicles, wearable technologies, and electric vehicles.”

“Amprius developed its new tool in partnership with Meyer Burger (Netherlands) B.V., a world leader in high-throughput deposition systems and processes. The tool uses a multi-step, Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process to produce Amprius’ silicon nanowire anodes. Because silicon offers far more energy than carbon, the conventional anode material, Amprius’ batteries achieve significantly higher energies per unit volume (800 – 1,000 Wh/L, depending on cell capacity and form-factor) and energies per unit weight (325 – 400 Wh/kg) than today’s commercially available batteries.”

“Amprius will unveil its manufacturing tool to a select group of industry partners on June 29, 2016, at a Meyer Burger facility in the Netherlands. To request an invitation, please email info@amprius.com.”

Former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, a Nobel Laureate and Amprius Board Member said:

“Amprius’ manufacturing demonstration is a very big step forward. In recent years, Amprius’ silicon anode technology has enabled batteries with ultra-high energy. This year, Amprius’ new tool is a significant advance towards high-volume and high-quality manufacturing.”

Dr. Kang Sun, Amprius CEO said:

“Inline, continuous, and roll-to-roll manufacturing will enable Amprius to transition high-energy batteries from lab to market, and from batch processing to pilot production. Amprius’ revolutionary new tool will accelerate Amprius’ evolution into a commercial manufacturer of high-energy batteries for drones, wearable technologies, and electric transportation.”

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28 Comments on "Amprius Demonstrates New Tool For High-Volume Manufacturing Of 3D Silicon Nanowire Anodes For High Energy Batteries (400 Wh/kg)"

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Another manufacturer taking the 3D approach is Prieto in Colorado. Stanley tools recently invested a chunk of change into Amy Prieto’s brainchild.

Thought they had gone dark for good. Are they really onto something or just more vapor-batteries?

Chemical Vapour-ware Deposition batteries.

Also Intel. Hopefully sooner or later one of these solid state batteries will pan out.

Excellent news.

Wow, this is a massive leap forward! Very nice!

I was wondering whatever happened to Yi Cui. I guess one of his many “breakthroughs” actually was one.

We will see that soon or not!

These batteries would rival the best from Panasonic, so I’m happy to see them announce scalable manufacturing of the cells.

Its not solid state batteries, but these would go a long way to lightening the weight of the cells put into cars.

They wouldn’t “rival” the best from Panasonic, but DEMOLISH them.

@Anthony

Panasonic already uses small quantities of silicon in their anodes:

17 Jul 2015: Conference call
youtube time= 8:39
Elon Musk: “We are shifting the cell chemistry for the upgraded pack cell to partially use silicone in the anode.

If you look at the timing of Musks comments it appears likely that their “partial silicon” anodes are what is being used in the 90 kwh Model S Packs.

You can bet that Panasonic is well aware of all this silicon tech and already has something cooking in their lab.

Insideevs: I wish the article put things into context for the reader. How do the stated capacities compare to what is in production now? Is “revolutionary” a 20% improvement, 40% improvement, 150% improvement? As EVs become mainstream, the majority of visitors to this site are not battery experts or engineers. Most readers have no idea what practical effect these developments would have on the range, weight or cost of an EV. Please include helpful context in your articles about potential breakthroughs.

Tesla uses the highest energy density battery cells and those are currently at ~250WH/KG. So this would be a 60% improvement which is massive.

How about the volumetric density? I think that matters at least as much, and I believe it’s considerably more than 60% in this respect.

In any case, I have to second the complaint directed at InsideEVs here. Mark Kane could have put in a little more effort putting the numbers into context. I am also wondering about how this should affect price (presumably it’d make it much cheaper per kWh, but about the same as today for a same-size pack?!?), but perhaps nothing was said about that.

The Panasonic cells used in Tesla 90kWh battery are closing to ~750Wh/l and ~250Wh/kg. But as was mentioned manytimes before, the most important parameter which affect the range of BEVs is still volumetric density. Tesla battery pack volume is about 365l and there is no way to get more liters for battery unless you steal space(volume) from passengers or you make the car even bigger.

The second problem is something called “battery packaging efficiency”. For example Tesla 90kWh battery pack with small prismatic cells is about 250Wh/l (750Wh/l on cell level) and it is still the industry leading value. GM Bolt pack with big pouch cells is about 210Wh/l on pack level (about 550Wh/l on cell level).

@Pajda, u said

“Tesla battery pack volume is about 365l and there is no way to get more liters for battery unless you steal space(volume) from passengers or you make the car even bigger.”

Ever wondered why the Model S is such a big car? It had to be that big to stuff that many batteries in the floor. They even had to double stack the front module.

