Solid Power Inc. has been named “Emerging Cleantech Company of the Year” by the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA). Solid Power, founded in 2012 based on research conducted at the University of Colorado at Boulder under funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is developing solid-state rechargeable battery products for government and commercial markets, including aerospace and electric vehicles, where high energy, safe operation and long life are required. (Earlier post.)
Solid Power’s technology combines an exceptionally high capacity cathode, a high conductivity solid-state electrolyte and a lithium-metal anode. The company says that its principal innovation lies in the cathode chemistry that, when combined with conductive additive and small amounts of solid-state electrolyte, forms a composite cathode the capacity of which is nearly triple that of the cathode capacity used in lithium-ion batteries.
In its proposal for NASA Phase I SBIR funding, Solid Power said that its work in the Phase I project would demonstrate the feasibility of surpassing 600 Wh/kg and 1000 Wh/L at the cell level—a 3-5X improvement over the best battery technologies planned for NASA missions today.
The composite cathode is chemically stable vs. lithium-metal and is compatible with a variety of exceptionally high conductivity solid-state electrolytes (0.01 - 0.001 S/cm). Further, the solid-state cells utilize materials that are environmentally stable and fully non-volatile/non-flammable. The cathode is made up of exceptionally cost-effective, Earth-abundant precursor materials.
The result is ultra-high-energy, safe and low-cost solid-state rechargeable batteries.
Since 2013, the company has also received funding from the ARPA-E (earlier post), State of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the US Air Force, the National Science Foundation, and US Missile Defense Agency.
In October, Solid Power became an Affiliate Member of the US Department of Energy’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR). (Earlier post.) JCESR’s goal is to create new breakthrough energy storage technologies. JCESR’s approach is to bring together high-powered scientists and engineers from academia, national laboratories and private industry in order to enable discovery of new material, accelerate technology development, and commercialize revolutionary new energy storage technologies.