New lithium-ion battery design could be a boon for renewable energy

New lithium-ion battery design could be a boon for renewable energy

February 23, 2013 0 By Erin Kilgore

Renewable Energy lithium-ion battery

Next generation lithium-ion battery could help revolutionize renewable energy

Lithium-ion batteries are used in a wide range of modern electronics and have long received a great deal of attention for their potential uses in the field of renewable energy. Modern lithium-ion batteries are commonly used as an alternative to lead-acid batteries and energy systems that primarily make use of fossil-fuels. These energy systems have been seeing use from the auto industry in electric vehicles, but their effectiveness in transportation and other fields is often questioned. A new generation of lithium-ion batteries is on the way, however, that may solidify the future of batteries in renewable energy.

Battery boasts of higher charge capacity and faster recharge time than others

Researchers from the University of Southern California have developed a new lithium-ion battery that can hold more than three times the charge of conventional battery designs. The new design, which was fashioned by a research team lead by professor Changwu Zhou, can also be fully charged within 10 minutes, giving it a significant advantage over most modern lithium-ion batteries. The capacity and recharge rate of this new design could have major implications for the world of renewable energy.

Battery could be popular among automakers

In the case of transportation, electric vehicles that make use of lithium-ion batteries are often criticized because of their lackluster efficiency, poor range, and long recharge times. Moreover, the cost of common lithium-ion batteries is significantly higher than conventional energy systems, making electric vehicles unpopular with many consumers. Whether the new lithium-ion battery design from the University of Southern California will be more affordable than current models is as yet unknown.

New design could be commercialized within 3 years

Researchers claim that their new design could be commercialized within the next three years. If the team can reach its market goals, the new lithium-ion battery design is likely to be adopted by the auto industry in some way, though this adoption would not be immediate. The auto industry has shown strong interest in renewable energy and has been making use of lithium-ion batteries for several years in electric vehicles. Though automakers have largely adopted hydrogen fuel, they still have a strong interest in battery electrics.