- Category: EV Technology
- Published on Friday, 25 February 2011 11:38
- Written by Tejas Joseph
- Hits: 1517
Storage Technologies need to catch up with the rest of the EV train
It is widely acknowledged now that storage technology is lagging behind other critical EV technologies. And this has to change if the promised EV revolution is to take place as we anticipate and desire. While research expenditure on battery technologies is on the rise, it is still small when compared to other critical automobile and mobility related R&D spending. The United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) spent an estimated 5.43 million dollars in contractual funding on research in advanced battery technology for EVs and hybrids in 2010. While this is just a drop in the battery research grants ocean, it seems to have produced some exciting results, one of which is the Matrix Battery Technology developed by a Californian storage technology specialist, Quallion. The Matrix Battery Technology relies upon a special configuration of combined series and parallel cells that can perform optimally even if an individual cell becomes dysfunctional. This critical ability can help manufacturers address reliability issues while bringing down costs, the company claims. It has also been noticed that employing a mass of small cells (the matrix concept) reduces overall temperature of the system by diffusing heat faster. Further, the unique construction of the matrix battery system (modular in nature) allows for scaling up and reshaping permitting versatility and reuse. This salient feature will provide manufacturers great flexibility and scope to address specific battery needs, as vehicle specs in the EV category are frequently subject to alteration. The Matrix battery concept can help optimise EV performance by tailoring it to match vehicle dynamics it is believed. Quallion states that their Matrix Battery Technology can also meet applications in the demanding fields of medicine and defense research.
Looking beyond Lithium
While government allocation for research funding for advancing battery technologies is on the rise, it pales in comparison to the resources - money, manpower and time - that automobile giants are dedicating to this vital area. Toyota is working on a magnesium-sulfur combination that they claim is the next step over lithium,the current rank holder for longer storage hours, weight, reliability and life. But experts say that lithium's energy density is a hindrance to more widespread and successful applications both in automobiles and electronics devices. The new magnesium-sulfur batteries that Toyota are working on seem to have an edge in this regard and could likely go on production by 2020 if tests meet critical parameters,particularly costs and battery life.
For those of you interested in storage (battery) technologies - developments and future - write to us and we will send you a world state-of-the-art report on this significant research area (a PDF file) free.