(ORDO NEWS) — California-based Ampirus has shipped the first batch of what it claims are the most energy efficient lithium batteries available today. These silicon anode cells are capable of storing 73 percent more energy per unit mass than Tesla Model 3 batteries.
The company’s specialists managed to stabilize the silicon anode and achieve a very high battery capacity.
Batteries used today in the Tesla Model 3 have a capacity of about 260 Wh/kg and 730 Wh/L. The new products of the American company Ampirus, which entered the market, are a record commercially available batteries in terms of energy storage capacity and density: they are able to store 450 Wh/kg and 1150 Wh/l of electricity.
The company says it has already delivered the first batch of new batteries to “an industry leader in building high-altitude nanosatellites.”
According to Ampirus, the battery’s impressive performance is due to silicon nanowire anodizing technology. When you charge a lithium-ion battery, you are effectively stripping an electron from each lithium atom located on the cathode and moving them to the anode through external conductive elements, since electrons cannot pass through the electrolyte or membrane.
The formed positively charged lithium ions begin to leave the cathode and move through the electrolyte and separator towards the anode, where each of them finds an electron and is introduced into the graphite lattice.
Ampirus has replaced this graphite lattice with silicon nanowires. Silicon can store about 10 times more lithium than graphite, but it tends to swell and crack, drastically shortening cell life. However, the company managed to cope with this problem.
According to its representatives, when you form porous silicon nanowires and arrange them in a kind of forest, silicon becomes able to withstand swelling and resist cracking, extending battery life so that silicon anodes can become a competitive technology.
The company says the silicon nanowires are embedded directly into the anode substrate, making them more conductive. The exact life of the element was not disclosed, but it is reported to be “excellent” and “constantly improving”. Ampirus notes that the only part of the battery that needs to be replaced periodically is the anode.
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