SolidEnergy Claims to Double Lithium Battery Life

Posted by at 12:05 pm on August 19, 2016

SolidEnergy SystemsA company called SolidEnergy Systems, a spinout from MIT, says it has new battery technology that will double the life of lithium-based power cells.

The breakthrough involves a battery that replaces the traditional graphite anode with a thin, lithium-metal foil. The foil can hold more ions and thus more potential energy. Further, new chemistry protects the lithium-metal so it can be recharged frequently and used at normal temperatures. The company says it can create small batteries that provide as much charge as larger batteries, or it can double the life of larger batteries.

Perhaps most importantly, SolidEnergy’s technology was founded on a failed MIT startup called A123. SolidEnergy has taken over A123’s Massachusetts-based facilities and claims it can mass produce the new lithium-metal batteries in volume.

In fact, it plans to produce batteries for drones as soon as November, with batteries for smartphones to follow in early 2017. Battery-life breakthroughs are common in research settings, but often can’t scale for use in the real world. SolidEnergy’s technology and manufacturing progress appear to be further along than most.

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