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PROGRESS - Until now, solid state batteries have been small. The challenge is to scale them up for electric vehicles and get them into cost effective production. Though the market is advancing at a promising pace, there are still several factors that are profoundly restraining the market growth. Market growth is restricted by high setup and installation cost of solid-state batteries along with complexities in the manufacturing process of the solid-state battery. Solid-state battery manufacturing is a very complex and challenging process. According to the American Chemical Society (ACS), poor conductance of solid electrolyte acts as a major factor that presents complexities during battery manufacturing. Moreover, solid-state batteries are costly as compared to lithium-ion batteries. Thus, manufacturing cost-effective solid-state battery is one of the challenges for the solid-state battery market. 



A solid-state battery uses solid electrodes and a solid electrolyte, instead of the liquid or polymer gel electrolytes found in lithium-ion or lithium polymer batteries. Materials proposed for use as solid electrolytes in solid-state batteries include ceramics (e.g. oxides, sulfides, phosphates), and solid polymers.

Solid-state batteries have found use in pacemakers, RFID and wearable devices. They are potentially safer, with higher energy densities, but at a much higher cost. 


Challenges to widespread adoption include energy and power density, durability, material costs, sensitivity and stability.

Solid-state batteries are traditionally expensive to make and employs manufacturing processes thought to be difficult to scale, requiring expensive vacuum deposition equipment. It was estimated in 2012 that, based on then-current technology, a 20 Ah solid-state battery cell would cost US$100,000, and a high-range electric car would require 800 to 1,000 of such cells. Cost has impeded the adoption of solid-state batteries in other areas, such as smartphones.

Because most liquid electrolytes are flammable and solid electrolytes are nonflammable, solid-state batteries are believed to have lower risk of catching fire. Fewer safety systems are needed, further increasing energy density. Recent studies show that heat generation inside is only ~20-30% of conventional batteries with liquid electrolyte under thermal runaway.

Solid-state battery technology is believed to be capable of higher energy density (2.5x), by enabling lithium metal anodes.




AIR-ALUMINIUM - Another potential high energy density solution is claimed for a safer fuel cell using aluminium and less corrosive electrolyte, by inventor Trevor Jackson.




A team of engineers at the University of Texas at Austin have developed the first all-solid-state battery cells, which could lead to safer, faster-charging and longer-lasting rechargeable batteries. These can be used for a number of applications, from mobile devices to electric cars and stationary energy storage.

Led by John Goodenough, professor in the Cockrell School and co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery, along with senior research fellow Maria Helena Braga, the new battery offers a number of benefits. “Cost, safety, energy density, rates of charge and discharge and cycle life are critical for battery-driven cars to be more widely adopted. We believe our discovery solves many of the problems that are inherent in today’s batteries,” Goodenough said.

The new battery cells offer three times as much energy density as today’s lithium-ion batteries, which allows for more driving range. Additionally, they are able to withstand a higher number of charging and discharging cycles, as well as a faster rate of recharge.

The UT Austin battery formulation differs from that used in current lithium-ion batteries, which use liquid electrolytes to transport the lithium ions between the negative side of the battery (anode) and the positive side of the battery (cathode).





Charging a lithium-ion battery too quickly can cause dendrites or “metal whiskers” to form and cross through the liquid electrolytes, causing a short circuit that can lead to explosions and fires. With all-solid-state cells, solid-glass electrolytes are paired with an alkali-metal anode, which cancels out the formation of dendrites. 

The use of an alkali-metal anode (lithium, sodium or potassium) increases the energy density of a cathode and delivers a long cycle life, with experiments demonstrating more than 1,200 cycles with low cell resistance – this isn’t possible with conventional batteries. Another benefit of using solid-glass electrolytes is their ability to operate in both subzero degree weather (-20 degrees Celsius) as well as temperatures below 60 degree Celsius. 

These cells are also relatively cheaper to produce, as the solid-glass electrolytes allowed researchers to plate and strip alkali metals on both the cathode and the anode side without dendrites. “The glass electrolytes allow for the substitution of low-cost sodium for lithium. Sodium is extracted from seawater that is widely available,” Braga said, explaining how the battery cells can be made from earth-friendly materials.

The development of solid-glass electrolytes was done by Braga with colleagues while she was at the University of Porto in Portugal. She began collaborating with Goodenough and researcher Andrew J. Murchison at UT Austin two years ago, resulting in an new version of the electrolytes that is now patented through the UT Austin Office of Technology Commercialization. By Gerard Lye





WET & DRY - The liquid electrolyte in the Leclanché cell on the left is replaced with a moist paste on the dry (drier) battery cell on the right.




1831 - 1834 - Michael Faraday discovered the solid electrolytes silver sulfide and lead (II) fluoride, which laid the foundation for solid-state ionics.


