Solid State Batteries - Cylindrical Cells?

Illumenationz

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Has anyone heard any rumors regarding manufacturers of cylindrical cell batteries, mass producing 18650's or 21700's in solid state technology? I read an article that there's intent for mass production in vehicle applications in 2025 so I'm hoping that means tech is coming our way for flashlights!
 

jtr1962

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As we all know, predicting the future is at best educated guesswork. Solid state cells are only just hitting mass production now. For example, you have this:


The U.S. company QuantumScape has recently reached an important milestone, which was now confirmed by PowerCo: its solid-state cell has significantly exceeded the requirements in the A-sample test and successfully completed more than 1,000 charging cycles. For an electric car with a WLTP range of 500-600 kilometres, this corresponds to a total mileage of more than half a million kilometres. At the same time, the cell barely aged and still had 95 percent of its capacity (or discharge energy retention) at the end of the test.

For many reasons, making an EV pack out of a bunch of small cells like 18650 or 21700 is less than optimal. We only did it because those were widely available formats, and EVs at the time weren't being made in large enough numbers to invest in a plant to purpose-build batteries designed for them. Therefore, I don't think we're going to be beneficiaries of solid-state cylindrical cells made for EV use.

That said, this doesn't imply solid-state 18650s or 21700s won't be made. These form factors power so many devices like laptops, battery power tools, e-bikes, etc. A drop-in replacement with higher energy density is a no-brainer. Another major advantage not often touted for solid-state batteries is almost no risk of thermal runaway or explosion. While rare, cars and e-bikes turning into blow torches make for sensationalist news which puts some of the fence regarding their adoption. Bottom line, we'll probably see cylindrical solid-state batteries within the next few years. There will be plenty of takers for, say, 6,000 or 7,000 mAh 18650s with improved safety. If there's enough demand for something, it will get made.
 

sambob223

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Well, we are running out of Lithium I understand that's why Tesla Is putting smaller batteries in their car's when they promised they would get bigger,cheaper and go further and now there smaller,expensive and don't go as far.
There was some BOLD talk about Hydrogen fuel cells like 20years ago to replace laptop batteries you just had to refill them but I haven't heard anything since..we really do need something better..NOW.
 

chaosdsm

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The solid state battery sounds like an ideal battery solution. Wonder how long it would take to complete detailed testing, safety testing, production ramp-up, and finally see an affordable solution out of the technology.

Well, we are running out of Lithium I understand that's why Tesla Is putting smaller batteries in their car's when they promised they would get bigger,cheaper and go further and now there smaller,expensive and don't go as far.
A USGS study in 2022 indicates that there are an estimated 89 million metric tons of Lithium reserves & deposits (not counting the two recently discovered deposits noted below) through-out the world. Also, Lithium used in other applications is being replaced by other materials / compounds to concentrate Lithium's availability for battery power. A Science Advances study notes that demand for Lithium for batteries may reach 1 million metric tons by 2040... So no where close to running out of Lithium yet... Greed is the "why" behind the smaller/more expensive.

Supposedly 2 potentially massive Lithium deposits were just found within the last year here in the US. The smaller one at the Salton Sea in California, is estimated to contain roughly 3.5 million metric tons of Lithium. according to the US Department of Energy analysis. Second one, according to the same study noted above by Science Advances in September 2023, the McDermitt Caldera, located on the Nevada-Oregon border, may contain the world's largest known lithium deposit, with an estimated 20 to 40 million metric tons of Lithium...

Of course until mining operations (which could take a decade or more) prove out those values, they're just studies & estimates.....

