Category Archives: Batteries

Next-Generation Battery Management

Although there has been a significant advancement in increasing the range of electric vehicles, the charging speed is still a matter of concern. For instance, DC fast chargers can charge the battery to 80 percent in about 30 to 45 minutes. In contrast, it is possible to fill the gas tank in only a few minutes. Fast charging has its limitations, as the process generates a significant amount of heat. The high current and the internal resistance of the cable and the battery typically generate a significant rise in temperature.

EV batteries are typically rated at 400 V, and several factors limit their charging rate. This includes the cross-sectional area of the charging cable and the temperature of the battery cells. The temperature rise can be high enough for some fast-charging stations that necessitate liquid-cooling of their cables. Therefore, it would seem reasonable to expect that an increase in the battery’s voltage will boost the power it delivers.

Porsche, in their Taycan EV, has done just that. Their first production vehicle has a system voltage of 800 V rather than the usual 400. This would allow a 350 KW level 3 ultra-fast DC charging station to potentially charge the vehicle to 80% in as low as 15 minutes. But then, an EV design with an 800 V system requires new considerations for all its electrical systems, especially those related to managing the battery.

Switching the vehicle on and off requires the main contactors to electrically connect and disconnect the battery from the traction inverter. On the other side, there are independent contacts for connecting and disconnecting the battery to and from the charger buses and the DC link. For DC fast charging, additional DC charge contacts are necessary that can establish a connection from the battery to the DC charging station. Additionally, auxiliary contactors connect and disconnect the battery to electrical heaters for optimizing the passenger compartment temperature in cold weather conditions.

Moving to a higher battery voltage increases the potential for the formation of electrical arcs, and these can be damaging. Vehicle architectures operating at 800 V therefore, require stricter isolation parameters than those necessary for 400 V architecture. This can increase the cost of the vehicle.

For instance, higher voltage levels require the connector pins to have greater creepage and clearance between them to reduce the risk of arcing. Although connector manufacturers have managed to overcome these issues, the connectors are more expensive than those they offer for 400 V systems, thereby jacking up the total costs.

The maximum battery voltage decides the ratings of components that the traction inverter module uses. For battery voltages at 400 V, there is a wide range of selection of suitably rated components. But this range reduces drastically when the battery voltage is at 800 V. Most components for higher voltages come with a premium price tag attached. This raises the price of the traction inverter module.

A solution to the above problem is to use two 400 V batteries. To reduce the charging time, the batteries may connect in series. They can connect in parallel when driving.

Batteryless Microcontrollers for IoT

Ten years ago, IBM predicted the world will have one trillion connected devices by 2015. However, as 2015 rolled by, the world had yet to reach even 100 billion connected devices. The major problem—a trillion sensors mean at least a trillion batteries.

Although a significant problem, it did not make economic sense. Everyone was expecting the IoT technology to bring on a large value-addition, that of range. They expected IoT to bring the Internet to remote corners of the world, thereby interconnecting vast areas with IoT sensors and their information-gathering powers. Therefore, the internet and its incredible power would be visible in various places like large farms, factories, lumbering operations, construction sites, and mining operations, with enormous coverage and decentralized operations.

Typically, sensors collect data for IoT networks, which distribute it for processing and analysis. If sensors require batteries for operation, it places a severe restriction on the number of sensors that a network can use. This, in turn, goes on to defeat the entire point of having IoT in the first place.

For instance, consider a large-scale agricultural operation. IoT can bring major value addition to such a business through its coverage. By deploying multiple sensors across the entire operation, it is possible to access valuable information capable of generating highly actionable insights. Now consider the recurring cost of replacing or maintaining the huge number of batteries every year—making the proposition less compelling very quickly.

Not only would the resources, cost, and manpower, for replacing or maintaining the batteries on all the sensors be astronomical, but they would also easily surpass any possible savings that the system would likely bring.

According to an estimate, a trillion sensors would need 275 million battery replacements every day. This, assuming every battery deployed in the IoT network reached its claimed life of ten years. The next hurdle is even worse—discarded batteries poisoning the environment.

The above problem has resulted in sensors and microcontrollers getting more efficient and cheap. Modern sensors are now extremely reliable, consuming minuscule amounts of energy. Batteries have also improved, with the industry exhibiting robust batteries with higher energy density and longer life. However, the future of microcontrollers and IoT sensors needed to be batteryless. This led scientists and engineers to develop energy harvesting technologies that could eliminate the battery from IoT altogether. 

