EnerSys® to Unveil Expanded NexSys® Battery Line at MODEX® 2018

A range of opportunity charging and virtually maintenance-free motive power solutions will also be featured in the EnerSys® booth no. B3547

READING, Pennsylvania, April 5, 2018 – EnerSys® (NYSE:ENS), the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, will showcase the expanded NexSys® battery line at MODEX® 2018. Able to handle the power demands of high capacity lift truck vehicles, the expanded NexSys® battery line will be among several EnerSys motive power products and solutions featured in booth no. B3547. The MODEX® 2018 show will take place April 9-12 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Featuring proprietary Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology, the expanded NexSys battery line includes configurations that can fast charge in just under an hour, and be opportunity charged to work for up to 16 hours. This flexibility opens up several new charging options for a wide range of material handling applications.

“We’re excited to bring higher capacity TPPL battery options to the Americas,” said Chad Uplinger, Vice President Sales and Service, Motive Power Americas at EnerSys. “With the expanded NexSys battery line, operators of Class I, II and III vehicle fleets now have a virtually maintenance-free power solution and the means to lower their total cost of operation.”

Classified as non-spillable electric storage batteries, NexSys® batteries do not require watering, reducing associated labor demands and overwatering risks. Ideal for use in multi-shift operations, NexSys® batteries can eliminate the need for battery change-outs and battery changing room requirements. The system is available with energy throughputs of up to 160% of a battery’s six-hour rating in a twenty-four-hour period. An advanced TPPL charge profile helps ensure a 40% charge rate with no equalization required.

Typical applications include:

  • Counterbalance trucks
  • Reach trucks
  • Pallet trucks
  • Order pickers
  • Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)
  • Laser Guided Vehicles (LGVs)
Additional EnerSys motive power solutions will also be featured in booth no. B3547, including:
  • The NexSys® iON battery – an advanced lithium-ion solution – Scheduled for launch in late 2018, NexSys® iON batteries feature an advanced Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) chemistry. The new lithium-ion battery solution offers 100% charge rates, two to three times the lifecycle of lead acid batteries and is designed using ISO 26262 ASIL C to be CE and UL compliant.
  • Express® EnCore™ modular fast chargers – Engineered with the latest digital power control technology and charging intelligence, Express® EnCore™ modular fast chargers allow batteries designed for fast charging to be effectively charged anytime during the shift-day. The chargers also offer intelligent charging with high efficiency and flexibility and are packaged in one of the industry’s most compact sizes. Their modular construction adapts to a wide range of battery capacities, allowing potential reduction of the number of chargers in a fleet.
  • NexSys® battery chargers – Designed for use with NexSys® batteries, NexSys® battery chargers slash recharge times and allow for flexible opportunity charging while optimizing battery life cycle. NexSys+ battery charger models offer multiple communication platforms, intelligent charging with advanced efficiency and the flexibility to maintain peak efficiency at all times.

For more information on EnerSys and its full line of products, systems and support, visit www.enersys.com.

Lithium Werks Acquires Industrial Business of A123 Systems

Monday, April 02, 2018  Amsterdam, The Netherlands / Austin, Texas, USA  – Lithium Werks has acquired the original A123 Systems manufacturing plants located in Changzhou, China. These plants were the first to introduce the revolutionary NanoPhosphate® technology in the form of cylindrical cells that have been used globally in a wide array of applications, especially in the industrial market. As part of the transaction, Lithium Werks has taken over the customer relationships in China, Europe, and the United States as well as the operations, staff and product designs associated with the Changzhou business. Lithium Werks is also the new owner of the POWER. SAFETY. LIFE. trademark that characterized A123’s product portfolio in its early years. The transaction was financed through the working capital of Lithium Werks.

“We are confident that this acquisition helps propel Lithium Werks into a leadership position in the Lithium Iron Phosphate market globally,” said Knut H. Nylænde, Lithium Werks’ Chairman.

“A123 Systems is pleased to have concluded this agreement and is confident that our former customers in the industrial market are in great hands with Lithium Werks. A123 is sharpening its focus on world-class automotive applications ranging from mild-hybrids to fully electric vehicles,” said Jeff Kessen, A123 Systems’ VP of Corporate Strategy.

