A study led by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has shown that carbon fibres can work as battery electrodes, storing energy directly.
This opens up new opportunities for structural batteries, where the carbon fibre becomes part of the energy system. The use of this type of multifunctional material can contribute to a significant weight-reduction in the aircraft and vehicles of the future – a key challenge for electrification.
Passenger aircraft need to be much lighter than they are today in order to be powered by electricity. A reduction in weight is also very important for vehicles in order to extend the driving distance per battery charge.
Leif Asp, Professor of Material and Computational Mechanics at Chalmers University of Technology, conducts research into the ability of carbon fibres to perform more tasks than simply to act as a reinforcing material. They can store energy, for example.
“A car body would then be not simply a load-bearing element, but also act as a battery,” he says. “It will also be possible to use the carbon fibre for other purposes such as harvesting kinetic energy, for sensors or for conductors of both energy and data. If all these functions were part of a car or aircraft body, this could reduce the weight by up to 50 percent.”
Asp headed up a multidisciplinary group of researchers who recently published a study on how the microstructure of carbon fibres affects their electrochemical properties – that is, their ability to operate as electrodes in a lithium-ion battery. So far this has been an unexplored research field.
The researchers studied the microstructure of different types of commercially available carbon fibres. They discovered that carbon fibres with small and poorly oriented crystals have good electrochemical properties but a lower stiffness in relative terms. If you compare this with carbon fibres that have large, highly oriented crystals, they have greater stiffness, but the electrochemical properties are too low for use in structural batteries.
We now know how multifunctional carbon fibres should be manufactured to attain a high energy storage capacity, while also ensuring sufficient stiffness,” Asp says. “A slight reduction in stiffness is not a problem for many applications such as cars. The market is currently dominated by expensive carbon fibre composites whose stiffness is tailored to aircraft use. There is therefore some potential here for carbon fibre manufacturers to extend their utilisation.”
In the study the types of carbon fibre with good electrochemical properties had a slightly higher stiffness than steel, whereas the types whose electrochemical properties were poor are just over twice as rigid as steel.
The researchers are collaborating with both the automotive and aviation industries. Leif Asp explains that for the aviation industry, it may be necessary to increase the thickness of carbon fibre composites, to compensate for the reduced stiffness of structural batteries. This would, in turn, also increase their energy storage capacity.
“The key is to optimise vehicles at system level – based on the weight, strength, stiffness and electrochemical properties. That is something of a new way of thinking for the automotive sector, which is more used to optimising individual components. Structural batteries may perhaps not become as efficient as traditional batteries, but since they have a structural load-bearing capability, very large gains can be made at system level.”
Receive an email update when we add a new STRUCTURAL BATTERIES article.
The Latest on: Structural batteries
via Google News
The Latest on: Structural batteries
- Pressure helps to make better Li-ion batteries on November 13, 2018 at 6:07 am
Li-ion batteries (LIBs) are also growing in popularity for electric ... extraction and is regarded as a "zero-strain" anode material for LIBs. Due to its great structural stability, LTO exhibits excel... […]
- Running On Battery Power: The 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 In Energy on November 13, 2018 at 2:00 am
Spencer Gore’s startup Impossible Aerospace has developed methods to package conventional Li-on battery cells as structural elements of an electric aircraft, allowing more battery to be crammed in at ... […]
- $350k could be spent to repair the Battery because of Hurricane Michael on November 12, 2018 at 11:15 pm
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - More than $350,000 could be spent on repairing The Battery from damages done by Hurricane ... When that happens, the bars expand and break the concrete, which leads to structur... […]
- Let’s Build Cars Out of Batteries on November 2, 2018 at 9:49 am
“The battery is a structural parasite,” says the engineer and professor at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, meaning it adds weight and saps efficiency, without contributing to the phys... […]
- The EU tries to jump-start its electric battery sector on November 1, 2018 at 8:22 am
Billions of euros, meanwhile, including from existing EU structural funds and the European Investment Bank, are ready to be mobilised to co-finance large-scale production plants. Battery technology is ... […]
- Team Improves Structural Health Monitoring with Magnetostrictive Transducer on October 31, 2018 at 7:19 am
This user-friendly technology more precisely locates structural issues,” said Dr. Sergey Vinogradov ... permanently installed on a structure to provide ongoing monitoring. A battery-operated hub colle... […]
- BMW Dingolfing to build batteries for electric Mini on October 31, 2018 at 7:06 am
A mid-double-digit-million-euro amount will be channelled into structural measures and equipment to produce batteries for the all-electric MINI alone. Covering an area of around 6,000 sqm (64,583sqft) ... […]
- BMW Plant Dingolfing to Expand, Start Making Next-Gen Batteries, EV Motors on October 30, 2018 at 8:11 am
The money will go into structural measures and equipment along with an assembly ... The fully electric MINI will be built in Oxford, starting in late 2019. Batteries for the car will come from the new ... […]
- Improving structural health monitoring with magnetostrictive transducer on October 30, 2018 at 6:56 am
A battery-operated hub collects and wirelessly transmits data ... (2018, October 29). Improving structural health monitoring with magnetostrictive transducer: New sensor design provides more precise i... […]
via Bing News