Scientists John Connell and Yi Lin from NASA’s Solid-state Architecture Batteries for Enhanced Rechargeability and Safety (SABERS) project are working on experimental solid-state battery packs that could dramatically change the battery industry. These new batteries could eventually replace lithium-ion batteries that currently power electric vehicles. Lithium-ion batteries, containing liquids, are prone to overheating, fire, and charge loss. However, SABERS aims to develop a lighter, safer, and more efficient battery with multiple times the discharge power.
Solid-state batteries utilize a solid electrolyte, reducing the risk of flammable incidents and providing better thermal management. Additionally, the higher energy density in these batteries could potentially lead to longer driving range and faster charging times for electric vehicles, revolutionizing the automotive industry.
Funding for Sustainable Aviation Solutions
NASA’s Convergent Aeronautics Solutions project funds SABERS in an effort to address significant challenges facing aviation, such as battery-powered flight. Air travel is responsible for around 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and batteries have potential as an alternative to reduce jet fuel emissions. Recently, researchers and engineers have been exploring innovative ways to make electrified flight feasible, and the SABERS project tackles key issues, such as energy density and weight constraints of batteries. This effort could pave the way for sustainable aviation in the future.
Advancements in Solid-State Batteries
Over the past year, SABERS has refined its solid-state batteries to provide a higher discharge rate than any other examples on the market. The unique design stacks sulfur and selenium cells directly on top of one another without casings, leading to significant weight savings. Numerous batteries can also be stacked without any separation between them, allowing for increased energy density and improved overall performance. SABERS’ solid-state batteries can potentially pave the way for longer-lasting and more efficient electronic devices, electric vehicles, and renewable energy storage solutions.
Increased Energy Storage Capacity
SABERS’ battery design not only removes 30 to 40 percent of the battery’s weight but also doubles or even triples the energy storage capacity compared to lithium-ion batteries. The substantial increase in energy storage capacity could revolutionize the way electric vehicles, spacecraft, and other battery-dependent technologies function. This innovation could result in increased efficiency and longer operational life, leading to new possibilities in renewable energy management and making sustainable energy resources more accessible and cost-effective for consumers worldwide.
Exceeding Performance Expectations
SABERS-powered devices have achieved 500 watt-hours per kilogram, which is twice that of an electric car. The primary goal for this year was to demonstrate the battery’s capabilities in achieving its energy and safety targets while operating under realistic conditions at maximum power. Significantly surpassing expectations, these innovative devices have showcased their potential in revolutionizing the transportation and energy sectors. The continued optimization and implementation of SABERS technology could lead to longer driving ranges for electric vehicles, decreased dependence on fossil fuels, and increased adoption of alternative energy sources.
Collaborating for Improved Battery Technologies
In partnership with Georgia Tech, SABERS has employed various methodologies to focus on the micromechanics of cell changes during operation. This collaboration allows researchers to study the intricate behavior of cellular mechanics and their influence on overall system performance. The insights gained from this deep understanding of cellular activity have proved invaluable for optimizations and improvements in many operations.
The research has also provided valuable insight into the internal battery pressures, enhancing the design and knowledge of manufacturing processes and various design configurations. This knowledge has significantly contributed to improving the overall efficiency, performance, and safety of batteries, particularly in applications such as electric vehicles and portable electronics. By understanding the relationships between internal pressures and factors such as temperature, charge, and discharge rates, engineers can develop more advanced and reliable battery technologies for the future.
What are solid-state batteries?
Solid-state batteries are a type of battery that utilizes a solid electrolyte, reducing the risk of flammable incidents and providing better thermal management compared to liquid electrolytes typically found in lithium-ion batteries. They offer higher energy density, leading to longer driving ranges and faster charging times for electric vehicles.
What is the SABERS project?
The Solid-state Architecture Batteries for Enhanced Rechargeability and Safety (SABERS) project is an initiative by NASA that aims to develop lighter, safer, and more efficient solid-state battery packs with multiple times the discharge power of current lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have the potential to revolutionize the automotive, aviation, and renewable energy storage industries.
How are SABERS batteries different from traditional lithium-ion batteries?
SABERS solid-state batteries utilize a solid electrolyte, which reduces the risk of flammable incidents and offers better thermal management than lithium-ion batteries. The unique design stacks sulfur and selenium cells directly on top of one another without casings, allowing for significant weight savings, increased energy density, and improved overall performance.
What potential applications do SABERS batteries have?
SABERS solid-state batteries have potential applications in electric vehicles, aerospace, renewable energy storage solutions, and portable electronic devices. They offer longer operational life and increased efficiency, opening up new possibilities in renewable energy management and making sustainable energy resources more accessible and cost-effective for consumers worldwide.
How has SABERS collaborated with other organizations to improve battery technologies?
SABERS has partnered with Georgia Tech to study the micromechanics of cell changes during operation, allowing researchers to understand cellular activity and its influence on overall system performance. This collaboration has provided valuable insights into internal battery pressures, manufacturing processes, and various design configurations, contributing to improved efficiency, performance, and safety in battery technologies.