About Lithium Werks
Lithium Werks is a fast-growing global lithium-ion battery company with production facilities in China and offices in the USA, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Great Britain and Norway. Lithium Werks provides cells, modules, and battery management systems into markets such as material handling, stationary energy storage, medical and commercial marine.

About A123 Systems
A123 Systems is a global leader in providing complete energy storage solutions through advanced battery cells and systems primarily for transportation applications. Offering a full range of world-class products, A123 delivers superior performance, reliability and cost savings from concept through commercialization.

For more information, please contact Lithium Werks Inc. https://merger.lithiumwerks.com/

Delta Unveils 30kW Wireless Charging System and New Onboard Charging Solutions for Material Handling at MODEX 2018

wireless charger transmitter and receiver

Delta 1kW Wireless Charger Transmitter and Receiver

Delta Electronics, a global leader in power and thermal management solutions has launched its 30kW wireless battery charging system for the material handling industry. It can charge a 600Ahr-48V battery in 60 minutes. Adding to the company’s growing portfolio of wireless solutions, this powerful charging system is ideal for large and complex vehicles associated with the burgeoning warehouse automation industry. Such material handling equipment includes scissor lifts, forklifts, trucks, golf carts, and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). In addition, the company will also be debuting its 720W and 1.5kW onboard chargers. Onboard charging solutions boast compact, rugged, and feature-packed designs ideal for meeting the growing demands and pace of material handling applications.

“Today’s material handling industry is under intense pressure, as enterprises around the world look to the supply chain to reduce costs and gain an advantage over their competition,” said M.S. Huang, President of Delta Electronics (Americas). “Our products can help achieve this through top-of-the-line efficiency, charging speed and durability. What’s more, our range of solutions are all compact and installation-friendly, meaning there is a system well-suited for every environment.”

Delta’s solution portfolio will be displayed at booth #B4487 at MODEX 2018 in Atlanta from April 9–12. Key highlights of our showcase will include:

Wireless Charging Solutions

Delta’s new 30kW solution is the latest addition to its growing number of wireless charging offerings, which can deliver an industry-leading efficiency of up to 93 percent. This significantly outperforms many industrial chargers that commonly waste more than 30 percent of the power consumed from the AC line. In addition, Delta’s solutions enable safe, highly reliable, programmable, and efficient charging for any battery type. They do not need costly cables, connectors and contact plates that can wear down and require frequent replacement.

The company’s range of wireless charging solutions cover applications from 1kW all the way to 30kW. Charging systems can be customized to meet the unique needs of a diverse number of installation sites, such as warehouses, factories, ports, and any location where traditional, wired battery chargers are found. These innovative systems, comprised of a base-pad connected to a wall-box and a low-weight on-vehicle unit, eliminate the use expensive cables, connectors, and contactors, decreasing maintenance cost, and ensuring ease of operation. The transmitting and receiving sections communicate via WIFI and communications with the vehicle are via CAN bus. With an IP65 waterproof rating, the system is durable and allows vehicles to operate in outdoor environments.

Onboard Charging Systems

At the show, Delta will also be introducing two new onboard charging systems. They are designed to efficiently charge the battery in industrial electric vehicles, even in the harshest environments.

Developed to easily integrate with a variety of vehicles, such as pallet trucks, scissor lifts, aerial platforms, floor-cleaning machines and more, the 720W Onboard Charger brings material handlers a compact solution able to fit in the smallest of spaces. The charger’s rugged design is also IP65 dust and waterproof. Equipped with a battery temperature sensor, the solution is able to optimize charging, which is fully automated. It also offers extended data storage capabilities, including a full history of the previous 1,000 charges. This provides vital visibility into battery mishandling or early termination of charging. CAN bus is available for connection to smart battery or vehicle systems. Additionally, the interlock feature prevents the vehicle from moving during the charging process.

