OXIS Energy UK Achieves 425 Wh/kg In New Battery Cell

OCT 4 2018 BY MARK KANE 18

OXIS Energy now targets 450 Wh/kg and 500 Wh/kg

UK-based OXIS Energy announced that its lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery cells already achieved 425Wh/kg on a High Energy 16Ah pouch cell design for HAPS applications (High Altitude Pseudo Satellites).

The target by the end of this year is 450 Wh/kg and a stunning 500 Wh/kg by the end of 2019.

OXIS Lithium Sulfur pouch cell (5 Ah / 10 Ah)

On the module level, energy densities now stand at 300 Wh/kg, but by the end of 2019, OXIS Energy hopes to reach 400 Wh/kg.

We are aware that lithium-sulfur batteries bring a huge potential for increased energy density, although there are drawbacks in other areas that need to be solved if these types of batteries are to be suitable for EVs (cycle-life, power output, charging times, etc.).

Everything seems to be more promising these days for OXIS Energy, since the company raised £3.7 million ($4.8 million) in an investment earlier this year from Aerotec, Brazilian venture capital fund focused on Aerospace and advanced manufacturing.

In May, the company said that “is in the process of opening a battery production plant in the state of Minas Gerais in south eastern Brazil.” R&D will remain in UK.

Interview with Huw W. Hampson-Jones, CEO OXIS Energy August 2018 from OXIS Energy Ltd on Vimeo.

Press blast:

“Dr. David Ainsworth, Chief Technology Officer commented:”At 425Wh/kg, OXIS has one of the lightest pouch cells currently available and is already attracting significant interest from major players in the aerospace sector. The cell is about to go into prototype applications.”

OXIS has also developed a prototype battery module for the aviation sector which has enabled OXIS’ customers to increase flight time three-fold. The battery module uses a High Power, Ultra-Light Lithium Sulfur pouch cell at 300 Wh/kg. Future modules will tap into the increasing capabilities of Lithium Sulfur pouch cells, where High Power cells are forecast to achieve 400 Wh/kg by 2019.

Dr. Mark Crittenden who is Head of Battery Development & Integration said: “The benefits of switching to electric aircraft are seen as reduced costs and reduced noise pollution. The most important part for that success is having very lightweight batteries which store sufficient energy to provide the required aircraft flight time and range. We are delighted that lithium sulfur provides this solution and will enable the uptake of electric aviation.”

OXIS’s relationship with key materials suppliers remains crucial in the achievement of these technical milestones. OXIS has also been awarded the LiSFAB project which is funded by Innovate UK through the Faraday Challenge Programme which aims to improve the power and cycle life of the OXIS Li-S technology for heavy electrical vehicles.

According to Huw Hampson-Jones, CEO of OXIS, “in the last 12 months, the pace of technological development has quickened substantially. This reflects our collaboration with some of the world’s foremost material companies, as well as clients in the aviation, defence and automotive sectors. OXIS has a special programme valued at US$10m, dedicated to the development of high powered lithium sulfur cells for electric buses and trucks. In many ways, over the course of the next 2-3 years with commercial development, technological achievements as well as the mass production of lithium sulfur cells coming on stream, the case for investing in lithium-ion gigafactories is a ‘fool’s paradise’.””

Source: OXIS Energy via Green Car Congress

Categories: Battery Tech

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18 Comments on "OXIS Energy UK Achieves 425 Wh/kg In New Battery Cell"

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Dr. Mark Crittenden who is Head of Battery Development & Integration said: “… In many ways, over the course of the next 2-3 years with commercial development, technological achievements as well as the mass production of lithium sulfur cells coming on stream, the case for investing in lithium-ion gigafactories is a ‘fool’s paradise’.””

Real entrepreneurs ship. Until you have a functioning product using this battery technology, you have a lab curiosity. Meanwhile the world moves ahead. If this dream comes true, then gigafactories will be repurposed to make these batteries. Waiting would be silly.

A bottling company can make Pepsi just as well as it can make Coke. I realize I oversimplify this, but Tesla changes their cell designs at least every 18 months, Dr. Crittenden has no reason to cast an umbra around the success of others. What this tells me is he isn’t very confident outside of “it works in the lab.”
Make your breakthrough chemical engineering efforts in the lab, prove cycle time, thermal tolerance, and charge/discharge rates, and move on. 300 wh/kg is an epic leap forward. 500 wh/kg is equally awesome. Let manufacturing engineers figure out the $100 /kWh pack price.

