While Tesla is experimenting with the technology of fast charging electric vehicles, another group of scientists from the United States (namely from the University of Pennsylvania) seems to have found a solution before the specialists of Elon Mask. According to the editors New atlas, soon it will take as much time to charge an electric car as it now needs to refuel the car with gasoline at a gas station. About 10 minutes.
How to quickly charge an electric car
Powering smartphones, laptops, cars and trucks, lithium-ion batteries – this is a fairly universal means of energy storage. But at the same time they are highly susceptible to environmental influences. For example, if it is too cold outside, then metallization of lithium occurs (its ions “envelop” the anode of the battery), which reduces the efficiency. On the other hand, excessive overheating is also fraught with failure. However, there is one caveat: charging at a higher temperature is more efficient.
It is impossible to raise the temperature above 60 degrees Celsius, ”says one of the authors of the work, Professor of the University of Pennsylvania, Wang Chaoyan. This temperature is too high and is considered hazardous to materials, which significantly reduces battery life.
Therefore modern batteries operate in a limited temperature range, but researchers are exploring the potential of faster charging speeds at elevated temperatures in a way that circumvents this limitation. And it seems that a solution has been found. Their new battery heats up to 60 degrees Celsius in just 10 minutes, and then abruptly cools to ambient temperature. This is due to the thin nickel foil attached at one end to the negative terminal, while the other end is out of the battery. Electrons moving on the foil begin to quickly heat the battery within 30 seconds after the start of charging.
The team used a number of methods to cool the temperature of the battery, including fans and radiators, and found that when charging in the range of 49 to 60 degrees and with rapid cooling, lithium mineralization does not occur at all. This allowed them to complete 1,700 battery recharge cycles, while the exact same battery, charged at room temperature, was able to overcome the threshold of only 60 cycles.
We showed that we can charge an electric car in 10 minutes, which will give it the opportunity to drive from 320 to 480 kilometers. In this case, the battery can withstand up to 2500 recharge cycles, and this is equivalent to approximately 700,000 kilometers.
By the way, the technology is quite applicable not only in the creation of electric vehicles, but also for other domestic needs. For example, in the manufacture of batteries for smartphones. Would you like a smartphone with ultra-fast charging?
Scientists say that they still have a lot of work to do, but the technology is quite real, since it is based on existing schemes and it does not need to change assembly lines and the batteries themselves. Moreover, scientists in the future plan to further reduce the charging time, bringing it to five minutes without harming the battery, of course. True, in this case, it will be necessary to significantly work on the “insides” of the battery, using more stable electrolytes instead of lithium and other more energy-intensive materials.