On-board charger MHE

Delta 720 W On-board Charger

Similarly, the 1.5kW Onboard Charger, also equipped with the interlock feature, brings a durable solution to material handlers to accommodate larger or more energy-intensive vehicles. It is compact, efficient, and feature-packed with a robust die-cast chassis designed to bear the shock and vibration standards of industrial machinery. Most notably, the 1.5kW charger is 100 percent convection cooled, making it particularly suited to applications in environments where water or pollutants are present. The 1.5kW unit offers several connection options to smart battery or vehicles systems, with additional connections available for an optional external LED module and battery temperature sensor. As with the 720W model, the unit will store information on the past 1,000 charges, which can be easily accessed through a data port.

Other Charging Solutions

Delta will also have its DC-DC converters on display along with its modular charging stations, which offer reliable, easy, and accurate monitoring to ensure optimal charge, as well as scalability to handle a wide-range of battery types, voltages and amp-hour ratings in one cabinet. These modular solutions are capable of standard, opportunity, and fast charging from 1.35kW to 30kW; come equipped with CAN bus communication; and boast wall or floor mounting options to accommodate any setting. To maximize uptime, these units come complete with easily serviceable fans, pollution protection for sensitive components, and, due to their modular design, the system will continue to operate should one fail.

For more information regarding Delta’s charging solutions and show displays, visit http://modex2018.delta-energy-systems.com/.

Delta-Q Technologies Includes J1939 Capabilities to Better Support Electric Vehicle Manufacturers

New support of J1939 automotive standards provides superior charging solutions for CAN bus equipped vehicles

VANCOUVER, B.C.– [March 22, 2018]—Delta-Q Technologies (Delta-Q), a leader in battery charging solutions for electric drive vehicles and machines, has announced the expansion of its capabilities to support the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J1939 standards in its battery charging solutions. Delta-Q now offers the two leading Controller Area Network (CAN) bus communication protocols: CANopen and J1939.

J1939 is the preferred CAN standard for in-vehicle networks for trucks and buses in industries such as construction, material handling, electric automobiles, speciality utility vehicles and outdoor power equipment. With J1939 CAN protocol capabilities on Delta-Q’s chargers, the company can support machines approved for these uses.

The expansion to J1939 provides original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) the ability to integrate the battery charger’s data into a vehicle system, which includes telematic applications, in a simple and functional manner. This adds to Delta-Q’s full CAN bus capabilities for charge control, and/or charge monitoring, for a more integrated lead acid or lithium system. It also provides OEMs with the flexibility to update battery algorithm and charger software through CAN programs to ensure quality in a vehicle’s battery charge or provide full autonomous control of their applications.

“As one of the few charging solutions to offer this capability, we’re excited to better support our customers that use this protocol standard across their products,” says Trent Punnett, Delta-Q’s vice president of sales, marketing and product management. “With the goal to constantly evolve and serve our customers’ needs, the new ability to meet J1939 requirements opens opportunities—for our OEM customers— in system level design and support to integrate chargers into equipment needing telematics.”

The J1939 communication model creates an open interconnected system that allows Electronic Control Units (ECUs) belonging to different component manufacturers to communicate with each other. Integration of J1939 into Delta-Q’s charging solutions further enforces the company as a charging supplier to with capability to support products in industry fields such as e-mobility, golf and military.

The SAE created the J1939 standards as a higher protocol built on CAN. J1939 covers the design and use of equipment that communicates signals among vehicle components. Deployed as an application, J1939 runs communication between the engine, battery, battery charger, transmission and vehicle body controls, as well as other relevant subsystems.

Delta-Q Technologies is a leading provider of battery charging solutions that improve the performance and reliability of electric drive vehicles and industrial equipment. The company has become the supplier of choice to the world’s leading manufacturers of electric golf cars, lift trucks, aerial work platforms, motorcycles and scooters, floor care machines, and utility and recreational vehicles. The Delta-Q Technologies Software Development team has a combined 60 years plus of CAN programing and customization experience. This team works directly with Delta-Q’s OEM customers to deliver CAN based charging solutions specific to their needs. Delta-Q is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada with a local presence in the U.S., Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.delta-q.com.

