Lithium-Ion Batteries

Moksha D -

Hi everyone! Before spring break, I was looking at different forms of energy storage. I came across some challenges in using a pumped hydro or wind turbines. Because of the lack of reliability in these forms of storage, lithium-ion batteries have prevailed to currently be the best form of renewable energy storage. 

Lithium-ion batteries, Li-ion, are both compact and lightweight with an efficiency that is greater than 95%. They also have a lifespan of 10-15 years without needing regular routine checks. 

The positive electrode of the battery (the cathode) could be a variety of components. However, the most popular are lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide (NMC) and lithium iron phosphate (LFP). The negative electrode can be made of graphite, hard carbons, or lithium-titanate. 

Some issues that can occur with these batteries are trade offs. The LiFePO4 cathode has excellent safety features but at the expense of energy and lifespan. The LiMn2O4 has inadequate safety features but excellent performance. 

Salt River Project, SRP, uses three pillars for the lithium-ion batteries: choice of chemistry, cell design, and system design. 

The chemistry of the battery is extremely tricky as SRP must find a balance between safety and performance of the chemistry they have chosen.

The cell design includes the type of coating they use, venting design, and the power/energy ratio. 

The system design would involve the type of electronics they implement, the software, and mechanical structure. 

By the end of my project, I hope to conclude what the best balance is that SRP could use without sacrificing the safety or performance of their batteries. 

Thank you for reading!

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    Hi Moksha, great job tying your research back to some of you main research questions. What are some safety features that a battery should/can have?
    Moksha Dalal
    Hi Ms. Bennett! Some safety features include keeping space between batteries and ensuring they have forms of temperature regulation so they don't get too hot.

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