Innovative lithium battery for air taxi charges in 10 minutesJune 14, 2021
Lithium-ion batteries do a great job of powering laptops and even cars, but the perfect solution has not yet been found for electric aviation. American scientists have demonstrated a new type of lithium battery with an innovative high-temperature charging technology. With its help, an air taxi will be able to replenish its energy reserve for a flight of 80 km in just 10 minutes.
The energy density of modern batteries pales in comparison to traditional aviation fuel. Researchers are trying to make batteries store more energy per kilogram, and there are other factors standing in the way of electric aviation. For example, charging should be fast enough so that you don’t have to wait for hours to take off or change batteries.
“Flying car batteries must have a very high energy density to remain airborne,” said Wang Chaoyang of the University of Pennsylvania, the study’s author. “They also need a lot of power during takeoff and landing.”
The new technology, developed by Wang and his colleagues, is a continuation of an experimental battery they came up with a couple of years ago, writes New Atlas. Usually, lithium batteries can only operate safely within a certain temperature range. If it gets too cold, spikes will form on the anode as a result of lithium metallization. Too hot and the battery will fail quickly.
However, scientists have found a way around these problems by developing a unique thin nickel foil design that heats the battery to 60 ° C in 30 seconds. At the same time, the battery holds this temperature for only 10 minutes, and then cools down just as quickly. This is enough to take advantage of accelerated charging, but bypass the threat of degradation and metallization.
The new experimental battery has the energy density required to provide a vertical takeoff and landing electric aerotaxi with an 80 km flight capability and recharge in just 10 minutes. Life tests have shown that the device can withstand over 2000 charge / discharge cycles.
“Under normal conditions, these three parameters required by the eVTOL battery work against each other,” Wang said. – High energy density slows down fast charging, and fast charging usually reduces the number of possible cycles. But we were able to combine all three parameters in one battery. “
Another option for quickly recharging the battery is to replace the batteries. Startup Ample recently unveiled a versatile system for quickly replacing battery packs in electric vehicles. Ample stations operate completely autonomously, take up little space and install new batteries within 10 minutes.
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