@Pajda u said:

The second problem is something called “battery packaging efficiency”. For example Tesla 90kWh battery pack with small prismatic cells is about 250Wh/l (750Wh/l on cell level) and it is still the industry leading value. GM Bolt pack with big pouch cells is about 210Wh/l on pack level (about 550Wh/l on cell level).

what is your source on the volumetric energy density of the Tesla and Bolt packs at the pack level?

I found 3D model of Tesla battery pack from one ethusiast and in one tesla patent are the dimensions l x w x h so the 365l seems to me as a good aproximation of it.

GM Bolt batery pack have volume of 285l (this value can be found in GM materials on web).

Then it is an easy math e.g. for GM Bolt: 60kWh / 285l = 210 Wh/l.

@pajda
The problem is the case. GM says:
Volume/case: 285L

So I’m assuming GM is including the case. Do your numbers on Tesla include the case? There’s a big difference. Their case is huge metallic pan. I doubt that Tesla’s pan is included in ur numbers.

Also, I find the dimensions of the BoltEV cells ,length and width but not the thickness. Where did u find the thickness?

Yes I am including the case too because it is a neccesary part of battery pack. But I think that case is not a problem for volumetric density, but definitely for gravimetric density. My assumption is that Tesla case only weight about 150kg. By the way Tesla baterry cells weight is only about 330 kg, so I realy do not see any significant advantage of using 400Wh/kg cells because it will save you only 130kg off from 2200kg car?

Yes GM release only two dimensions (Do not know why) of their cells. The 550Wh/l for pouch cells is now the best available density. Kokam, GEB (china) already have them in production and Audi claimed that they already have 550Wh/l cells too (750Wh/l pouches they expecting in 2025) so I assume that LG cells are close this value too.

It’s thought that the current Panasonic 18650 cells in the Tesla Model S90D are spec out at about 750 Watt hours per liter.

Contrast that with the Sakti3 battery at 1,143 Watt-hours-per-liter. That’s a 65% gain over current Panasonic technology. It means the battery compartment of the Model S could be reduced in size by 65%. Or, if higher energy density Sakti3 batteries filled the same 365 Liter battery compartment, then the car would go a lot further, 65% further to be exact.

Higher energy density batteries in the same 365 liter volume would increase the Tesla range by 65%. The current 306 mile Tesla range would be increased to 543 miles.

One can only hope that Dyson is serious in his purchase of the company and will actually put the batteries into his cordless appliances and eventually EVs. One also hopes that Shastry has not sold Dyson a sack of rats.

400 KWh/Kg is an important milestone because it not only makes better batteries for cars but is the very start point for pragmatic feasible electric passenger airplanes, at least for short routes.

It also enables new applications like electric helicopters and VTOL aircrafts.

The next milestone is 2000 KWh/Kg which enables an electro compressor followed by an arc jet for a supersonic electric airplane. One of Elon’s favorite.

Some rather sloppy work here from Mark Kane!

He didn’t make any effort to put the claimed densities into context.

He failed to give a source for his information. Nearly everyone else on InsideEV nearly always put a source link at the bottom of the article, which is great for those of us who want to read more (depending on the source; Green Car Congress for instance tends to have more detailed information than is given in articles here).

And even the tagging of the article seems to show a hasty and/or lazy Mark at work: A single tag with the company name – and none of the vital tags like “battery”, “density”, “li-ion” and so on that are the keys to what the article is about.

Sloppy, very sloppy. I hope you can take this constructively Mark, but really, this isn’t as good as it ought to be!

Certainly intriguing. I’d love to read the original article or press release this was based on.

The claim of high-volume manufacturing is exactly what is needed to signal the possibility of a genuine quantum jump in battery tech. All too many articles talk about mere laboratory demonstrations, or worse, just computer modeling with no actual demonstration.

I’ve learned to be highly skeptical of claims for breakthrough battery tech. On the old TheEEStory forum, we used to see such things about every two weeks or so. Not a one of them ever led to any commercial product.

Here’s hoping this tech will be that rare Black Swan exception!

P.S. — Will this use the “amorphous silicon” breakthrough recently announced?

As a friend to me mention, this is what Elon have been waiting for 🙂

Speaking of aircraft, there’s a new LiPo chemistry with significantly higher energy density that has hit the radio control model airplane hobby market. Along with foam bodied planes, the electric motor is taking over from models made from balsa wood with the old fashioned glow plug engines.

The link below discuses how electric powered planes have changed the RC airplane hobby in the last 15 years.

http://www.rc-airplane-world.com/electric-rc-airplanes.html

Best article I’ve seen on the subject here: http://qz.com/699909/silicon-batteries-electric-car-future/