Electrovaya Receives Follow-up Purchase Order from US Fortune 100 Company for its Lithium Ion Ceramic Drop-In Replacement Forklift Battery

Green tech solution allows for reduced energy consumption, lower environmental concerns and increased productivity

TORONTO, ONTARIO–Electrovaya Inc. has announced that a U.S. Fortune 100 company has placed a second purchase order with Electrovaya for its lithium-ion ceramic forklift battery. The second order amounted to US$ 167,000 (C$ 214,000).

This purchaser is one of the five US Fortune 500 companies who have earlier issued initial purchase orders to Electrovaya for its forklift batteries. Over the last three months, Electrovaya has added four Fortune 500 clients for its lithium-ion ceramic drop-in replacement battery and we are pleased with the continuing momentum evidenced by this US Fortune 100 purchaser adding a second purchase order to its initial order last month.

The Electrovaya battery can improve productivity, reduce maintenance, and has the potential to reduce peak demand as well as decrease electricity usage in heavy-duty 24/7 distribution and manufacturing environments. The Electrovaya batteries include the proprietary ceramic separator, SEPARION™, which provides enhanced safety and cycle life. While the sales cycle could be long and there is no guarantee that the Company’s initiatives will result in significant orders, Electrovaya is pleased with the performance of its batteries in both testing and initial deployments and this repeat order from a US Fortune 100 Company.

About Electrovaya Inc.

Electrovaya Inc. designs, develops and manufactures proprietary Lithium-ion Ceramic Batteries, battery systems, and battery-related products for energy storage, clean electric transportation and other specialized applications. Electrovaya, through its fully owned subsidiary, Litarion GmbH, also produces cells, electrodes and SEPARION™ ceramic separators and has manufacturing capacity of about 500MWh/annum. Electrovaya is a technology focused company with extensive IP. Headquartered in Ontario, Canada, Electrovaya has production facilities in Canada and Germany with customers around the globe.

23rd International Congress for Battery Recycling ICBR 2018

First Announcement and Call for Papers

Curtain up for the International Congress for Battery Recycling ICBR 2018: The call for papers is open until January 31, 2018. Contributions are requested on the topics of battery recycling technologies, materials supply in a circular economy, transport and safety, the Batteries Directive revision and a review of worldwide battery recycling activities.

The 23rd edition of the ICBR will take place in Berlin next year from September 26 – 28, 2018. As in previous years, the ICBR will bring together numerous experts and decision-makers from the battery recycling value chain, such as battery manufacturers, battery recyclers, OEMs from the electronics and e-mobility industry, collection schemes operators, service and transport companies, policymakers and much more.

The ICBR Steering Committee wants to build on the resounding success of the recent congress in Lisbon in September 2017. More than 250 experts from almost 30 countries worldwide attended the ICBR 2017 – a new record. Most of the delegates came from the battery recycling industry and from national collection organizations. OEMs, professional associations, and consultants were also strongly represented.

As the assessment of this year’s Congress shows, the participants confirmed their interest in new recycling technologies and future challenges for the battery industry. Safety aspects of the storage, transport, and recycling of batteries continue to attract great interest.

The main topics for the ICBR 2018 will be the following:

Recycling

  • How to recycle batteries from e-cars, e-bikes and other e-vehicles
  • Recycling of batteries from energy storage systems of power plants
  • Collection and recycling of batteries from cordless tools and electronic devices
  • Best available recycling technologies for batteries

Materials Supply in a Circular Economy

  • Battery materials supply and demand or “when recyclers meet raw materials suppliers”
  • The role of battery recycling in a circular economy
  • Eco-design: A critical approach to battery removability?
  • The e-mobility and energy storage markets: An opportunity for new battery technologies?

Transport and Safety

  • Update of the transport regulations on batteries
  • Safety of lithium batteries: Risks and opportunities
  • Evolution of packaging requirements for lithium batteries

The Batteries Directive Revision

  • Update on the review process of the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC
  • The efficiency of battery recycling: The need for a new “optimum” approach
  • The efficiency of battery collection: Considering urban mining and waste generation
  • Challenges faced by the second life of lithium batteries: Performances, transport and safety, and producer responsibility
  • Impact of changes in hazardous waste regulations

Worldwide Activity Review

  • Worldwide updates on battery take-back, collection schemes and recycling

Those interested in speaking are invited to send a short abstract (minimum of half an A4 page in English) with their key messages to the congress organizer ICM to: info@icm.ch.

