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Sekisui Chemical develops high-capacity film-type Lithium-ion battery with silicon anode; triple the capacity

Sekisui
Sample of the film-type Li-ion battery developed by Sekisui Chemical. Click to enlarge.

Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd. has developed a high-capacity film-type lithium-ion battery with a silicon anode using a coating process that has simultaneously tripled the battery capacity (900Wh/L) compared to other Sekisui Chemical products; increased its safety (as shown by nail penetration tests or crush tests); and sped up production by ten times (compared to other Sekisui Chemical products).

The new cells feature high lithium-ion conductivity (approximately ten times compared to other Sekisui products) with enhanced safety through the use of a high-performance gel-type electrolyte. Sekisui Chemical used its original materials technology to enable the application the novel high-performance gel-type electrolytes using a coating process instead of the standard vacuum infusion process.

By further adding its newly developed high-capacity silicon anode material in this process, the company can provide high-capacity film-type lithium-ion batteries with high productivity while being flexible, slim, long and covering a large area. (The company has not yet discussed cycle life for the Si anode battery.)

The cells can offer large savings in terms of space (a third the size of previous products for comparable density) and can be installed in any shape or form, giving rise to a large number of applications in automobiles, houses, appliances and so on, according to the company.

The assumed size of film-type lithium-ion batteries is currently 200cm long, 30cm wide, and 0.3-5mm thick, however, the size will differ according to the design capacity and application.

The process technology was developed with support from the Advanced Technology Research Project for the Application and Commercial Use of Lithium-Ion Batteries being run by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Sekisui said that it will be exploring mass production with these film-type lithium-ion batteries, aiming at quickly realizing products for a variety of uses, including electric vehicles. The company will begin providing samples starting around next summer (2014).

The company will present the research at Eco-Products 2013 in Tokyo, 12-14 December.

(A hat-tip to RK!)

Comments

Gorr

What will HarveyD write about this one?

Treehugger

he will say : "Will this be the solution for EV in 2020" ?

I understand that these guys don't make batteries but just component for battery. So let's see what comes out.

Eletruk

Finally, somebody is going to start sampling their new battery tech. I'm tired of hearing about all these new battery advancements, and never actually having anything for people to test.
I am curious about the cycle life though. Common problem for silicon anodes is poor cycle life.

HarveyD

If this claim is true, it may very well have the potential to mass produce 5-5-5 EV batteries by 2020 or so. It will certainly NOT be the only technology available.

By that time (2020 or so), my Camry Hybrid will have 120,000+ Km and I'll be shopping for a new Camry extended range BEV.

Treehugger

if these people have the perfect solution for batteries they will just make batteries because the potential market is phenomenal based on their claim. So I skeptical that their material is more than for demo of higher capacity than real commercial applications

DaveD

This sounds very promising. I assume that cycle life and Wh/kg are not great or they would have bragged about those as well. That's not a criticism, simply an observation. Even if I'm right, there will be markets where this type of battery (safe and high Wh/l) is still desirable.

They also didn't talk about cost but it is just a component....so I'm not sure that's a bad sign but possibly them just being prudent until they know what a full cell cost would be???

Arne

900 Wh/l, that would give you a 60 kWh battery for the size of an average petrol tank (European petrol tank, not US ;)

It would conveniently fit below the rear seat as a petrol tank. Or spread out under the floor a la Tesla, it would be merely 3 cm thick.

The only thing that pops into my mind is the phrase: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true" There have been so many wild claims from small, unknown companies that my skept-o-meter is deep in the red zone. Did anyone say Envia, EESTOR, DBM? So I'll restrain my enthousiasm for now.

DaveD, as a reference: the average 18650 cell weighs 45 g, and the volume is 16.5 cm³. That works out to roughly 3 kg/l. I don't see this battery containing large amounts of a heavy metal, so it'll be in the same ballpark. That would give this battery a gravimetric energy density of around 300 Wh/kg. That is not too far off the best Panasonic 18650 cells today (~250 Wh/kg), so the claim becomes a little less wild. My skept-o-meter just dropped a bit into the orange zone :)

Much will indeed depend on the other properties like price, heat tolerance, cycle life, calendar life, max (dis)charge rate.

SJC

4. Future Business Development

In the future Sekisui Chemical intends to further improve the batteries toward realizing actual products, beginning the provision of samples from around summer 2014, to reach the markets in FY2015 after testing and evaluation.

http://www.sekisuichemical.com/about/whatsnew/2013/1239025_17313.html

HarveyD

In other articles Sekisui claims that their new rugged ultra thin flexible battery has 3 to 4 times the energy density, 10 times the power density and cost 3 to 5 times less to produce (in various sizes and shapes).

