Saturday, October 29, 2011

No. 339: The performance of a storage battery is improving rapidly (1/2) (October 29, 2011)

Toyota, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and High Energy Accelerator Research Organization built a trial storage battery of the next-generation using a new chemical compound. The trial product can apply as much electric current needed for acceleration as the lithium-ion battery on an EV does. It is totally a solid battery free from any flammable liquid. Because it does not need any materials to prevent combustion, it has a simplified structure and can be built at a lower cost than the existing storage battery. As the chemical compound can easily be processed to be sheet-like, it can store several times more electricity in the same volume than the existing storage battery. The research team predicts that it will allow an EV to travel up to 1,000 km without charge and that it can be made smaller to be used for housing purposes. It wishes to put this trial product into practical application between 2015 and 2020.

Mazda and Hiroshima University developed an electrode material that can increase the capacity of a storage battery by 1.8 times. The new material uses spherical carbon molecules several hundred nanometers in diameter each. It can halve the weight per volume, while increasing the travel distance without charge by more than two times. The roadmap published last year by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization indicates that the cost per volume of the next-generation storage battery will become between one fifth and one tenth of the present level in 2020. 

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