The title of the presentation should be mentioned with the author’s name. For further information please visit: http://www.icm.ch/.

Delta-Q Technologies Expands Family of Lithium Battery Chargers for Electric Vehicles and Industrial Machines

New charging solutions provide superior reliability and charge quality for electric vehicles; meets touch-safe charging standards

lithium ion battery chargers

VANCOUVER, B.C.– [October 20, 2017]—Delta-Q Technologies (Delta-Q), a leader in battery charging solutions for electric drive vehicles and machines, has introduced their new ICL900 lithium battery charger – expanding their family of lithium battery chargers to create the ICL Series.

The new ICL900 is a 900-watt charger, designed to optimally charge lithium battery systems of any lithium-ion chemistry from 9 to 15 cells in series. Delta-Q’s new lithium charger is suitable for use on any electric machine including scooters, floor care machines, lift trucks, and sports and utility vehicles.

“We are pleased to announce the expansion of our lithium charging line. Our products are designed to meet the evolving needs of our customers while providing reliability and long-term performance. The new ICL900 is a perfect complement to our OEM customers as they incorporate lithium technologies into their products” says Trent Punnett, Delta-Q’s vice president of sales, marketing, and product management.

The ICL900 has a maximum output voltage of 57V and uses custom lithium algorithms to optimize battery performance and life to meet tough application requirements. The ICL900 also uses Controller Area Network (CAN-bus) communications and carries a comprehensive set of global regulatory approvals, including touch-safe requirements for the European electric vehicle market.

Featuring a wide AC input range, the charger can operate on any single-phase electrical grid around the world. With a fully customizable, field replaceable cable design, the new ICL900 provides original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with flexibility in design and deployment.

The ICL900 is highly reliable and provides an IP66 rating to protect against dirt and fluids, while its mechanical design and component selection resists vibration, shock and temperature extremes.

Delta-Q Technologies is now accepting sample requests for the ICL900.

Delta-Q Technologies is a leading provider of battery charging solutions that improve the performance and reliability of electric drive vehicles and industrial equipment. The company has become the supplier of choice to many of the world’s leading manufacturers of electric golf cars, lift trucks, aerial work platforms, outdoor power equipment, motorcycles and scooters, floor care machines, and utility and recreational vehicles. Delta-Q is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada with a local presence in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit www.delta-q.com.

Delta-Q Technologies to Supply Battery Chargers for Haulotte North America’s Telescopic Trailer Line

Delta-Q Technologies (Delta-Q), a leader in battery charging solutions for electric drive vehicles and industrial machines, today announced that Haulotte North America (HNA) has selected the company as a charging solutions supplier for their towable boom lift line: the 3522 A, 3632 T, 4527 A, and the 5533 A.

Haulotte will use Delta-Q Technologies’ 24V IC650 industrial and motive battery charger on all four of their articulate and telescopic trailers. Designed for heights between 35-79 feet, Haulotte’s trailers provide superior productivity for skilled tradesmen and communities. The trailers feature hydraulic outriggers and automatic leveling to allow operations in under 30 seconds. Its compact and lightweight design ensures it can be towed to any site with a half-ton pick-up truck.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with Delta-Q Technologies. Their IC650 battery charger is known in the aerial work platform markets for its reliability, and including their chargers in our products will support our customers in owning machines that are ready to run with little maintenance, “says Steve Watts, Haulotte’s VP of Sales.

“Being selected by Haulotte North America is a major accomplishment for Delta-Q Technologies. The Haulotte Group is known to offer some of the industry’s leading products and this contract means Delta-Q has met the expectations of their experienced engineering organization.” says Trent Punnett, Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Product Management at Delta-Q Technologies.

The IC650 Charger is designed to meet the high reliability and performance expectations of the aerial work platform market. With a unique sealed die cast enclosure, the IC650 provides automotive levels of reliability and class-leading service life when mounted on-board. Capable of charging lithium-ion and lead acid (wet, gel, AGM) batteries, the IC650 provides superior equipment uptime, flexibility for different battery chemistries and the ability to resist and tolerate high levels of vibration, shock, fluids and dirt.

