Hitachi has developed a new cathode material for industrial lithium-ion batteries using manganese-based cathode materials that roughly doubles the life of similar batteries using the cathode material which was developed by Hitachi in the past.
Lithium-ion batteries using the newly developed cathode material are expected to be used for electrical power storage in wind power generation and other new energy fields, and as industrial power sources for electric-powered construction machinery designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Earlier post.)
The high operating voltage of manganese spinel cathode materials makes this material suitable for power storage applications; however, deterioration of battery capacity over numerous charge and discharge cycles is an issue.
The newly developed cathode material stabilizes the crystal structure by replacing some of the manganese in the cathode material with other elements, and at the same time includes composite oxides with outstanding resistance to acids, to minimize the elution of manganese into the liquid electrolyte. Hitachi has already developed and evaluated prototype cells using the new cathode material, and has confirmed that reductions in battery capacity can be roughly cut in half compared to existing units.
Using the new material, Hitachi thus expects to be able to achieve battery life of ten years or more, which is about twice the life of current lithium-ion batteries with manganese-based cathode materials.
These results were achieved as part of an ongoing project contracted by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) to Hitachi under the title “Development of elemental technologies for power storage systems to achieve smooth utility interactions.” The prototype cell was developed in collaboration with Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery Co., Ltd.