Articles ＆ files | Energies | Energy efficiency | Energy storage | Electric vehicles
Batteries are a key enabling technology for clean transportation. One of the major trends shaping the booming battery market is costs. As battery costs continue to come down, they will gradually address the grid's backup power needs. Liten's battery research addresses both sides of the equation, with advances that are boosting energy and power densities and, as result, performance. Safety is also an integral part of Liten's battery research. The institute is constantly striving to improve its knowledge of the factors that influence battery safety during operation and battery lifespans, two issues that have a direct impact on the long-term viability of the industry.
To increase performance, Liten researchers are developing new chemistries and investigating new battery packs and systems for different use cases.
In terms of chemistry, the future generations of batteries currently on the drawing board leverage solvent-free electrode fabrication processes and integrate hybrid and solid electrolytes combined with metal lithium negative electrodes. And, as Liten researchers work to control metal lithium, they are also intensively investigating NMC, Ni-rich, and Li-rich lamellar oxides, rock-salt-type materials for the positive electrode, and silicon-based composites for the negative electrode.
In addition to lithium batteries, and to meet the needs of specific applications, Liten is exploring several alternative technologies: These include hybrid potassium superconductors, Na-ion batteries, organic materials for redox flow batteries, and lithium-sulfur and magnesium-ion.
In terms of systems, the primary objective is to achieve optimal dimensioning for the target application. The dimensioning process is based on performance testing at the cell and pack scales and on Liten's deep knowledge of multi-physics, multiscale modeling.
Safety issues like thermal runaway and the propagation phenomena that sometimes occur as a result are also addressed, with the goal of making the best cell choices (chemistry, format, size). Safety can also be enhanced through mechanical and thermal integration supported by a BMS (Battery Management System).
Leti and Liten, both CEA Tech institutes, developed the electronics and algorithms required to measure the internal temperature of a battery cell by estimating electrical impedance. The purpose of the solution is to detect the early signs of thermal runaway in embedded lithium-ion batteries.
Silicon electrodes are among the frontrunners in the race to replace the graphite electrodes currently used in Lithium batteries. Several imaging and spectroscopy techniques have provided a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that underpin silicon electrode degradation.
Liten, a CEA Tech institute, recently produced the first-ever cylindrical lithium-sulfur battery. The prototype’s performance indicates a bright future for the batteries!
Transportation and Mobility
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.