EV fans eagerly wait for solid-state batteries to become commercially viable. Not for any sort of technology interest – at least not alone – but rather out of the benefits they will offer to electric cars. Imec is one of the research institutes trying to bring them to the market. And they recently announced doubling their solid-state batteries' energy density from 200 Wh/liter to 400 Wh/liter.

The main innovation Imec proposes is a solid nanocomposite electrolyte that can be applied first as a liquid, through wet coating. It later solidifies and keeps elastic, something that is considered vital for solid-state batteries long term durability.

Imec claims the 400 Wh/liter and 0.5C (2 hours) charging speeds are “a record combination for a solid-state battery”, but the company believes there is a lot of room for improvement. 

It expects, for example, to reach 1,000 Wh/liter and a 2C (half an hour) to 3C charging speed by 2024.

The main advantage the new technology offers – according to Imec – is the room for improving the range of vehicles by achieving a higher power density. But solid-state batteries are also said to be more resistant and cheaper to build.

Check the video, read the press release and share with us your thoughts on what are solid-state batteries possibilities and possible flaws.

Video Description via Imec on Vimeo:

Imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics, energy and digital technologies and partner in EnergyVille, has fabricated an innovative type of solid-state Li-ion battery achieving an energy density of 200 Wh/liter at a charging speed of 0.5C (2 hours). This battery is a milestone on our roadmap to surpass wet Li-ion battery performance and reach 1000Wh/L at 2C by 2024. With this clear performance engineering path, imec’s battery technology is ready to become a contender to power tomorrow’s fast-charging, long-haul vehicles.

Source: Imec via Green Car Congress

Gallery: Imec Doubles Their Solid-State Batteries Energy Density

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Imec, partner in EnergyVille, doubles energy density of its solid-state batteries to 400Wh/liter

By continuing its roadmap towards 1000Wh/L and starting scale-up in a pilot line for solid-state batteries at the EnergyVille Campus, imec paves the way to long-range electrical vehicles

LEUVEN (Belgium), June 18, 2019 — Imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics, digital and energy technologies and partner in EnergyVille, announces today at the European Electric Vehicle Batteries Summit (Berlin, June18-19) a solid-state Li-metal battery cell with an unsurpassed energy density of 400 Wh/liter at a charging speed of 0.5C (2 hours). Imec also announced that they have started to upscale the materials and processes in a pilot line for fabrication of solid-state pouch cells at the EnergyVille Campus in Genk (Belgium) and is set-up in collaboration with the University of Hasselt. With its engineering roadmap for solid-state batteries, imec aims to surpass wet Li-ion battery performance and reach 1000Wh/L at 2-3C by 2024.

Today’s rechargeable Li-ion battery technology still has room for improvement, but not enough to significantly improve e.g. the range and autonomy of electrical vehicles. Therefore, imec’s researchers are working to replace the wet electrolyte with a solid material, which provides a platform to further increase the energy density of the cell beyond that of cells based on liquid electrolyte. The solid nanocomposite electrolyte that the R&D center has developed has an exceptionally high conductivity of up to 10 mS/cm with a potential for even higher conductivities. A distinguishing feature of the new material is that it is applied as a liquid – via wet chemical coating – and only afterwards converted into a solid when it is already in place in the electrodes. That way it is perfectly suited to be casted into dense powder electrodes where it fills all cavities and makes maximum contact, just as a liquid electrolyte does.

Using that solid nanocomposite electrolyte in combination with a standard lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode and lithium metal anode, imec has now fabricated an improved battery with an energy density of 400 Wh/liter at a charging speed of 0.5C (2 hours), a record combination for a solid-state battery. With this result, imec managed to double its excellent results of last year, following its roadmap to eventually reach densities over1,000Wh/liter at a charging speed of 2-3C (less than half an hour).

In addition, imec has commenced the upscaling of the cells in a state-of-the-art lab for this new solid-state battery technology, including a 300 square meter battery assembly pilot line which includes a dry room of 100 square meters. This conventional A4 sheet-to-sheet wet coating-based line is well suited for processing of imec’s innovative solid electrolyte. As such, the assembly of the new cells could be done by slight modification of existing manufacturing lines for Li-ion batteries. This means the new technology would not need expensive investments to switch from wet to solid-state cells. The new pilot line, which is located at the EnergyVille Campus, and is set-up together with the university of Hasselt, allows manufacturing of prototype pouch cells of up to 5Ah capacity. It is ready to become a cornerstone for research groups and companies doing R&D projects on these batteries.

“The new battery demonstrates that our breakthrough electrolyte can be integrated in performant batteries. The pilot-line allows us to take the next step and upscale the battery breakthrough to industrially relevant processes and formats, using manufacturing processes similar to those for wet batteries,” says Philippe Vereecken, Scientific Director at imec/EnergyVille.

Bringing innovative battery technology to fruition and transfer it to the market will require the involvement and commitment of the world’s major material suppliers and battery producers. Therefore, imec performs its battery R&D as a collaborative program for open innovation to which it invites all interested parties.

More information: https://www.imec-int.com/en/solid-state-batteries

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