1950s - Several electrochemical systems employed solid electrolytes. They used a silver ion, but had low energy density and cell voltages, and high internal resistance. A new class of solid-state electrolyte, developed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1990s, was used to make thin film lithium-ion batteries.


2011 - Bolloré launched BlueCar with a 30kWh lithium metal polymer (LMP) battery with a polymeric electrolyte created by dissolving a lithium salt in a co-polymer (polyoxyethylene). 


2013 - researchers at University of Colorado Boulder announced the development of a solid-state lithium battery, with a solid composite cathode based upon an iron-sulfur chemistry that promised higher energy capacity.


2014 - researchers at Sakti3 announced a solid-state lithium-ion battery, claiming higher energy density for lower cost. Toyota announced its solid-state battery development efforts and holds the most related patents. In 2015, Sakti3 was acquired by Dyson.


2017 - John Goodenough, the co-inventor of Li-ion batteries, unveiled a solid-state battery, using a glass electrolyte and an alkali-metal anode consisting of lithium, sodium or potassium. Toyota announced the deepening of its decades-long partnership with Panasonic, including a collaboration on solid-state batteries.


Other car makers developing solid-state battery technologies include BMW, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company and Nissan. Household appliance maker Dyson announced and then abandoned a plan to build an electric car. Fisker Inc. claimed that its solid-state battery technology would be ready for "automotive-grade production" in 2023. Spark plug maker NGK is developing ceramic-based solid state batteries.

2018 - Solid Power, spun off from CU Boulder research, received $20 million in funding for a small manufacturing line to produce all-solid-state, rechargeable lithium-metal batteries, with a predicted 10 megawatt hours of capacity per year.

Volkswagen announced a $100 million investment in QuantumScape, a solid-state battery startup that spun out of Stanford. Chinese company Qing Tao started a production line of solid-state batteries.





CAR JANUARY 2020 - Explains solid state batteries, what are they and how they work?

Electric cars are improving constantly in terms of mileage, performance and charging time – but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. While the number of hybrid cars is only likely to increase, fully-electric vehicles aren’t quite ready overtake the internal combustion engine


That’s because most EVs and hybrids rely on electric motors powered by lithium-ion batteries, using the same tech that powers smartphones and laptops. Essentially an evolution on chemical batteries, lithium-ion batteries work well in EVs, but there are better solutions. 


The use of a liquid electrolyte in lithium-ion batteries comes with a suite of disadvantages. Capacity and ability to deliver peak charge deteriorates over time and lithium-ion batteries also bleed a lot of heat, requiring weighty cooling systems to be integrated into their design. And thanks to the flammable liquid they contain, lithium-ion batteries can catch fire or even explode if damaged in an accident. 

For the last few years, car makers have begun to mention solid state batteries as the next breakthrough EVs, usually quoting insane performance and range at the same time. So, what makes solid-state battery tech so good for EVs, how does it work – or is it just a bunch of vapourware?


What are solid-state batteries?


Simply put, solid-state batteries use a solid electrolyte as opposed to the liquid or polymer gel one found in current lithium-ion batteries, and it can take the form of ceramics, glass, sulphites or solid polymers.

Solid electrolyte aside, solid-state batteries function much like those in lithium-ion batteries, in that they contain electrodes (cathodes and anodes) separated by an electrolyte that allows charged ions to pass through it. 




PHYSICS.ORG AUGUST 2018 - Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have addressed one of the major disadvantages of all-solid-state batteries by developing batteries with a low resistance at their electrode/solid electrolyte interface. The fabricated batteries showed excellent electrochemical properties that greatly surpass those of now ubiquitous Li-ion batteries, thereby demonstrating the promise of all-solid-state battery technology and its potential to revolutionize portable electronics. 

Many consumers are familiar with rechargeable lithium ion batteries, which have developed over the last few decades, and are now common in all sorts of electronic devices. Despite their broad use, scientists and engineers believe that traditional Li-ion battery technology is already nearing its full potential and new types of batteries are needed.


All-solid-state batteries are a new type of Li-ion battery, and have been shown to be potentially safer and more stable energy storage devices with higher energy densities. However, the use of such batteries is limited due to a major disadvantage—their resistance at the electrode/solid electrolyte interface is too high, hindering fast charging and discharging.



How do solid state batteries work?


Much the same way as a normal battery, if we’re honest. The flow of ions trigger a chemical reaction between the battery’s materials called ‘Redox’ where, when discharging power, oxidation occurs at the anode to create compounds with free electrons, which deliver electric energy, and reduction at the cathode which sees compounds gain electrons and thus store power. When a battery is charged the process is reversed.


