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THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOLID-STATE RECHARGEABLE LITHIUM BATTERIES.

Objective

AS SOCIETY BECOMES INCREASINGLY MORE DEPENDENT ON ELECTRICITY, GENERATED FROM BOTH COAL AND NUCLEAR BASE PLANTS, AND ALSO FROM ALTERNATIVE SOURCES SUCH AS WIND, WAVES AND SUN'S RAYS, THERE WILL BE AN INCREASING DEMAND FOR ENERGY STORAGE TO MATCH SUPPLY WITH DEMAND. BATTERIES HAVE SOME EXCELLENT PROPERTIES IN THIS REGARD :

- THEY STORE AND GIVE UP ELECTRICAL ENERGY
- BEING MODULAR, THEIR ARE PORTABLE AND CAN BE USED FLEXIBLY
- THEY ARE LARGELY FREE OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS
- THEY CAN TYPICALLY HAVE A SHORT LEAD TIME IN MANUFACTURE.

FURTHERMORE, THE PROSPECT OF EFFICIENT OFF-PEAK ENERGY UTILISATION BY RELATIVELY NON-POLLUTING ELECTRIC VEHICLES IS LIKELY TO PLAY AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE TOTAL PICTURE. IN BOTH CASES, THE EXTENT TO WICH THIS CAN BE ACHIEVED DEPENDS CRITICALLY ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHEAP, LONG-LIFE, HIGH-ENERGY BATTERIES TO PROVIDE THE PERFORMANCE CAPABILITIES WHICH WILL BE DEMANDED.

THE SOLID-STATE LITHIUM SYSTEM WHICH IS THE SUBJECT OF THIS PROPOSAL HAS BEEN SHOWN IN WORK CONDUCTED FOR THE CEC BY THE PROPOSING LABORATORY, TO BE THE MOST TECHNICALLY PROMISING FOR SUCH APPLICATIONS. THIS PREVIOUS PROGRAMME REPRESENTS THE STATE-OF-THE-ART IN THE WORLD TODAY.

A PREVIOUS PROGRAMME CONDUCTED BY THE PROPOSING LABORATORY AND SUPPORTED BY THE CEC VALIDATED THE CONCEPT OF AN ALL-SOLID-STATE, THICK-FILM, RECHARGEABLE LITHIUM BATTERY UTILISING A POLYMERIC ELECTROLYTE. THE ELECTROLYTE EVALUATED TO DATE IS COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE POLY(ETHYLENE OXIDE), PEO CONTAINING A DISSOLED LITHIUM SALT. A VANADIUM OXIDE, V6013, IS USED AS THE ACTIVE CATHODE MATERIAL AND METALLIC LITHIUM AS THE ANODE. THE EARLIER WORK CONCENTRATED ON THE FABRICATION AND TESTING OF SMALL CELLS OF A FEW MAH CAPACITY WITH PARTICULAR ATTENTION BEING PAID TO OPTIMISATION OF THE CATHODE STRUCTURE.

THE NEW PROGRAMME WILL UTILISE THE CELL MATERIALS ALREADY DEMONSTRATED AND ADDRESS, IN PARTICULAR, THE FABRICATION AND TESTING AND TESTING OF LARGER CAPACITY CELLS AND BATTERIES OF 1AH AND BEYOND.

OTHER, SPECIFIC AREAS OF STUDY WILL INCLUDE THERMAL MODELLING AND A.C. IMPEDANCE STUDIES OF THE ELECTROLYTE - CATHODE INTERFACE. THIS NEXT STEP IS CRUCIAL IN BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN THE SMALL-SCALE LABORATORY EVALUATION CONDUCTED SO FAR AND THE COMMERCIAL APPLICATION OF THE BATTERIES FOR ELECTRIC-VEHICLE TRACTION AND OTHER ENERGY STORAGE APPLICATIONS.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority
Address
353,Harwell
OX11 0RA Didcot - Oxfordshire
United Kingdom