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Transportation Science

Aluminum-Celmet Could Increase EV Range By 300% 182

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-like-a-helmet-but-with-celery dept.
LesterMoore writes "Japanese company Sumitomo Electric Industries have developed a new material that they believe can significantly improve the capacity of EV batteries. The material is a form of porous aluminum called 'Aluminum-Celmet.' 'The positive electrode current collector in a conventional lithium-ion secondary battery is made from aluminum foil, while the negative electrode current collector is made from copper foil. Replacing the aluminum foil with Aluminum-Celmet increases the amount of positive active material per unit area. Sumitomo Electric’s trial calculations indicate that in the case of automotive onboard battery packs, such replacement will increase battery capacity 1.5 to 3 times. Alternatively, with no change in capacity, battery volume can be reduced to one-third to two-thirds. These changes afford such benefits as reduced footprint of home-use storage batteries for power generated by solar and other natural sources, as well as by fuel cells."
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Aluminum-Celmet Could Increase EV Range By 300%

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  • Alumninum Cermet? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 16, 2011 @11:41PM (#36790572)

    I suspect this should be "Aluminum-Cermet" since the metal apparently is deposited on a ceramic base.

    Japanese often mismaps the "R" sound into an "L" sound ... perhaps that happened here?

  • by stormboy (1691754) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @03:20AM (#36791292)
    Looking at the stated figures for battery volume, the increase in range is "by up to 200%" NOT "by 300%" as the title states. The correct use of the 300% figure would be "increase range to 300% of current range". An increase of range by 300% would mean the range would be 400% of the original range. It may seem like a little difference between the words "by" and "to", but misuse of words and percentages occurs far too much to exaggerate things that do not need exaggerating.
  • Re:Power Miracle (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arkhan_jg (618674) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @05:30AM (#36791626)

    Nickel foam is already used in NiMH batteries to improve storage capacity, it's just expensive, so most often used in high-density NiMH car batteries. They already produce a low-nickel variant of this foam that's cheaper and simpler to produce, called celmet, that's comparable [] in performance to more expensive production methods - Sumitomo are not a fly-by-night company, this is part of their bread-and-butter business.

    They've now applied the same foam technique to creating aluminium foam instead of nickel foam, so it can be used in Lithium batteries instead of NiMH. Given their focus, I imagine it's going to be more suitable to larger Li-ion batteries for EV purposes rather than smaller consumer electronics, but there's no fundamental reason it won't work for Li-ion batteries. After all, all you're doing is increasing the surface area of the electrode with a foam-type material; the trick is making it cheaply enough while maintaining mechanical strength. That appears to be the problem they have solved for aluminium, using their existing technique.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 17, 2011 @04:47PM (#36794704)

    By that logic you should be really worried about butter. 100 kg of butter has an energy content of 830 kWh after all. What makes TNT dangerous isn't the energy density, which is pretty low, but the speed of the reaction.

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