Much like lithium-ion batteries, when delivering power in solid-state batteries, aka discharging, positively charged ions travel through the electrolyte from the negative electrode (anode) to the positive one (cathode). This leads to a build up of positive charge in the cathode which attracts electrons from the anode. But as the electrons can’t travel through the electrolyte they have to travel across a circuit and thus deliver power to whatever it’s connected to, say an electric motor. 


During charging, the opposite happens with ions flowing to the anode building up a charge that sees electrons pulled to it across a circuit from the cathode. When no more ions will flow to the negative electrode, the battery is considered fully charged. 


Solid-state batteries have been around for a while, but are only used for small electronic devices like RFID tags and pacemakers and in their current state are non-rechargeable. As such, work is being done to allow them to power larger devices and be recharged. 





What makes solid-state batteries the next big thing?

Thanks to the solid electrolyte having a smaller footprint, solid-state batteries promise some two to ten times the energy density of lithium-ion batteries of the same size. That means more powerful batteries without extra space, or more compact battery packs without compromising on power. That means powerful and longer range electric cars or more compact and lighter EVs. They are also expected to charge faster. 

Better efficiency and energy density means solid-state batteries don't require the cooling and control components that lithium-ion batteries do either, and that means a smaller overall footprint along with more chassis freedom and less weight. It’s little wonder that solid state is most quoted by performance car manufacturers; Bentley sees the technology as its primary way to make electrification work for them.

Safety is another advantage solid-state batteries claim to offer. Exothermic reactions in lithium-ion batteries can cause them to get hot, expand and potentially rupture spilling flammable and hazardous liquid electrolyte; in some cases this has caused minor explosions. Having a solid electrolyte effectively bypasses this problem. 

Finally, the use of the solid-state electrolyte means the batteries can withstand more discharge and charge cycles than lithium-ion batteries, as they don’t have to suffer electrode corrosion caused by chemicals in the liquid electrolyte or the build up of solid layers in the electrolyte that deteriorates battery life. Solid-state batteries could be re-charged up to seven times more, giving them a potential lifespan of ten years as opposed to the couple of years a lithium-ion battery is expected to effectively last for. 






You might wonder why solid-state batteries aren’t being used in EVs given they seen to be the panacea to the problems in lithium-ion batteries. But the challenge with solid-state batteries is they are very difficult to manufacture at scale. 

Not only are they currently too expensive to be pushed out into commercial use, there’s still a lot of work to be done to make them ready for mass market use, notably in EVs. 

At the moment, there’s still a need to find the right atomic and chemical composition for a solid electrolyte that has the right ionic conductivity to deliver enough power for an EV motor. 

That's why we prefixed the advantages of solid-state batteries with ‘could’ as they’ve yet to prove themselves out in the real-world in a consumer gadget let alone an electric car. 

Getting the solid electrolyte right is particularly important as it’s the precursor to allowing the use of lithium anodes, which can produce more lithium-ions and thereby more energy. A solid-state electrode is thought to be the solution to the problem of damaging needle-like structures called dendrites forming on the anode as it charges. 





Charging ahead

Despite these challenges, the allure of solid-state batteries is clearly strong, as Toyota, Honda, and Nissan teamed up to create the Libtec consortium to develop solid-state batteries, with the former supposedly due to reveal a solid-state battery powered car at the Tokyo Olympics this year. 

And there are academic institutions, battery makers, and material specialists looking into how solid-state batteries can be developed into next-generation power sources for mass use. There’s no shortage of hype and interest in solid-state batteries. 

However, Toyota doesn't expect to manage mass production of solid-state batteries until the middle of the decade. And other car makers like Volkswagen aren’t expecting to have solid-state batteries ready for car use until at least 2025. 

IBM and Daimler are working together to better understand battery technology. 'We need to find a fundamentally different chemistry to create the batteries of the future,' Katie Pizzolato, director of applications research at IBM, says. 'Quantum computing could let us effectively peer inside the batteries chemical reactions, to better understand the materials and reactions that will give the world those better batteries.'

Vacuum and other air-blowing tech maker Dyson had planned to make an electric car powered by solid-state batteries by 2021. But it killed off its car plans last Autumn, though it aims to keep working on the battery tech. 

Fisker Inc, the reincarnation of the collapsed Fisker Automotive, previously stated a lofty ambition of having a car that uses solid-state batteries ready for 2020. But at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, it simply showed off the Ocean SUV, which is powered by lithium-ion batteries; there was no word on a solid-state battery setup. 

So while there’s a lot of activity around the development of solid-state batteries, it’s quite unlikely you’ll see an EV powered by them on the road any time soon. 
A short circuit

As one of the largest lithium-ion battery makers in the world, Panasonic has skin in that battery game. Nevertheless it reckons solid-state batteries are still some ten years away from commercial use. 