Energy harvesting is the technique of scavenging power from the surroundings, which has many forms of it—heat energy, electromagnetic energy, vibrational energy, and so on.

Considering that modern microcontrollers for IoT need only a few millivolts to operate, many are developing energy harvesting technologies as a potential power solution that can replace batteries.

This has given rise to self-powered microcontrollers in the market. For these MCUs, batteries impose no restrictions, as they harness their own energy from the environment. They use a number of harvesting technologies based on various power sources and kinds of materials—piezoelectricity, triboelectricity, and RF energy harvesting being the leading contenders in the category. Therefore, with energy harvesting powering microcontrollers, IoT can once again begin to chase the magic figure of one trillion interconnected devices.

Tiny Batteries Drive Microbots

Microbots are mobile robots, with characteristic dimensions below one micrometer. They are a part of the bigger family of common larger robots and a growing number of smaller nanorobots. In fact, the nature of microbots is common to both their larger and smaller cousins. Being autonomous, microbots use their onboard computers to move in insect-like maneuvers. Often, they are a part of a group of identical units that perform as a swarm does, under the control of a central computer.

With their insect-like form being a common feature, microbots are typically cheap to develop and manufacture. Scientists employ microbots for swarm robotics, using many of them and coordinating their behavior to perform a specific task. Combining many microbots compensates for their lack of individual computational capability, producing a behavior resembling that of an anthill or a beehive where insects cooperate to achieve a specific purpose.

With the field of microbotics still growing, microbots have a long way to develop further. Researchers are working with these devices, and they are investing their money, time, and effort in improving their capabilities.

With each new iteration, scientists are empowering microbots with more processing power, newer modes of locomotion, a larger number of sensors, and expanding their storage methods while providing them with newer techniques of energy harvesting. Recently, there has been a big breakthrough in tiny batteries that can help microbots drive further than ever before.

Generating a 9 VDC output, these tiny batteries are capable of driving motors directly. They stack multiple layers while turning components into packaging.

Several universities and a battery corporation have joined hands in creating the tiny batteries, a novel design that not only produces a high voltage but also boosts its storage capacity.

To unlock the full potential of microscale devices such as microbots, batteries must not only be tiny, they must also be powerful. According to the team that developed the tiny battery, its innovative design uses an improved architecture for its electrodes.

However, this was an unprecedented challenge. As the battery size reduces, the packaging begins to take up more of the available space, leaving precious little for the electrodes and the active ingredients that give the battery its performance.

Therefore, in place of working on the battery chemistry, the team started to work on a new packaging technology. They turned the negative and positive terminals of the battery into actual packaging, thereby saving considerable amounts of space.

By growing fully-dense non-polymer electrodes and combining them with vertical stacking, the team was able to make micro batteries that do not require carbon additives for electrodes. This allowed the micro batteries to easily outperform competitive models in capacity and voltage.

According to the team, limitations of power-dense micro- and nano-scale battery design were primarily due to cell design and electrode architecture. They have successfully created a microscale source of energy that has both volumetric energy density and high power density.

The higher voltage helps to reduce the electronic payload of a microbot. The 9 VDC from the tiny battery can power motors directly, bypassing energy losses associated with voltage boosting, allowing the small robots to either travel further or send more information to their human operators.

What are Solid-State Batteries?

The transport industry is currently undergoing a revolution with EVs or electric vehicles on the roads. EVs require batteries, and many EV manufacturers are now manufacturing their own batteries, targeting low-cost batteries with the most range and the fastest charging speed. While many industries are still using lithium-ion batteries, others are moving towards solid-state batteries. Compared to a few years ago, major breakthroughs are finally bringing solid-state batteries closer to mass production.

Although solid-state batteries have been in existence for some time now, and scientists have been researching them, they have been commercially available only in the last decade or so. Specific advantages of solid-state batteries include lower costs, superior energy density, and faster charging times.

Many companies have been researching solid-state battery technology for years. For instance, Toyota claims to be on the verge of producing solid-state batteries commercially for EVs, and they hold more than 1,000 patents.

Conventionally, a lithium-ion battery has an anode and a cathode, with a polymer separator keeping them apart. A liquid electrolyte floods the entire cell and is the medium through which lithium ions can travel while the battery is charging/discharging.