The IC650 battery charger is part of a product group from Delta-Q called the IC Series. All IC Series chargers are sealed, built for reliability and record critical charge data such as power returned to the battery, charge cycle completion or interruption, and the charge profile being used. The IC Series chargers address the need for serviceability through a USB host port that allows charge cycle data to be downloaded, or new software and charge profiles to be uploaded.

Delta-Q Technologies is a leading provider of battery charging solutions that improve the performance and reliability of electric drive vehicles and industrial equipment. The company has become the supplier of choice to many of the world’s leading manufacturers of electric golf cars, lift trucks, aerial work platforms, motorcycles and scooters, floor care machines, and utility and recreational vehicles. Delta-Q is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada with a local presence in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit www.delta-q.com.

Electrovaya Announces Cdn $4.3 Million Purchase Orders from Walmart Canada for Forklift Battery Systems in a Distribution Warehouse

“We are very pleased to work with Walmart Canada, a leader in the introduction of green sustainable technology into the distribution and logistics industry,” said Dr. Raj Das Gupta, Vice President, Business Development at Electrovaya. “Our ceramic lithium-ion battery technology is ideally suited to intensive-use applications such as forklifts and other material handling vehicles, supporting both higher efficiency and sustainability.”

The many benefits of Electrovaya’s ELivate batteries were demonstrated through extensive testing by the retailer in its distribution warehouses and by the forklift OEM, before this Purchase Order was issued.

Electrovaya Inc. designs, develops and manufactures proprietary Lithium-ion Ceramic Batteries, battery systems, and battery-related products for energy storage, clean electric transportation and other specialized applications. Electrovaya, through its fully owned subsidiary, Litarion GmbH, also produces cells, electrodes and SEPARION™ ceramic separators and has manufacturing capacity of about 500MWh/annum. Electrovaya is a technology focused company with extensive IP. Headquartered in Ontario, Canada, Electrovaya has production facilities in Canada and Germany with customers around the globe.

To learn more about how Electrovaya and Litarion is powering mobility and energy storage, please explore www.electrovaya.comwww.litarion.com and www.separion.com

 

White Paper – The Highest-Energy Li-ion Battery: Unlocking the Potential of the Silicon Anode and Nickel-Rich NMC Cathode

Over the past decade, lithium-ion batteries have become essential to the portable electronics industry, and more recently have been championed as the transportation power source of the future. However, if electric vehicles are to gain widespread commercial success, modern lithium-ion batteries need to be cost-effective, energy dense and long-lasting. Dr Daniela Molina Piper, Dr Tyler Evans, Dr Se-Hee Lee and their team at SiILion Inc have been completely rethinking the fundamental building blocks of these typical batteries, to develop an elegant solution to a significant modern problem.

A lithium-ion battery essentially consists of three components: two electrodes, and an electrolyte solution between them. The basic principle is that lithium ions contained within the electrolyte move from the positive electrode (cathode) to the negative electrode (anode) when the battery is charging, and back again when discharging. Almost all commercial lithium-ion batteries use an anode made primarily of graphite, long regarded as the most efficient material in its ability accept and release lithium ions during battery charging and discharging. The effective capacity of the battery is determined by the number of lithium ions that can reversibly travel between the anode and cathode material throughout battery operation.

The success of the lithium-ion battery is due to its many advantages over other contemporary batteries. Lithium-ion batteries have an almost negligible ‘memory effect’ (also known as the ‘lazy battery effect’) – a phenomenon that causes the battery to lose its ability to store charge (or its ‘capacitance’) with repeating recharges over time. They also have a large ‘energy density’, meaning that they have a high energy yield per unit volume of battery material. Additionally, they have low ‘self-discharge’ – a phenomenon whereby the stored charge in a battery becomes reduced, even when no device is connected to the electrodes. To significantly reduce our carbon emissions, and thus mitigate the most disastrous consequences of climate change, replacing our gasoline-powered cars with battery-powered ones is an essential step. The lightweight nature of lithium-ion batteries, as opposed to hefty lead-acid batteries, makes them an attractive option for this application. Indeed, most electric vehicles currently in development rely on a lithium-ion battery as their power source. However, the main problems that are incurred come down to battery capacity and longevity – the battery simply not having enough energy to power long journey distances. To be fully adopted as a viable transportation solution, the agreed estimate is that batteries need a gravimetric energy density of over 350 Watthours per kilogram (Wh/kg). The best efforts of current lithium-ion batteries fall far short of this, below 300Wh/kg.

