Alternative Energy Technology: Toshiba Develops One Minute Rechargable Lithium-Ion Battery
Thanks to Alternative Energy Blog reader Josh who referred me to this recent press release by Toshiba who have developed a high energy density lithium-Ion battery that recharge 80% of its capacity in one minute. This is sixty times faster than typical lithium-ion batteries (which among other applications are commonly used in cellphones). As Josh (who has worked as an engineer at Ballard Fuel Cells) commented:
"Having worked extensively with fuel cells, I think this technology may dominate over everything Ballard has already developed. With high energy density, fast charging cells, there is also a clear path to fully electric vehicles with no need to change current infastructure. Vehicles could also easily be charged from home, at work, or gas stations could adapt by providing high-speed charging facilities."
According to the press release its secret is the use of "nano-particles" to "prevent organic liquid electrolytes from reducing during battery recharging. The nano-particles quickly absorb and store vast amount of lithium ions, without causing any deterioration in the electrode".
The battery has a long life cycle, losing only 1% of capacity after 1,000 cycles of discharging and recharging, and can operate at very low temperatures.
Toshiba will bring the new rechargeable battery to commercial products in 2006. Initial applications will be in the automotive and industrial sectors, where the slim, small-sized battery will deliver large amounts of energy while requiring only a minute to recharge.
According to the press release "the battery's advantages in size, weight and safety highly suit it for a role as an alternative power source for hybrid electric vehicles", which is exciting news for plug-in hybrid cars.
Full Toshbia Press Release including comparison charts with other types of battery technology