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Battery Technology

Battery Technology

In News

Recent innovations in battery technology has again brought into focus the growth and vitality of the sector.

Developments in battery technology

  • The first true battery was invented by the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta in 1800. Volta stacked discs of copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) separated by cloth soaked in salty water.
  • The lead-acid battery was invented in 1859 and is still the technology used to start most internal combustion engine cars today.
  • New type of lithium battery was invented in 1980 in which the lithium (Li) could migrate through the battery from one electrode to the other as a Li+ ion.
  • Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery was created in 1990s that no longer required toxic metals such as cadmium in its manufacturing process.

Problems with development in battery tech

  • Long charging times and weak energy density persist despite significant research in the sector.
  • Lithium-ion batteries are sufficiently efficient for phones and laptops, but they still lack the range that would make EVs a viable alternative to internal combustion engines.
  • Lithium metal is extremely reactive. In current lithium-ion batteries, in which the electrolyte is a flammable liquid, dendrite formation can trigger a fire.
  • Dendrites are branched lithium structures that grow out from the electrode and can potentially pierce through the separator and on to the other end, short-circuiting the cell.

New developments in battery tech

  • Solid-state lithium-metal battery: A solid-state batteryis a battery technology that uses solid electrodes and a solid electrolyte, instead of the liquid or polymer gel electrolytes found in lithium-ion or lithium polymer batteries.

  • Rechargeable iron-air battery: It claims to be capable of delivering electricity for 100 hours at a system cost competitive with conventional power plants.
  • The battery leverages the concept of ‘reversible rusting’ — it uses oxygen from the air and converts iron metal to rust while discharging, and while charging, the application of an electrical current transforms the rust back to iron and the battery releases oxygen back into the air.
  • “tabless” lithium-ion battery: It could improve an electric car’s range and power. A tab is the part of the battery that forms a connection between the cell and what it is powering. 

India’s Battery Technology Push

The Centre is working on a blueprint for a project of around 4,000 MWh of grid-scale battery storage system primarily to balance the vagaries of renewable generation. Alongside this, special emphasis is given to National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) through Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme.

 

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