Patent-protected technology makes fast charging faster by more than 60%.
Dr Tom Heenan of the Electrochemical Innovation Lab at UCL, along with co-inventors Dr Chun Tan, Professor Paul Shearing and Professor Dan Brett have patented a charging-enhancement technology that uses a device to accelerate the fast charging of lithium-ion batteries that had already demonstrated charge time reductions of over 60% in commercial cells.
A Faraday Institution Entrepreneurial Fellowship is funding the further development and commercialisation of this technology that aims to propel the technology into commercial battery applications, from cordless power tools to electric vehicles.
Several key factors have been uncovered that, with further optimisation, will improve the charging times of commercial cells. These findings allow a higher average electrical current to be used during charging, which reduces the overall charging time whilst maintaining the cell’s energy and power density (and hence EV range and acceleration) and battery lifetime.
The technology is now ready for real-world proof-of-concept projects for automotive applications but also for portable electronics and hand-held power tools. Early-stage discussions have begun with commercial entities from various sectors including a major consumer power tool company. This will be carried out in parallel with continued fundamental research that is required to achieve true optimisation of the device.
Our work has demonstrated substantial charging time improvements and has now been scaled for commercial Li-ion cells. Accelerating recharging at fuelling stations will improve consumer satisfaction by reducing the disparity between the time taken for traditional petrol/diesel car refuelling and EV recharging. Moreover, if the device were to shorten cell manufacturing times, the cost of cell production may reduce, improving EV affordability.”
Dr Thomas Heenan, Entrepreneurial and Research Fellow, Electrochemical Innovation Lab, University College London
A cell charging profile with the device on (orange) and off (blue) for a commercially available cell. In this example, use of the novel technology reduces charge time by a factor of three.
A presentation given by Thomas Heenan, Entrepreneurial Fellow, at the Faraday Institution Conference in November 2020.
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