MIT startup claims a breakthrough for ‘holy grail’ of batteries, doubles energy density

“As always, a healthy dose of skepticism is important when it comes to an alleged ‘battery breakthrough,'” Fred Lambert reports for Electrek. “Those announcements are being made every 2-3 months over the last decade and rarely anything comes to it, but at least we can always rely on the 5-8% annual incremental improvements in li-ion battery capacity. It’s not a ‘breakthrough’ or doubling of capacity, but it adds up.”

Lambert reports, “Now it’s time for another MIT spinout, after the defunct A123 Systems, to claim to have created the next battery breakthrough with an anode-free li-metal battery that could achieve an energy density of up to 500 Wh/kg – about twice the capacity of the current cells found in Tesla’s vehicles for example.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If only we had a nickel for every “battery breakthrough.” Here’s hoping this one pans out as hoped!

Battery that will power your phone for ‘twice as long’ coming next year – August 17, 2016


        1. 1.08^10 = 2.15 (that’s 10 years at 8% a year vs 2.00 for doubling in a decade)

          The difference is not 15 percent, it’s 7.5%. ( 7.5% of 2.00 = .15)

          Shadowself is right that after a decade of effort the difference between the two is pretty trivial

          We can still hope for the breakthrough, though. Whenever we get it, doubling is good. I like BOTH incremental improvements AND breakthroughs.

            1. I don’t think anyone is suggesting obstructing the incremental efforts. As I mentioned above, I like BOTH incremental improvements and breakthroughs.

              Happy to have every incremental improvement we can get, and very hopeful that along the way we’ll get some major advances as well.

      1. Well, 8% would end up being 216% after 10 years, but my point was that if batteries are increasing by 8% a year then they are effectively doubling every decade already.

  1. The other question needed to be asked is what is the Whr/cm^3?

    If the energy density per kilogram is doubled, but the energy density per cubic centimeter is the same, then you can’t add greater battery life without making the phone or tablet bigger — even if at the same volume it would be lighter.

    Lead-acid batteries (of a specific formulation) held the energy density crown for energy per cubic meter — even as many other batter technologies came and went (and many of them were far superior to and lead-acid with regard to energy per kilogram). It wasn’t until the advent of early lithium-ion batteries in the 90s that lead-acid clearly lost the energy per cubic meter crown.

    We need major advancements in both ways of measuring energy density: energy per kilogram and energy per cubic meter. This is followed closely by a need for advances in charge and discharge rates.

    1. The full article emphasizes the potential use of this battery technology for transportation (cars, drones), not even mentioning mobile devices. Hence the measure of energy density by mass, not volume.

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