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Lithium-ion battery in Jaguar i-Pace BEV.

Long-life Batteries: The Frontier of CleanTech

With the number of connected devices across the globe expected to reach up to 50 billion by 2030, researchers are working on many techniques that make electrified vehicles and portable devices stay charged longer.

CleanTech is basically any procedure, product or service assisting in lowering adverse environmental effects using techniques including sustainable resource usage, energy efficiency or environment protection activities. And it is a priority for automakers and makers of portable devices as we become ever more dependent on stored battery power.

CleanTech includes a wide range of technologies related to renewable energy, recycling, green transportation, information technology, lighting, greywater, green chemistry and more.

Deep-cycle batteries can sustain numerous charge/discharge cycles at 80% depth of discharge (DOD) and deliver constant power production over extended periods of time. High-rate batteries have a lifespan of 14-16 years with 50% DOD, delivering high power for short spans of time.

The remote wireless devices of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) should use long-life lithium batteries to ensure dependable performance and lower the total cost of ownership. Long-lasting lithium batteries can replace expensive hard wiring to AC power. Therefore, long-life batteries are widely adopted among IIoT for remote wireless devices.

The Demand for Long-Life Batteries in EVs

The demand for EVs has increased in recent years owing to the reduced cost of EV batteries during the past decade and government initiatives and support aimed at reducing vehicle emissions by 2050. Nearly 40% of the demand for li-ion batteries is anticipated to come from China. The APAC region is expected to see lucrative growth in long-life batteries in forthcoming years owing to the presence of developing economies such as China, India, Indonesia and others, all of which are increasing EV penetration.

 Similarly, major automobile markets in Europe and the U.S. have seen a sharp increase in demand for batteries as the world rapidly switches to EVs. In the coming years, many battery manufacturers will need to cut costs plant by plant and purchase supplies in bulk if they want to become competitive players that can produce mass-market battery cells for less than $70/ kWh, which translates to EV battery packs for less than $100/kWh. As a result of this, the demand for long-life batteries will take off in the future. Some automakers are becoming vertically integrated even to the point of buying lithium and cobalt mines.

Cleantech Start-ups and Funding to Improve Battery Performance

Global battery demand by 2030 is expected to grow by a factor of 12 compared to 2020. In 2030, the electric mobility segment is expected to account for about 95% followed by stationary storage (3%), and consumer electronics (2%) of the total global battery market.

The goal of CleanTech is to replace fossil fuels with alternative energy sources, such as wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectricity, to offer the utilities they have historically delivered.

Emerging Battery Technologies That Will Change the Future

The economics of electrified vehicles (EVs), grid-scale renewable energy and other energy-intensive applications are anticipated to alter because of next-generation battery technology.

  • NanoBolt lithium tungsten batteries: EVs
  • Zinc-manganese oxide batteries: flashlights, toys, radios, compact disc players, digital cameras
  • Organosilicon electrolyte batteries: consumer electronics, stationary storage
  • Gold nanowire gel electrolyte batteries (transportation and energy storage system applications)
  • TankTwo string cell batteries: operate vehicles and as energy storage devices
  • Hydrogen fuel cell batteries: material handling and stationary, portable and emergency backup power

Sustainable Design to Improve Battery Life

Currently, the fabrication of cells requires incredibly hazardous solvents, particularly when making electrodes for li-ion batteries. These need to be removed or recovered by manufacturers using methods that consume a lot of energy. Operating costs can be reduced by switching completely to water-based solvents, which facilitate more effective drying, or by adopting a solvent-free production process that does not involve a drying stage. Additionally, these greener techniques have a  positive impact on CO2 emissions.

Battery optimization has become a challenge for device designers due to the increasing demand for applications and data processing. Many key players in the business are creating better and more sustainable ways to store energy to eliminate carbon emissions. Due to a discrepancy between the amount of electricity generated by the producing plant and actual demand, current power grids operate on an inefficient system and waste a significant amount of electricity.

The Sustainability of Lithium Batteries

IoT companies can utilize several strategies, such as energy harvesting, power saving mode and effective hardware design to increase the battery life of devices. Given that the number of connected devices across the globe is slated to reach up to 50 billion by 2030, researchers are working on many unique techniques that make EVs and portable devices stay charged longer with the extended life of li-ion (rechargeable) batteries.

Husen Limdiwala_Netscribes (003).jpgSustainable battery technologies are crucial for developing affordable, safe and environmentally benign technology. In fact, technology now is offering fresh and exciting options to combat anthropogenic problems such as climate change. With the advancement of rechargeable batteries, society is becoming more conscious of the advantages, not only to individuals but also to the environment as a whole. Thus, growing awareness about sustainability is fueling the innovation around long-life batteries.

Husen Limdiwala (pictured, above left) is manager of Innovation & Technology Research for Netscribes Data & Insights.

 

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