An Ultimate Battery Construction Guide: 7 Steps to a Powerful Battery Solution
Right from smartphones to electric cars to grid-scale energy needs, rechargeable batteries have completed transformed the way we live our lives. It is strengthening our energy approach for the future, innovating our present, and pacing its way for a rechargeable world.
But, have you ever stopped wondering what’s inside these batteries that make them so powerful that they can drive around the town and do so much more?
There are so many experimental battery manufacturing units established in so less time owing to the profitable future prospects, deciphering various compositions and chemistries to find a powerful unit. There are three major future variants for battery technology in talks right now. These include the lithium-ion batteries, Lithium-Sulphur batteries, and the solid-state batteries.
Scientists are looking for all kinds of new materials like lithium, Sulphur, sodium, and magnesium to develop long-lasting batteries that can store more juice or electrolyte. Such tests are helping the battery industry in finding out the most powerful and safer replacements for today’s most common AAA or AA rechargeable batteries. One thing that’s completely certain is, that lithium-ion batteries will occupy the major segment of functional batteries in the coming decade. Their usage is being studied for energy grid-scales, electric vehicles, etc. Scientists are test-driving these materials by assembling them into a cell phone-sized experimental batteries, also called as pouch cells, since they are enclosed in a vacuum-sealed plastic pouch. Similar to the full-sized batteries, each of these pouch cells contains three main parts, two electrodes (cathode and anode) and an electrolyte that separates them.
A battery stores and releases electrical energy later. This results in tiny charged particles moving back and forth between each of these electrodes, passing electricity along the way too. This process leads to producing electricity that charges out phones, AA or AAA rechargeable batteries, electric cars, and even store renewable energy when the sun is up, storing it in the form of solar energy or wind energy, and then using later.
So, the next question is, how do these parts get assembled?
Here the seven most important steps in the process that takes around 2-3 weeks’ for proper completion.
Electrode slurry: this consists of powders packed with the active materials in the electrode. The most common active material is lithium since it is the lightest alkali metal in the periodic table. Lithium, is then, mixed with other binding materials that act as a glue to create an electrode slurry or a gooey batter.
Electrode coating: this slurry is then spread on a very long piece of foil which slowly rolls through temperatures of exceedingly high heat (up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit) to bake the electrode into the solid.
Electrode stamping: this baked electrode is then rolled to cut into smaller pieces, which are then placed on a super-sharp rectangular piece. With a sudden movement, this piece pushes down the electrode sheet and it cuts out an individual electrode battery piece.
Electrode stacking: this process involves an automated machine using suction to pick and release the sheets of the cut-out electrode material. After that, the electrode material is wrapped onto an insulating layer in between each sheet. This results in a credit card-sized electrode stack, which is then removed from the machine with the turn of a metal arm.
Pouch making: this is constructed out of a special, moisture barrier material. It is pressed to create a rectangular formation. An electrode stack is then inserted into the resulting form to create a pouch cell.
Electrolyte injection: this is a liquid form electrolyte that is injected into the open battery pouch.
Battery sealing: The electrolyte is then soaked in the battery pouch which is then heat-sealed and placed in a vacuum chamber. This removes excess air from inside the pouch.
These pouch cells are then put through many paces wherein they continuously charge and discharge within the environmentally controlled chambers. Their chambers are designed to mimic the extreme temperatures between 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the test pouch of the battery performs well, that means that the unique combination of different materials can power our lives for a longer and better duration. This technology is then licensed which the companies develop into a product that can be brought to the marketplace. Once in the market, customers can buy and benefit from this product.
Wrapping it Up
Batteries have come a long way from where they started and this is what enables further technologies to work in accordance with the current need and develop substantially profitable energy solutions for the same.
In the case of battery manufacturers, SmartCell batteries are bringing a change in the recharge cycles of the rechargeable batteries and providing customers a 3X more powerful products that too at affordable pricing. There is a lot of innovation taking place in the same domain and the future is going to be secured with efficient and energy services.