Huawei announces ground-breaking graphene-assisted Li-on battery
Thu 1 Dec 2016
Huawei has announced a significant breakthrough in heat-resistant, long-life Lithium Ion (Li-on) battery technology, with a new prototype that can remain functional at environmental conditions up to 60°C (10°C higher than previously attained in Li-on research), with the promise of notably extended battery life for IoT-based field packs.
The global telecommunications and networking company, based in Shenzhen, announced the milestone today, commenting that the system has the potential to ‘reshape the storage systems of communications base stations’.
The research, developed by Watt Laboratory and revealed at the 57th Battery Symposium in Chiba, has developed a Li-on battery capable of greatly extending the life-span of equivalent current models.
The growth of IoT posits new, exterior-based information structures which may have to operate across an extraordinary range of temperatures, including punishing desert environments. The increasing decentralisation of data-driven base stations mandates local backup supplies which not only have a critical role in maintaining uptime provisioning, but need to stay operational under high heat-loads.
Three core technologies have contributed to the Li-on breakthrough: a special additive in the electrolytes which, by removing trace water, prevents electrolyte evaporation at high temperatures; a cathode comprised of bespoke large-crystal NMC structures, to improve stability of cathode powder; and, crucially, the addition of graphene, for more efficient cooling.
Watt Laboratory’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Yangxing Li, commented that the research team had performed charging and discharging tests for the equipment at high temperatures, and that in these tests, under equivalent conditions, the graphene-boosted battery remains 5°C cooler than equivalent Li-on products currently available. Dr Li said: “Over 70% of the graphene battery’s capacity is left after it is recharged 2,000 times at a temperature of 60°C. Less than 13% of its capacity is lost after being kept in a 60°C environment for 200 days.”
Huawei estimates that the breakthrough promises lithium ion field batteries with working lifespans of more than four years, in addition to improved range for electric vehicles on a per charge basis in high temperatures.