How batteries unceasingly change our world

How batteries unceasingly change our world
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Christian Boas

If you are interested in technological progress, then you will not get past the battery technology. RS Components has focused on the immense development of both battery technology and electromobility and has published an exciting infographic on their applications.

Without the progress of the battery, the technical and digital revolution would not have been possible. No matter whether the good old clock radio, the wall clock and wristwatch, the remote control, the modern smartphones, laptops or flying drones – there are only very few areas in which rechargeable batteries (rechargeable batteries or short rechargeable batteries) have no effect on our everyday lives , In the future, modern battery technology will continue to be the basis for many new developments, whether in robotics, cybernetics, medicine or the automotive industry.

New traction batteries for electric cars
Cars are a huge burden on our environment, as vehicles are currently powered primarily by fossil fuels, especially natural gas and oil. The battery offers great development opportunities in connection with electricity derived from renewable energies. In the infographic for electric cars is an exciting example of the possibilities of battery use in electric cars.

According to the infographic, a Tesla Model S85 with a lead-acid battery with a hefty battery weight of 545 kilograms could reach a range of 119.63 kilometers. The stored energy, ie the watt-hours, is here at 24,525 watts. The lead-acid battery is one of the oldest battery systems ever. It has been used since the middle of the 19th century. At around 90 percent, the lead-acid battery still accounts for the largest share of the global battery market, albeit not in the automotive sector.

The lithium-ion battery is preferably used in electric cars. The rechargeable battery also comes along at the same weight significantly. With it the Tesla reaches 531.71 kilometers with a consumption of 109,000 watt-hours. The disadvantages: Despite the great technological progress, the lithium-ion battery still has an enormous weight, a high price and a still unsatisfactory loading capacity. In addition, the unstoppable chemical deterioration over time leads to a capacity loss of up to 60%.

More is hoped for in the future of the lithium-air battery, it promises a 5 to 10 times higher energy density. With it, the Tesla reaches a distance of 10,634.15 kilometers, with a consumption of 2,180,000 watt-hours. The aim of industry and research is therefore to increase capacity and reduce weight and loading time.

Die Kraft der Batterie (Grafik: RS Components)

How can the recycling problem be solved?
Despite the lower CO2 consumption, the electric car drivers have to ask the question: What happens in the end with the lithium-ion battery in my car? For industry and research, there is much more to consider than just lower costs, lower weight or higher range. Because currently the enormous battery consumption is a high environmental impact. Environmentally friendly recycling processes are available, but there is still a lack of sufficient capacity. Not only the car industry is required here, because lithium-ion batteries are simply everywhere, whether in smartphones, notebooks, cameras, headphones, e-bikes, lawnmowers and drones or even electric cars.

Can new battery material be the solution?
Some scientists are looking for alternatives to the lithium-ion battery. For example, they are researching components for future sodium and magnesium batteries. Because lithium is not only a recycling problem, it is also a limited available raw material, which also carries some security risks. Batteries use lithium in combination with flammable components. In some cases, in the past, improper use and defects have led to exploding smartphones and laptops.

Sodium, on the other hand, has a lower safety risk and, unlike lithium, is available almost indefinitely. The downside: It’s three times heavier, which makes it less attractive for mobile applications like smartphones & co.

Magnesium is also available in large quantities and can not explode. More importantly, magnesium could store almost twice the amount of energy to lithium for the same volume. But still no working prototype exists. It remains to be seen what the future holds.

As simple as it is ingenious: storing energy in hydrogen. Hydrogen storage would be particularly interesting for the auto industry, they are safe and combustion would not produce CO2. At present, however, hydrogen as an energy store is still associated with too high a cost in production. In addition, hydrogen tanks must be designed to be particularly robust, since the hydrogen is a very hochentzündliches element.

Which battery solution is the best, it’s hard to say. Each battery type has its strengths and weaknesses depending on the field of application, which is why there is no universal solution (yet). Moreover, research is not beyond the development of prototypes that are still years away from mass production.

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