.
 

jtr1962

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So no where close to running out of Lithium yet...
Also, long before we do we'll be substituting some lithium uses with alternate chemistries like sodium-ion, and possibly aluminum-ion (which has a theoretical energy density of around 1,000 Wh/kg). For stationary power storage especially the overriding factors are cost per kW-hr and cycle life. Sodium-ion looks good in both those areas, at 1/3 or less the cost of li-ion, and cycle life in excess of 3K or 4K cycles, perhaps a lot more.
 

alpg88

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We heard so many "great breakthroughs, that are about to change the world" yet, nothing came out of 99% of those promises, so i'll believe it when i see it.
 

jtr1962

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Sodium-ion is already in mass production. I know it seems there's a new battery development almost every week, but I take most of those with a grain of salt until they're commercialized. Aluminum-ion is still in its infancy. It may or may not live up to the hype.
 

chaosdsm

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Typically, from first report to a consumer available product there's a continuous cycle (depending on funding) of research, development, testing, safety testing, more research, re-development, re-testing, more safety testing, etc.... till we eventually see a consumer ready product 10 - 30 years after first exciting announcement.

IIRC Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries had about 2 decades between the first studies, and commercially available batteries.

Also, long before we do we'll be substituting some lithium uses with alternate chemistries like sodium-ion, and possibly aluminum-ion (which has a theoretical energy density of around 1,000 Wh/kg).
A couple of current problems with Aluminum-ion:
> Run at about 2v-2.6V... so a 12V battery is going to require a minimum of 7 cells vs 4 cells for Lithium Ion.
> Lithium is MUCH lighter than aluminum... aluminum = 169lbs/CuFt while Lithium weighs just 33.337lbs/CuFt.
> Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for aluminum-ion batteries practical application and commercialization is the Al reaction inside the battery. The metal can form alumina and dendrites and suffer corrosion, which can drop efficiency and safety.

so you're going to need more batteries to deliver similar voltage as a given Lithium-Ion pack, and the overall package is going to be a lot heavier than that Lithium-Ion pack, so that's a no-go for EV's, but home power backup storage... it could work if they find a solution for that last thing I mentioned above.
 

jtr1962

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A couple of current problems with Aluminum-ion:
> Run at about 2v-2.6V... so a 12V battery is going to require a minimum of 7 cells vs 4 cells for Lithium Ion.
> Lithium is MUCH lighter than aluminum... aluminum = 169lbs/CuFt while Lithium weighs just 33.337lbs/CuFt.
> Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for aluminum-ion batteries practical application and commercialization is the Al reaction inside the battery. The metal can form alumina and dendrites and suffer corrosion, which can drop efficiency and safety.

so you're going to need more batteries to deliver similar voltage as a given Lithium-Ion pack, and the overall package is going to be a lot heavier than that Lithium-Ion pack, so that's a no-go for EV's, but home power backup storage... it could work if they find a solution for that last thing I mentioned above.
I'm aware that aluminum-ion is nowhere close to prime time. At least sodium-ion are in mass production now, and at energy densities similar to LiFePO4. Interestingly, about 15 years ago I thought LiFePO4 was a dead-end chemistry. The energy density stagnated at under 100 Wh/kg, negating many of its other advantages like very stable discharge voltage or enhanced safety. Then the Chinese poured massive R&D into them for their EV program. Now we're at 180 Wh/kg in production, with 230 Wh/kg in the pipeline.

Of course aluminum-ion aren't going to be a drop-in replacement for lithium-ion. As for aluminum being heavier than lithium, that's true but aluminum has three ions per atom, lithium only one, although current iterations of Al-ion batteries are only using one ion. Using three is what potentially gets us to ~1,000 Wh/kg, which is about 3 times what non-solid-state li-ion can offer (or about twice solid-state li-ion). What's exciting about cells exceeding maybe 500 Wh/kg is that they make electric general aviation possible. It's not just good for EVs with enhanced range.

Anyway, I'm taking a wait and see approach with Al-ion. If they make it commercially at all, I'm betting it's not until at least the end of the decade. By then sodium-ion will be well-established. As we've already seen, new battery chemistries rarely obsolete old ones for every use. After all, we're still using lead-acid. They simply give us another option which might be a better fit for some use cases.
 

vicv

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is the weight of aluminium really going to matter much though? Lithium ions barely have any lithium. Most of the weight is the steel tube. I'm sure the nickel content is more that lithium as well
 
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