In a solid lithium-ion battery, a solid electrolyte layer separates the anode and the cathode, allowing lithium ions to travel through it. The anode is of pure lithium, which gives it a higher energy density than that of regular batteries. Theoretically, the energy density from solid lithium-ion batteries is roughly about 6300 watts per hour. Compared to the energy density of gasoline, a solid lithium-ion battery offers an energy density of about 9500 watts per liter.

The major advantage of solid-state batteries is their smaller size and weight. Additionally, they pose no fire hazards. As these batteries are very safe, they do not require as many safeguards to secure them. Their smaller size allows packing them to higher power capacity, and they do not release toxins. Solid-state batteries run 80 percent cooler than regular batteries.

With all the above advantages, using solid-state batteries in electric vehicles offer them greater range, safer operation, faster charging, higher voltages, and longer cycle life. However, solid-state batteries must overcome some disadvantages still.

The first of these obstacles is the dendrite formation. Lithium is a highly corrosive metal, requiring the use of chemically inert solid electrolytes. Over time, dendrite growth increases to the extent of destroying the battery. During charging, these batteries usually grow spike-like structures that can develop and begin to puncture the dividers, causing short-circuits in the battery. Manufacturers are using ceramic separators to overcome the dendrite menace.

Solid-state batteries currently do not perform well at low temperatures. This affects its long-term durability.

So far, the biggest detriment to solid-state batteries has been their exorbitant cost. However, present indications from manufacturers like Toyota suggest they have surmounted the price barrier.

Therefore, at present, the only problem still remaining for solid-state battery commercialization is their low-temperature performance. To be a viable alternative, solid-state batteries must perform in all kinds of variable environments and climates. However, manufacturers are offering assurances that they have overcome this hurdle also. Recharging stations need to be able to handle the faster-charging currents as compared to that of regular lithium-ion batteries.

The Battery of the Future — Sodium Ion

Currently, Lithium-ion batteries rule the roost. However, there are several disadvantages to this technology. The first is that Lithium is not an abundant material. Compared to this, Sodium is one of the most abundantly available materials on the earth, therefore it is cheap. That makes it the most prime promising candidate for new battery technology. So far, however, the limited performance of Sodium-ion batteries has not allowed them a large-scale integration into the industry.

PNNL, or the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, of the Department of Energy, is about to turn the tides in favor of Sodium-ion technology. They are in the process of developing a Sodium-ion battery that has excelled in laboratory tests for extended longevity. By ingeniously changing the ingredients of the liquid core of the battery, they have been able to overcome the performance issues that have plagued this technology so far. They have described their findings in the journal Nature Energy, and it is a promising recipe for a battery type that may one day replace Lithium-ion.

According to the lead author of the team at PNNL, they have shown in principle that Sodium-ion battery technology can be long-lasting and environmentally friendly. And all this is due to the use of the right salt for the electrolyte.

Batteries require an electrolyte that helps in keeping the energy flowing. By dissolving salts in a solvent, the electrolyte forms charged ions that flow between the two electrodes. As time passes, the charged ions and electrochemical reactions helping to keep the energy flowing get slower, and the battery is unable to recharge anymore. In the present Sodium-ion battery technologies, this process was happening much faster than in Lithium-ion batteries of similar construction.

A battery loses its ability to charge itself through repeated cycles of charging and discharging. The new battery technology developed by PNNL can hold its ability to be charged far longer than the present Sodium-ion batteries can.

The team at PNNL approached the problem by first removing the liquid solution and the salt solution in it and replacing it with a new electrolyte recipe. Laboratory tests proved the design to be durable, being able to hold up to 90 percent of its cell capacity even after 300 cycles of charges and discharges. This is significantly higher than the present chemistry of Sodium-ion batteries available today.

The present chemistry of the Sodium-ion batteries causes the dissolution of the protective film on the anode or the negative electrode over time. The film allows Sodium ions to pass through while preserving the life of the battery, and therefore, quite significantly critical. The PNNL technology protects this film by stabilizing it. Additionally, the new electrolyte places an ultra-thin protective layer on the cathode or positive electrode, thereby helping to further contribute to the stability of the entire unit.

