Battery technology is relevant in many fields, leading to various research and developments on it. But it was Huawei that took a lead recently when it announced a new milestone in its research into Li-ion batteries. At the 57th Battery Symposium held in Japan recently, Watt Laboratory – a research institution under Huawei’s Central Research Institute – revealed that it has successfully develop a long-lifespan graphene-assisted Li-ion battery that can withstand high temperatures.
The research resulted the new technologies it has developed allows Li-ion batteries to have greater heat resistance, with lab testing showing that it could function at 60°C environments. That number is a solid 10°C higher, compared to the current limit, a fact that leads to greater battery lifespan. According to the institute, the graphene-assisted Li-ion batteries will last twice as long as regular Li-ion batteries.
Watt Laboratory’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Yangxing Li, attributed the breakthrough to three technologies: a special additive in the electrolytes that removes trace water and prevents the electrolytes from evaporating in high temperatures, modified large-crystal NMC materials used as cathode powder for improved thermal stability, and the use of graphene to more efficiently cool the Li-ion battery.
“We have performed charging and discharging tests in a high-temperature environment. The tests show that when working parameters are the same, the graphene-assisted high-temperature Li-ion battery is 5°C cooler than ordinary Li-ion batteries. Over 70% of the graphene battery’s capacity is left after it is recharged 2,000 times at a temperature of 60°C. Less than 13% of its capacity is lost after being kept in a 60°C environment for 200 days,” said Dr. Li.
Huawei believes that this research can change the game when it comes to the storage systems of communications base stations, which emit the radio waves for mobile communications and more. Not only would this technology be a boon in the above commercial applications, it could be ground-breaking for consumer tech such as batteries for electric vehicles. In addition, it could also make operation of drones safer and fly longer, since drones do generate a lot of heat and usually don’t last long.