Drive range anxiety away with this fast-charging batteryS. Himmelstein | February 07, 2021
A new lithium iron phosphate battery design offers scope for relieving the range anxiety experienced by many electric vehicle (EV) operators. The device developed at Pennsylvania State University delivers a range of 250 miles and the ability to charge in 10 minutes.
The battery self-heats quickly during charge and discharge and then cools rapidly when not in use. One end of a thin nickel foil is attached to the negative terminal and the other extends outside the cell to create a third terminal. Once electrons flow, it rapidly heats up the nickel foil through resistance heating and warms the inside of the battery. As the internal temperature reaches 60° C, the switch opens and the battery is ready for rapid charge or discharge.
The self-heating method supports the use of low-cost materials for the cathode and anode and a safe, low-voltage electrolyte. The cathode is thermally stable, lithium iron phosphate and the anode is composed of very large particle graphite, a safe, light and inexpensive material. The self-heating technology also prevents uneven deposition of lithium on the anode, which can cause the dendrites that often lead to lithium-ion battery failure
According to the researchers, a 40 kWh battery can generate 300 kW of power, enough to take an EV from 0 to 60 mph in around three seconds.
The battery described in Nature Energy is expected to have a service life of 2 million miles.