The new electrolyte that PNNL has developed for the Sodium-ion batteries is a natural fire-extinguishing solution. It also remains non-changing with temperature excursions, making the battery operable at high temperatures. The key to this feature is the ultra-thin protection layer the electrolyte forms on the anode. Once formed, the thin layer remains a durable cover, allowing the long cycle life of the battery.

Battery Charge Controller Modules

Charge controllers prevent batteries from overcharging and over-discharging. Recharging batteries too often or discharging them excessively can harm them. By managing the battery voltage and current, a battery charge controller module can keep the battery safe for a long time.

Charge controllers protect the battery and allow it to deliver power while maintaining the efficiency of the charging system. Battery charge controller modules only work with DC loads connected to the battery. For AC loads, it is necessary to connect an inverter after the battery.

Charge controllers have a few key functions. They must protect the battery from overcharging, and they do this by controlling the charging voltage. They protect the battery from unwanted and deep discharges. As the battery voltage falls below a pre-programmed discharge value, the charge controller automatically disconnects the load. When the battery connects to a solar photovoltaic module, the charge controller prevents reverse current flow through the PV modules at night. The charge controller also provides information about the state of charge of the battery.

Various types of charge controllers are available in the market. Two of the most popular are the PWM or Pulse Width Modulation type and the MPPT or Maximum Power Point Tracking type. Although an MPPT type charge controller is more expensive than a PWM type, the former helps to boost the performance of solar arrays connected to the batteries. On the other hand, a PWM-type charge controller can extend the lifecycle of a battery bank at the expense of a lower performance from the solar panel. Typically, charge controllers exhibit a lifespan of about 15 years.

The XH-M60x family of battery charge controller modules is among the low-cost varieties offered by Chinese manufacturers. The most popular among them is the XH-M603. As the XH-M603 is not an overall charger, it is necessary to connect the battery to an external charger compatible to the battery.

The user can set optimal thresholds for initiating and terminating the battery charging cycle—making the charge controller a rather universal type, suitable for a wide range of batteries. Therefore, when the battery voltage falls below the set start value, the onboard relay starts routing the charging voltage from the charger to the battery. As soon as the battery voltage exceeds the stop value, the relay terminates the charging process.

XH-M603 battery charge controller module has a three-digit display on board for indicating the battery voltage. The display resolution is 0.1V. It accepts batteries with voltages between 12 and 24 V, Whereas it accepts input charging voltages between 10 and 30 VDC. The control precision is 0.1 V, while the DC voltage output tolerance is ±0.1 VDC. The overall dimensions of the module are 82 x 58 x 18 mm.

A small microcontroller controls the module, which has two voltage regulator chips onboard. There are a bunch of discrete components, including two micro-switches, a screw terminal block, an electromagnetic display, a three-digit Led display, and one red LED.

The charger connection to the module must maintain proper polarity. Likewise, the battery polarity is also important for the proper functioning of the module.

Always-On Battery Life Improvement with ML Chip

Devices that must always remain on must conserve power in every way possible to extend their battery life. Their design starts with the lowest possible system power and every mode of operation must consume the bare minimum power necessary for operation. Now, with AML100, an analog machine learning or ML chip from Aspinity, it is possible to cut down the system power by up to 95%, even when the system always remains on. AML100 consumes less than 100 µA of always-on system power. This opens new types of products for biometric monitoring, preventive and predictive maintenance, commercial and home security, and voice-first systems, all of which are systems that continuously must remain switched on.

The movement of data to and from a system consumes power. One of the most effective ways of reducing power consumption is, therefore, minimizing the amount and movement of data through a system. The AML100 transfers the machine learning workload to the analog domain where it consumes ultra-low levels of power. The chip determines the relevancy of data with highly accurate and near-zero power. By intelligently reducing the data at the sensor, while it is still in the analog mode, the tiny ML chip keeps its digital components in low-power mode. Only when it detects important data, does the chip allows the analog data to enter the digital domain. This eliminates the extra power consumption in digitizing, processing, and transmission of irrelevant analog data.

The AML100 consists of an array of independent analog blocks configurable to be fully programmable with software. This allows the chip to support a wide range of functions that include sensor interfacing and machine learning. It is possible to program the device in the field, using software updates, or with newer algorithms that target other always-on applications. When it is in always-sensing mode, the chip consumes a paltry 20 µA, and it can support four analog sensors in different combinations like accelerometers, microphones, and so on.