If all those claims are true, it would come close to the 5-5-5 future battery but more fine tuning would be required.

Secondly, Sekisui is one of 3 partners (including NEC) developing this technology.

kelly

Arne/Anne.."Did anyone say Envia, EESTOR, DBM?"....

EXACTLY, & what gets to me is that THESE several-fold higher energy density/better batteries ARE certified BY NATIONAL GOVERNMENT LABS - YEARS AGO.

The US battery hub is budgeted to 5X energy, 1/5th cost batteries in 5 years and we're well into the second year of the expenditures.

Our borders, currency, the return of DECADES of our money "contributions" to our old age Social Security, .. all ride on government departments and labs that seem proven to be LYING through their teeth.

Concerning Envia, battery firms backed by GM have a clear track record.

Still, for instance - were/are the Envia battery claims(US Navy lab tested from a China battery assembly line 22 months ago) physically achieved?

GM and EV battery technology being shelved isn't a surprise.

kelly

I found additional info http://evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=31909

Battery recharge cycles(400 cycles/72% remaining capacity) is the stated problem.

Then again, IF there's still twice the initial capacity and half the cost - it's a better value - except GM is in the IP rights.

If nano tech/coatings can stabilize electrode deterioration.. it's a winner.

Perhaps this is like GM crushing EV1s and selling NiMH EV battery patents to an oil company.

While Toyota grandfathered small NiMH battery rights into the hybrid Prius family - best mpg and third best selling car model/plate in the world.

Leopards and spots..

Zhukova

"400 cycles/72% remaining capacity" At $160 kwh, the Envia battery would a good choice for GM even at that cycle lifetime, but only for a BEV. Probably they only want to put it into a Volt, which relies on 100% DOD every day. Therefore, of course it's not good enough. But if it's put into a BEV, with 200 mile range, a 100% DOD would be once a week on average and it would last about ten years. But most likely the BEV's 200 mile battery would be kept between 70% and full charge by charging every night.

Zhukova

Actually a 100% DOD each week might give only a five year lifetime. But, keeping a 200 mile Envia battery at near full charge by plugging it in every night might allow a ten year lifetime. Why do 99% of battery articles only talk about deep discharge lifetimes and not small discharge lifetimes?

Arne

Zhukova,

"Probably they only want to put it into a Volt, which relies on 100% DOD every day"

This is not the case. The Volt uses only 10.5 kWh of a 16 kWh capacity, so it cycles over only ~65% of capacity. Even full EV's like the LEAF or Zoe only cycle over ~85% of capacity to prolong battery life.

Roger Pham

Actually, existing battery technology is already very good to advance PEV (PHEV) to mass market level.

Take, for example, the Panasonic NCA 18650 cells used in the Tesla Model S. I've read somewhere that this cell is capable of 5000 cycles with 80% capacity remaining. This is truly incredible, at ~250Wh/kg? Tesla uses the 85kWh battery at 3.5C maximum discharge rate, warranty the pack for 8 years and unlimited mileage, while charging $12,000 for the replacement pack after 8 years. At 265 mi range after 5000 charging cycles, this pack would cover 1.3 million miles of driving!!! At 15,000 miles/year, this would cover 80-90 years of driing. But too bad and so sad, it ages significantly after 8-10 years such that Tesla only warranty it for only 8 years. 8 years of driving at 15,000 miles/yr will get only 120,000 miles, or 30,000 miles/yr will get only 240,000 miles, thus wasting over 1 million potential miles of the pack! Incredible waste of battery potential!!!

If a 20-kWh pack of NCA 18650 is to be used on a PHEV at the same consumption rate of the Volt, it will be capable of 50 miles of AER, that can satisfy 80-90% of total driving without fuel. The pack will last for 300,000 miles of driving on AER, or 400,000 miles overall driving. At 3.5 C, this pack is capable of 70 kW of power, added to the power of a 2-cylinder engine of 40 kW to get 110 kW of total power. At 250 Wh/kg, the pack would weigh only 80kg or 176 lbs, and would cost under 1/4th that of the Tesla 85 kWh pack, or under $3,000. A 2-cylinder engine of 40 kW is really inexpensive, probably costs under $1,000 and weighing about 100-150 lbs. No transmission needed. Emission control will be minimum since only 10-20% of the time on ICE power, meaning very low emission per mile driven. Savings in cost and weight of the motor and power electronics also, now that the electric power is reduced to 70-80 kW.

Now, let's look at the ramification of all the above numbers: It is possible to make a PHEV with similar curb weight, cost, and similar luggage space to a comparable ICEV, NOW. NO need to wait til 2020 or a 5/5/5 magical battery to appear!

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