I was disappointed by that needless dig at Tesla as well. They have a product line right now that is bringing them $25billion of revenue a year. Even if the gigafactiry ends up being a stranded asset by some magical battery breakthrough they could be looking at generating $100 billion and gaining huge market share in the next ‘2-3’ years. Hardly a fools paradise if you ask me.

This was literally one of the questions in early days of the GF announcement was how well it’ll adapt to new battery chem, and it was stated that the factory can handle whatever to make batteries.

The building can house any type of manufacturing. The machines are the expensive part, and they’re designed for 2170 NCA/NMC with liquid electrolyte. Not Li-S or any of the other next gen cells I’ve seen.

Maybe they should be thankful to those ahead of them pushing and producing Li based batteries and technologies…without them maybe their efforts would have been directed to some other tech.

Cool, if they are already prototyping they’re way ahead of the 100 or so announcements per month talking about ‘breakthrough’ batteries chemistries. Although, if they are only being installed in satellites for now, I would guess that mass production is still a few years away. Still waiting for the day when I can charge my cellphone once a week instead of once a day!

Aside from lifetime and cost, two things are important:
Gravimetric energy density (Wh/kg)
volumetric energy density (Wh/liter).
Li-ion tech was beating theoretical targets for future Li-sulfur already years ago in the latter one.
As available space in cars and especially smartphone casings is limited, I don’t see Li-sulfur in those two applications.
In addition, as the cell voltage of Li-sulfur is lower, one needs almost twice as many cells to get to the same pack voltage, thus adding complexity and cost on pack level.
Niche applications for flying objects, where weight is the crucial issue, is where Li-sulfur might shine. It’s a market, but not a large one as EVs are.

Li-S is great for applications that are very weight-sensitive – aircraft/satellites. If it has roughly equal volumetric density then its the other three factors that matter – lifetime, cost, and safety. And Li-S batteries are very safe (check Oxis’s youtube videos for puncture tests), so in applications where safety is important (cars) then it has an edge over traditional Li-Ion.

So far, they are not suitavle for EV, Lithium sulfur is not new, main problem is to prevent sulfur from destroying evrything. Don’t hold your breath

No information about charge\recharge cycles amount = another battery vaporware.

Does anyone here actually know how difficult it is to repurpose a lithium-ion to sulfur or another chemistry?

How well does this chemistry dissipate heat?
Using these in satellites is great since space is a great heat sink.

I have been following their development since 2016, it looks like they claim to have developed these amazing batteries(And yes, I do believe that Lithium Sulfur batteries are great), but they seem to not have entered production and likely never will. If OXIS was really serious, they would at least have samples available to potential customers…
Or at least have built a demonstrator product(like modified cell-phone battery, or, a modified BMW i3….).
All I have seen so far is video’s claiming to have tested their battery under various different abusive conditions, however, there is no proof that those pouches are not just normal LiFePO4 cells(which top out at 125Wh/kg, and are very stable, so they could easily have faked their tests).

The current disadvantage of Li-S is the short cycle life, volume is similar to NCM or NCA but with higher Wh/kg.
Some Li-S manufacturers were still struggling at a very low 100 cycles lifetime back this summer, so still a few years before they hopefully get more cycles and a higher density at 500Wh/kg.

If there is a big breakthrough with Li-S or SSB, the big question is if those can be manufactured as 2170 cylindrical cell format or only as pouch-cell, if only pouch then Tesla/Panasonic will have a problem with their 2170 production line (stranded asset).

The power density requirements can be easily worked around with a small buffer pack of a few kWh. The large pack then only needs to be able to support the *average* power consumption, not the maximum. You start with the small power-pack and the big energy-pack charged up. If you accellerate hard, you may be drawing 200 kW from the small pack. It is simultaneously being charged at, say, 60 kW, drawn from the big pack. So your net discharge rate of the buffer is 140 kW. If the buffer is 5 kWh, it is enough for 2 minutes and 8 seconds of continous max power. But on normal roads, you can only accellerate this hard for a few seconds at a time. And between each hard accelleration you recharge the pack at about 40 kW (drawing 60 kW from the big pack, and consuming 20 kW – which is high, on average). If you drive normally and consume 20 kW it’ll only take 25 seconds to replenish the energy used for five seconds of maximum power (and if you stand still it’d take 17 seconds). Maximum braking power for a typical car is at least several hundred kW, and… Read more »

Lithium Sulfur batter makers should think bigger and aim directly for designs that achieve 800-1000 Wh/kg or they dont stand a chance in the automotive industry. 21700 Panasonic-Tesla pencil cells already achieve 400Wh/kg and 800Wh/L energy density. A quantum jump in energy density would enable electric aviation and new uses (eg defence) where shorter cycle lives may be acceptable.