At present, Aspinity is producing the AML100 chip in sampling numbers for key customers. The chip has dimensions of 7 x 7 mm and is housed in a 48-pin QFN package. Aspinity has slated the volume production of this chip for the fourth quarter of 2022 and is presently offering two evaluation kits with software. One of the kits is for glass breakage and T3/T4 alarm tone detection, while the other is for voice detection with preroll collection and delivery. Other kits with software for other applications are also available from Aspinity on request.

AML100 is the first product in the AnalogML family from Aspinity. It detects sensor-driven events from raw, analog sensors by classifying the data. It allows developers to design edge-processing devices with significantly low power consumption, those that are always on. The device has a unique RAMP or Reconfigurable Analog Modular Processor technology platform that allows the AML100 to reduce the always-on system power by more than 95%. This enables designers to build ultra-low power always-on solutions with edge-processing techniques for biomedical monitoring, predictive and preventive maintenance for industrial equipment, acoustic event monitoring applications, and voice-driven systems.

Monitoring Battery Health

The prolific use of battery-powered instruments for regular use in the consumer and industrial fields requires monitoring battery health for proper functioning. Usually, a battery health monitoring system uses a microcontroller and a software user interface. This arrangement monitors all the batteries in a battery bank 24×7 and identifies weak batteries before they actually fail. This helps to improve the overall performance of the system. Stationary applications such as data centers commonly use such battery health monitoring systems.

In vehicles too, it is necessary to have precise and reliable information about the state of health and state of charge of the battery. Battery health is sensitive to temperature, and conventional trucks and buses with diesel engines also frequently fail during winter and autumn. Now, vehicle fleets use solutions for monitoring battery health and the fleet manager does this in a centralized manner.

Analog Devices Inc. presents a solution for monitoring the state of health of primary batteries. The LTC3337 from Analog Devices provides information such as battery cell impedance, voltage, discharge, and temperature. The data from LTC3337 is not only accurate, but the readings are in real-time.

For monitoring the state of health of the battery in real-time, the user must place the LTC3337 in series with the battery terminals. Analog Devices ensure that the series voltage drop is negligibly small when the IC is in series with the battery. Analog Devices has integrated an infinite coulomb counter with a dynamic range to tally all the accumulated battery discharges. LTC3337 stores this information in an internal register which the user can access through an I2C interface. The user can program a discharge alarm with a threshold based on this state of charge. As soon as the state of charge crosses this threshold, the IC generates an interrupt at its IRQ pin. The accuracy of the coulomb counter is constant down to a no-load condition on the battery.

Analog Devices has designed the LTC3337 to be compatible with a wide range of primary batteries with varying voltages. For this, the user can select the peak input current limit of the LTC3337 from 5 mA to 100 mA.

The user can calculate the coulombs from either the BAT IN or BAT OUT pin of the LTC3337—the AVCC pin connection decides this. Some applications require using supercapacitors at the output of the IC. Analog Devices has provided a BAL pin for connecting a stack for supercapacitors for the purpose.

Analog Devices offers LTC3337 as an LFCSP or Lead Frame Chip Scale Package with 12 leads. There is an exposed pad for improving its thermal performance.

The LTC3337 can withstand a voltage range of 5.5 VDC to 8.0 VDC at its input. Its quiescent current is as low as 100 nA. The user can preset the peak input current limits depending on the type of the primary battery. The presents are 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50, 75, and 100 mA levels.

LTC3337 is meant for monitoring the state of health of batteries in low-power systems powered by primary batteries. It is very helpful for batteries providing backup and supplies in keep-alive scenarios.

Batteries without Mass

Electric vehicles use various types of batteries to operate. But all of them have one thing in common—the weight of the batteries. Depending on the size of the vehicle, the battery weight is a significant part of the total weight of the vehicle. As a vehicle must carry its batteries along with it, it is unable to fully utilize its total capacity. Engineers and scientists are researching various ways of reducing the battery weight while enhancing its energy density.

Some scientists are thinking in more innovative ways. For instance, scientists in Sweden claim to have developed a structural battery. The advantage of such a battery is it is purportedly stored without mass, as its weight is actually a part of the load-bearing structure. With an energy density of 24 Wh/kg, the design of the battery allows solar-powered vehicles to integrate it easily.

At the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, scientists claim to have developed a structural battery. The construction primarily uses carbon fiber, and apart from the structure of the battery, the carbon fiber also acts as a load-bearing material, conductor, and electrode.

