Saturday, April 13, 2024

Amprius unveils its highest energy density battery for electric aviation

The Californian company, Amprius Technologies, is continuing to pioneer innovative battery technology with its newest ultra-high-power-high-energy lithium-ion battery. The lithium-ion battery with silicon nanowire anodes offers higher energy densities compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries made with graphite or carbon-based anodes.

The silicon-anode lithium-ion battery achieves an impressive discharge rate of 10C while delivering 400 Wh/kg energy density, a major advancement for electric aviation encompassing both crewed and uncrewed aerial systems.

For comparison, the batteries currently used in electric cars have peak discharge rates of around 5C. The C-rate represents the rate at which a battery discharges relative to its maximum capacity. A battery with a 10C rating can fully charge and discharge in half the time of a battery with a 5C rating.

The company says the silicon anode Li-ion cell presents an ultra-fast charging (UFC) capability, reaching 80% charge in approximately six minutes or less.

The new battery shows great potential for applications like eVTOL aircraft as well as electric road vehicles. The cell’s extraordinary power output brings unprecedented benefits to the eVTOL and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industries, providing unmatched propulsion power and energy to meet the rigorous demands during takeoff, cruise, and landing. Moreover, it extends flight range by as much as 50% and increases payload capacity.

According to the company, the new cell could enable electric cars to achieve 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) acceleration below 1.5 seconds – faster than any electric vehicle on the market today.

“Commercial opportunities in electric mobility are profoundly impacted by their power and energy requirements,” said Dr. Kang Sun, Chief Executive Officer of Amprius. “Our new cell delivers impressive specific power and energy density performance, approximately 200% higher than traditional graphite cells, while achieving a 10C discharge rate, significantly expanding application possibilities and driving cost-effectiveness.”

The new battery has an impressive power density of 3500 W/kg in standard discharge conditions and a maximum power exceeding 4400 W/kg at lower depths of discharge. The combination of high energy density and high power density reduces battery weight and volume, leading to extended range, reduced charging frequency, and lower operating costs.

Amprius expects to have samples of this cell available for customers by the end of 2023, with the commercialization of the new cells slated for early 2024.

Earlier in March, Amprius Technologies disclosed that its 500-Wh/kg battery platform was already here. Leveraging its patented silicon anode platform, the company’s commercially proven batteries deliver unmatched performance with ultra-high energy density, high power density, extremely fast charge rate capability, and wide operating temperature range. Amprius has shipped batteries to the US Army, Airbus, FLIR, AeroVironment, and BAE Systems, among others.