Even after the laborious efforts and massive improvements. One of the biggest impediment in acceptance of electric vehicles is the slow charging times for the batteries. It prevents them from being used as regular vehicles on highways without stopping multiple times to charge the batteries. The C-Rating of the battery determines how fast the battery will be charged, it refers to the continuous current that can flow while charging.
But there are several problems that arise with fast charging speed including overheating and overcharging. The Li-ion batteries that are used in electric vehicles are highly sensitive to temperature. Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery’s separator, create a short-circuit and cause fire. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery. This is the reason due to which the battery manufacturers impose charging power limits to prevent any catastrophe. The limits are based on hard to measure internal temperatures.
The researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have come up with a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems So we may not need to be patient, though. It’s a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance. The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla’s Model S and X. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized.
Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.
It definitely shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even with the same battery capacities, charging in 5 minutes can convince a lot of drivers to change their mind set and move towards a greener future. There is still some work to do but research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have “precisely tuned profiles/limits” to prevent problems.
A group of tech enthusiasts who are tracking latest developments in CleanTech with special focus on Energy Storage and Electric Mobility