Structural batteries use materials with properties of electrochemical energy storage. The primary aim of such devices is to reduce the weight of an object, as the manufacturer can embed the battery to be a part of the structure of the object, such as a drone or an electric vehicle.

According to the scientists, they had started research and developing their massless batteries in 2007. Their main challenge had been to build devices that had good mechanical and electrical properties. They settled on carbon fibers for their battery, as it has the required strength and stiffness to allow integration into structures of electric vehicles. In addition, carbon fibers also exhibit good storage properties.

The scientists claim their batteries may also be applicable to the roof of light city vehicles such as rickshaws. The roof of these vehicles may have solar cells.

The batteries have a structural battery electrolyte matrix material, housing a negative electrode made of carbon fiber, and a positive electrode supported with aluminum film. A glass fiber separator keeps the two electrodes apart.

Apart from reinforcing the material, the carbon fiber also helps to conduct electrons while acting as a host for Lithium. In the same way, the positive electrode foil, apart from providing electrical functionality, also provides mechanical support.

The structural battery electrolyte favors the transport of Lithium ions while transferring mechanical load between the fibers of the device, its particles, and plies. The scientists demonstrated a battery with an elastic modulus of 25 Gpascals and a tensile strength that exceeded 300 Mpascals. While the elastic modulus demonstrates the resistance of the material to elastic deformation, the tensile strength demonstrates the maximum load that the material can support without damage.

With an energy density of 24 Wh/kg, the battery has about twenty percent capacity relative to presently available lithium batteries. However, as the battery reduces the weight of the vehicle significantly, the electric vehicle requires much less energy. Additionally, the lower energy density results in increased safety for the vehicle and its passengers.

3-D Electrodes in Solid-State Batteries

Addionics is an Israeli startup in the rechargeable business. It is recently engaging in redesigning the battery architecture with respect to its electrode technology. The company wants to replace the regular 2-D electrode layer structure in traditional batteries. They want to integrate a 3-D electrode structure. They claim this will provide greater power and energy density, while also extending the life of the battery.

Addionics has five commercial projects lined up. They are presently targeting automotive applications with leading suppliers. The aim of each of these projects is to focus on different battery chemistries and integrate them with the smart 3-D electrode structure. The chemistries they are targeting are solid-state batteries, lithium polymer batteries, silicon anode batteries, lithium iron phosphate batteries, and lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide batteries.

With the global economy striving towards electrification due to rising greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, the need for replacing renewable energy use, energy storage, and EV adoption is increasing. However, this can succeed only if there are batteries available that are more efficient, safe, and cost-effective.

Scientists all over are devoting huge efforts and expenditures to developing the next generation of batteries. They typically focus on battery chemistry, new chemicals, and unique chemical formulations. This includes lithium-metal and lithium-sulfur.

They are also trying to make current batteries either store more energy or charge/discharge at a faster rate. However, current batteries available in the marketplace today do not have the capacity to deliver both quick charging and extended range for EV applications.

There is also a challenging mismatch between the anode and cathode in current batteries. Addionics is striving to improve battery performance with their technology. They claim their 3-D electrode technology will improve battery performance irrespective of battery chemistry, and do so without increasing the battery price.

Although solid-state batteries hold plenty of promises, their major problem is the mismatch in the anode and cathode capacity. The new technology from Addionics has the advantage of not only solving the electrode mismatch but also providing a solid-state battery with higher energy and more stable performance.

Traditionally, battery electrodes are a 2-dimensional structure, made of dense metal foils with the active material as a layer on the top. However, this 30-year-old design is no longer able to meet the growing demands of performance.

The new 3-D electrode structure lowers the internal resistance of the battery, even at higher loads, as it has the active material integrated throughout the electrode. This increases the active surface area of the battery cell architecture and improves the properties of the electrodes, leading to lower heat generation, less material expansion, improved conductivity, and enhanced energy density in the battery.

The company claims that its new 3-D electrode technology offers significant advantages for any existing or emerging battery chemistry. They claim their new electrodes can reduce the charging time, extend its drive range, and improve the safety and lifetime of the battery. Moreover, the new electrodes do not change the battery size or its components. They also claim their new technology significantly lowers the manufacturing costs of any battery, irrespective of the battery chemistry.