Huawei achieves breakthrough in Li-ion batteries

Huawei Office

 

This new battery technology is more resistant to temperature-related degradation and can have many applications. From storage systems to drones or electric vehicles.

 

Let’s see what Huawei has to say:

 

“Huawei’s research results show that new graphene-assisted heat-resistant technologies allow Li-ion batteries to remain functional in a 60°C environment, a temperature 10°C higher than the existing upper limit. The lifespan of the graphene-assisted Li-ion batteries will also be twice as long as ordinary Li-ion batteries.

Dr. Yangxing Li, Chief Scientist at Watt Laboratory, pointed out that three technologies contributed to the breakthrough in the graphene-assisted high-temperature Li-ion battery. First, a special additive in the electrolytes can remove trace water and prevent the electrolytes from decomposition in high temperatures. Second, modified large-crystal NMC materials are used for the cathode, improving the thermal stability of the cathode powder. Third, graphene allows for more efficient cooling of the Li-ion battery.

Dr. Li said, “We have performed charging and discharging tests in a high-temperature environment. The tests show that when working parameters are the same, the graphene-assisted high-temperature Li-ion battery is 5°C cooler than ordinary Li-ion batteries. Over 70% of the graphene-assisted battery’s capacity is left after it is recharged 2,000 times at a temperature of 60°C. Less than 13% of its capacity is lost after being kept in a 60°C environment for 200 days.”

Huawei’s research results will reshape the storage systems of communications base stations. In high-temperature regions, outdoor base stations powered by the graphene-assisted high-temperature Li-ion batteries can have working lifespans longer than four years. These batteries ensure a high mileage for electric vehicles per charge in high temperatures. They can also guarantee the safe operation of drones, which often generate a significant amount of heat.”

 

 

 

With batteries more resistant to temperature-related degradation, electric vehicles will become even more simple and cheap to build. In a not so distant future Thermal Management Systems (TMS) will no longer be required to keep the batteries healthy.

 

In this press release Huawei also added the following:

“At the 56th Battery Symposium also held in Japan in 2015, Huawei’s Watt Laboratory revealed its quick charging technology, which recharges 48% of a 3000mAh battery in just 5 minutes. This technology turned many heads. According to Dr. Li, Huawei has commercialized the developed quick charging batteries and will announce a super-quick charging mobile phone in late December.”

 

Huawei smartphones will be a great test bed for their batteries, before moving to electric vehicles. It’s nice to see Chinese companies finally investing in research and development of new technologies.

 

 

More info:

http://www.huawei.com/en/news/2016/12/Graphene-Assisted-Li-ion-Batteries

Pedro Lima

More than natural resources, are wasted human resources that bothers me the most. That’s why I’m a strong advocate of a society based on cooperation, not competition, that helps every individual to reach his full potential so that he can contribute back to society. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.

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12 Responses

  1. Fernando says:

    Hi Pedro,

    There’s a problem with these and correct me if i’m wrong. Graphene is a much rare resource than Lithium right? So, although this is good i don’t believe that this is the future for the masses.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Hi Fernando.

      Li-ion battery cells actually have little lithium inside them. Basically the lithium salts in the liquid electrolyte are roughly 2 % of the total battery cell mass.

      You might find this article interesting:

      https://electrek.co/2016/11/01/breakdown-raw-materials-tesla-batteries-possible-bottleneck/

      While graphite has been used as anode in modern EV batteries, graphene has many advantages.

      http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/bu_309_graphite

      For the cathode we can use many materials. In NMC cathodes the combination is typically 1/3 nickel, 1/3 manganese and 1/3 cobalt.

      To sum up, the graphene is not replacing the lithium in the battery cell, it’s replacing the graphite.

      • Fernando says:

        Hello Pedro,

        I didn’t explained myself right 🙂
        I didn’t meant to say it was replacing Lithium, i was comparing the availability in nature of both since I read that graphite (not graphene my mistake) was not that common. I don’t have any knowledge about world reserves of graphene or graphite or even lithium. Although i’m all-in with BEV’s I’m always thinking about the natural resources that we need and future generations will need to have this kind of technology. But at the same time, technologies evolve so fast that some day we will be talking about all other battery chemestry. Nevertheless natural resources are always a theme that never skips my mind.

        • Pedro Lima says:

          Graphite won’t be a problem, because it’s possible to make synthetic graphite. Cobalt on the other hand might be.

        • Terawatt says:

          Graphene and graphite are both forms of carbon. I don’t believe the former exist naturally on planet Earth, but carbon of course is readily available. Graphite is cheap to make and you can buy it in any hardware store where it’s sold as a lubricant for locks (and wildly better than any oil for the job). I would imagine graphite for use in batteries has to be very pure, so it’s probably more expensive, but I can’t imagine that this could be a show stopper if the benefits are real.

  2. Frank says:

    Considering that we will always want fast charging to be faster, does removing TMS is really an option with graphene?

    Another question, does TMS is durable or it is something that can break?

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Graphene batteries will have lower internal resistance, this allows faster charging with higher efficiency and less heating. With higher charging rates what will heat a lot is the DC fast charger, but that’s ok for the batteries since it’s outside the EV.

      There are essentially two types of TMS, one cool the battery by air the other by liquid. If the TMS uses AC (Air Conditioner) it doesn’t add much complexity to the EV. The AC is the thing that might break, with or without having a TMS.

      If the battery is liquid cooled it’s another story.

      https://gigaom.com/2010/09/29/electric-car-101-liquid-vs-air-battery-cooling-systems/

      • Terawatt says:

        This is correct, but given that they said the battery was only 5 degrees (Celsius, presumably) cooler during charging compared to a more run of the mill NMC battery, I too wondered if it’s a little early to wave goodbye to SMS.

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