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Inside Clean Energy

By June 27, 2022July 1st, 2022No Comments

Credit: University of Houston

Colorado-based Solid Power has begun rolling out batteries that will enable electric cars to run much longer on a charge. Meanwhile, Houston researchers announced progress on a solid-state battery for energy storage.

At some point, the development of solid-state batteries—in which electrons flow through a solid material instead of a liquid or gel—is going to lead to electric vehicles that can go much farther on a charge and battery-storage systems that can hold more energy while taking up less space. We just don’t know when that is going to be.

But in the last 10 days, two announcements offer reasons to think the answer is “sooner rather than later.”

First, Solid Power, a Colorado-based company developing solid-state EV batteries for partners including Ford and BMW, said it has completed installation of a “pilot production line” that is capable of making about 300 battery cells per week. This signals that the technology is now moving from the lab to the factory.

Second, University of Houston researchers published a paper showing how they have developed a glasslike material that is highly effective as an electrolyte—the part of a battery that electrons pass through during cycles of charging and discharging—for use in a sodium-sulfur battery for energy storage. The research is notable because this is a solid-state battery, and because it shows the promise of sodium-sulfur batteries as an alternative to lithium-ion batteries for long-duration energy storage.

Credit: Dan Gearino, 06/09/2022