Wednesday, April 24, 2024

3D-printed solid-state battery offers improved energy performance

From electric vehicles to your mobile phones and laptops, lithium-ion batteries are almost everywhere these days. Yet scientists and battery companies are constantly experimenting to find chemistries that are cheaper, denser, lighter, more powerful, and ideally safer than current battery technology. Solid-state batteries are the next frontier, they say – and perhaps 3D-printed ones, at that.

Sakuú Corporation is working on 3D printing technologies for solid-state batteries. Recently, the company has announced the development of a 3Ah lithium-metal solid-state battery (SSB) that, it claims, “equals or betters” current lithium-ion batteries.

Sakuú has been developing its first-generation SSB battery technology alongside its flagship additive manufacturing platform. These first-generation batteries comprise 30 sub-cells, utilize a lithium-metal anode, as well as a proprietary printed ceramic electrolyte that separates the anode and cathode.

The battery has been designed to use current industry-standard cathode materials and can support even higher voltage cathodes in the future that could yield up to 25% more energy. This makes the new battery perfectly suited for consumer, aerospace, mobility, and many other applications, given its advantages in safety and energy density.

Sakuú didn’t provide performance data comparing its 3Ah battery to a lithium-ion cell. However, the California-based startup says it has improved its solid-state battery’s energy capacity by a factor of 100 over the last year, and the volumetric energy efficiency has increased over 12 times.

The SSBs are projected to have the same capacity as existing lithium-ion batteries yet will be half the size and almost a third lighter. What’s more, these batteries will be cheaper, easily recyclable, and manufactured at blazing speeds.

The first generation of SSB’s is developed to prove the viability of the company’s battery technology in anticipation of the Sakuú 1000 advanced AM platform. The company is planning to begin volume production of the batteries in early 2022 to meet the needs of our strategic partners.