EnerDel/Argonne Advanced High-Power Battery for Hybrid Electric Vehicles
The EnerDel Lithium-Ion Battery
The video below shows how batteries are made:
That cost reduction is expected to help make HEVs more competitive in the marketplace and enable consumers to receive an immediate payback in gas-cost savings rather than having to wait seven years for the savings to surpass the premium placed on HEVs.
Additionally, the EnerDel/Argonne battery does not use graphite as the anode material, which been the cause for concerns about the safety other Li-ion battery brands. Instead, Argonne developed an innovative, more stable new form of nano-phase lithium titanate (LTO) to replace the graphite. It also developed a new way of making nano-phased LTO that will allow for easier industrial processing, as well as provide a high packing density that can increase the battery's energy density and provide the power needed for vehicle acceleration and regenerative charging of HEVs.
The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE) FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies program provides funding for Argonne battery research.
New Battery Facility Allows Argonne to Create Prototype Battery Cells
|Argonne process engineer Bryant Polzin fills an 18650 lithium-ion battery cell with electrolyte using semi-automated equipment at Argonne's Cell Fabrication Facility.|
The climate-controlled fabrication facility allows Argonne scientists to manufacture, for their own use, both pouch cells and 18650 cells.Pouch cells are contained in flexible, heatsealable foils that allow them to be tailored to specific shapes and sizes; 18650 cells are contained in solid, cylindrical metal shells (18 mm in diameter, 65 mm in height). The new facility will also make battery electrodes.
Previously, Argonne researchers were only able to fabricate very small coin cells using laboratory glove boxes (sealed units that allow researchers to manipulate materials in a contained environment). When Argonne wanted to create larger prototypes for more detailed testing, the laboratory was forced to go to battery manufacturers for the production of pouch and 18650 cells. However, for the fabrication process to be worthwhile, manufacturers would require large quantities of the prototype cells to be produced, which was not costeffective or convenient for Argonne.
"Having [the capability to make prototypes] allows us to evaluate the novel battery chemistries we create in our R&D laboratories in a more practical and timely manner," said chemical engineer Andy Jansen. "If we like what we see, we will scale it up in the fabrication facility."
After fabrication, the prototype cells are then evaluated for performance, battery life and safety in Argonne's state-of-the-art battery testing facilities.
Unique U.S. Facility
Outfitted with pilot-scale production equipment and cutting-edge dry room technology, Argonne's Cell Fabrication Facility is one of a few of its kind in the country.
Because moisture is detrimental to batteries, the facility was constructed as a climate-controlled dry room. A controller constantly monitors the humidity of the room and guarantees a dew point (the temperature at which dew forms) below -42°C with up to six people working inside.
"Moisture can cause an electrolyte to become acidic, which can destroy the battery," Jansen said. "To ensure quality, fabrication needs to be done in a controlled environment like this."
Here's Tesla roadster video:
Argonne has now licensed its groundbreaking battery technology to five companies. In addition to GM and LG Chem, the following companies are working with the Argonne-developed cathode material:
- Envia – In January 2011, this California start-up signed a license with Argonne. The lab's cathode material will contribute complementary technology to Envia's development of industry-leading lithium-ion battery solutions. This deal builds on an existing Argonne-Envia collaboration that garnered an R&D 100 award from R&D Magazine in 2009 for the joint development of an innovative composite electrode material technology.