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The Continuing Diversity of Li-Ion Battery Developments
The PR gods have not been kind to the public image of the Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery during the past year. However, as long as one can see past the smoke of simmering laptops, the establishment of the technology remains strong due to its combination of high power and low cost small packages.
In terms of general product and technology development, Saft announced in November the latest addition to its MP series of prismatic rechargeable Li-ion cells, a new generation, upgraded MP 176065 that is claimed to set new standards for cycle life, capacity and energy density. The cell has been designed specifically for ease of integration within the vast array of rechargeable battery packs required by modern military and professional applications.
The cell is said to offer a useful increase in capacity to 7.0Ah (up from 6.8Ah). However, the most important benefit is a 20% increase in cycle life to 600 cycles (compared with 500 cycles) – after which the cell will still offer 70% of its original capacity. The cell is 6% lighter than its predecessor – a saving of 10g. This enables it to offer an increased energy density of 180 Wh/kg (up from 165 Wh/kg), and 385 Wh/l (compared with 375 Wh/l). The MP 176065 cell’s improvements in cycle life and energy density have been achieved by a new aluminum casing that replaces the stainless steel design, together with optimization of the electrode loading and electrolyte composition. The new cell continues to be chargeable up to 4.2V ± 0.05V, at temperatures anywhere between -20 and +60°C, and at rates up to C. The cell can be discharged over a wide temperature range from -50 to +60°C, with continuous discharges up to 2C, and current pulses up to 4C.
In January, Electrovaya Inc. announced the launch of its MN-Series Li-ion SuperPolymer® battery technology. The MN-Series Li-ion SuperPolymer® technology will complement Electrovaya’s existing roster of Phosphate-Series and (industry standard) Cobaltate-Series Li-ion SuperPolymer® technology solutions. The MN-Series, which is a Lithiated Manganese Oxide based system, distinguishes itself with up to 50% higher energy density and comparable safety characteristics to Electrovaya’s Phosphate-Series solution.
Electrovaya’s proprietary Li-ion SuperPolymer® technology is independent of the composition of the positive electrode active material. As such, ongoing advances in positive electrode chemistry, such as the MN-Series, are expected to enable better technical performance and safety characteristics at more economical price-points.