It does co-own Tesla’s Gigafactory and supplies the batteries for Tesla cars, and it reckons the improvement in EV batteries in the short-term will come from further developing lithium-ion batteries. 

Rather than go down the solid-state route, Tesla is working on improving the performance of lithium-ion batteries, with it last year touting new chemistry which could power an EV for more than a million miles. 

Given the improvements in lithium-ion batteries and the millage that can be extracted out from them, as well as how they are already being mass produced, it’s unlikely we’ll see them ousted by solid-state batteries anytime soon. 

But solid state batteries do look like the future power source for electric cars, it’s just the road to them might be longer than first thought. By Roland Moore-Coyler





WIRED.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2017 - What is a solid-state battery? The benefits explained

A smaller, lighter battery could be a breakthrough for the electric vehicle industry.

Electric cars and wearable technology need better batteries, but it’s believed current lithium-ion battery technology is near its full potential. Solid-state batteries are one of the leading alternatives.


In 2017, Toyota announced plans to have solid-state batteries in electric cars by 2020, while the Dyson electric car could also use solid-state battery technology developed by Sakti3 – a battery technology firm Dyson acquired in 2015.

Solid-state batteries replace the liquid or polymer electrolyte found in current lithium-ion batteries with a solid. The challenge, however, is in finding a solid material that is conductive enough to be used in large batteries. This is what the likes of Toyota and Sakti3 aim to solve.


What are the benefits of solid-state batteries?


The main benefits are batteries that are smaller, higher-capacity and cheaper than current liquid-based lithium-ion batteries. In 2014, Sakti3 announced it was approaching a point where it could produce a battery with twice the density of current batteries at a fifth of the cost. They’re also non-flammable and, in theory, could last longer and charge faster.


As the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 proved, the cost of getting a battery design wrong can be huge. Current lithium-ion batteries are flammable and they also create a lot of heat, which in electric cars means lots of extra gear to contain and dissipate it. An electric car with a solid-state battery could remove all the cooling elements in favour of a larger battery, and therefore longer range, or reduce the size of the battery while retaining the same range and cutting the cost.


Current batteries are also notorious for having short lifespans. Constant charging and discharging slowly erodes the performance of the battery, which is why a two-year-old iPhone often struggles to get through a whole day of use on one charge.


According to Ilika, a developer of solid-state batteries for Internet of Things devices, they could increase ‘cycle life’ from two years to 10 years. A Wall Street Journal report suggested this could result in greater potential for product recycling after being used in the vehicle, such as in homes or commercial energy storage.


This all sounds great, when can I get one?


Toyota and Dyson both believe solid-state batteries could be in final products by 2020, but there’s no guarantee this will happen. As ever with technology, there’s a huge difference between a technology that works on a small scale and one that’s ready for mass-market production. Watch this space. By Andy Vandervell







Since the early batteries, chemists have been experimenting relentlessly to improve the energy density and life cycle of cells based on silver and iron, nickel and cadmium, nickel-metal-hydride and now lithium based batteries that are the basis of most electric vehicle packs. Zinc and aluminum are less costly metals showing promise as primary and even secondary cells.



Load levelling for solar and wind farms and for mobility security


POWERING BUSES & TRUCKS - These EV service stations provide load leveling mobility security from renewable solar and wind. This system is the only (and the original) proposal that might refuel electric trucks, buses, SUVs, vans and of course cars.





Electricity is the most convenient way of transmitting clean, alternative energy, from the point of origin (conversion from natural harvesting) to the end user.


Fortunately for humans, electricity is linked to magnetism, a force that can be harnessed to attract or repel, and convert a generated or stored potential difference (such as in batteries) from electrons traveling in a metal conductor, to rotational or linear movement.


This incredible property gives us electric motors and generators. We take it for granted, but it is a miracle of nature. We are living in the age of electricity where heating and lighting is electric, and computers allow us to control just about everything.


The main problem about generated electricity is storing it. This may have been solved in theory by the SMARTNET FASTCHARGE service stations for electric vehicles. The inventor has kept how this system works a secret since 1991, because he was too far ahead of his time. Even now it is risky to start divulging proprietary know-how in patent applications, because patents are expensive, with a limited shelf life of only 20 years, where trademarks may be renewed indefinitely and copyright lasts for 50 years after the death of the author.










PLANET A, let's keep it this way


ENERGY CRISIS - Some countries act as though there is no energy crisis where they have an abundance of fossil fuel reserves, but they will be unable to milk the remainder of the world with the allure of cheap fossil fuels and energy independence for renewables becomes the norm. We must help those blinded by kleptocratic policies to stop killing species and warming the planet.



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