A change for the better

Over the past 25 years, incremental design improvements have allowed lithium-ion batteries to increase their energy density by around 5-6% each year, but since their inception, the basic materials used in these batteries have remained unaltered. This slow improvement in performance is underwhelming, and the team at SiILion believes that this adherence to the same stale electrode materials is holding back the growth of the industry. A drastic break with the status quo in lithium-ion materials is needed if the exciting future adaptations predicted for lithium-ion batteries are to be achieved any time soon.

Figure highlighting SilLion’s cycling capability

Silicon anodes could be suitable candidates to kick off this paradigm shift in lithium-ion batteries. In theory, silicon is an ideal replacement for graphite because of its low working potential versus lithium, and its high specific capacity, which is nearly 10 times higher than the most modern graphite anodes. As such, considerable research has been undertaken with the goal of creating a lithium-ion battery with a functioning silicon anode. However, in practice, a silicon anode has several drawbacks, particularly with its propensity to expand when the battery is charged.

The volume expansion of graphite anodes in most commercialized batteries is 10-13%, and silicon’s expansion can be up to almost 300%. This expansion problem causes massive structural damage in the battery and compromises the fragile interface between the solid silicon electrode and the liquid electrolyte (the ‘solid-electrolyte interphase’, or SEI). Most modern research focuses on modifying the silicon material in a complicated way to accommodate more lithium ions without such severe expansion. The drawback of these modifications, however, is that they require intricate and costly processing methods, making this approach less appealing in the manufacture of commercial batteries. As Dr Evans of SiILion Inc explains, “Most of the published work around silicon anodes focuses on complex material modifications that ultimately will introduce manufacturing processes that are very difficult to scale.” A simple, scalable solution to the silicon anode is one key to higher-performing batteries.

But what about the cathode?

By improving the anode’s performance, you can increase a battery’s maximum energy output by 20-30%. However, to unlock the true potential of the battery, the cathode needs to be similarly enhanced. In terms of the cost of producing lithium-ion batteries, the cathode accounts for 30% of the total expense – more than twice that of the anode. Most conventional lithium-ion batteries use expensive and toxic cathodes, containing large amounts of cobalt, which limits their widespread application to electric vehicles.

Thus, cathodes containing large proportions of nickel are being explored as alternatives. Unfortunately, they are also problematic because they can be unstable at high temperatures and their structure may not be adequately robust. So, similar to the silicon anode, modern research is focusing on expensive and elaborate modifications to these nickel-based cathodes, which again will limit their commercial viability.

A revolutionary approach from SiILion Inc

Dr Molina Piper, Dr Evans, Dr Lee and their team at SiILion Inc see the potential of these next-generation electrode materials, but also believe that the complex modification of the cathode and anode is not practical if these materials are to be applied to commercial battery systems. They claim that this method of combining next-generation materials with old-generation electrode and electrolyte designs leads to obvious incompatibility issues. Because of this, the materials are increasingly over-engineered, and very little practical progress is made.

The team at SiILion is beginning to rewrite the rulebook for lithium-ion battery design. Not only do the cathode and anode materials need to be next-generation, the entire battery also needs revamping. The researchers are shifting their focus to auxiliary battery materials, building a support system for the modern silicon and nickel-rich electrodes using unique electrolyte compositions and electrode binders, while maintaining the advantage of decades of manufacturing expertise by premising their designs on compatibility with existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing methods. As Dr Molina Piper explains, “ Enabling the next-generation electrode materials will mean enabling a next-generation lithium-ion system design.” Moreover, the strategy for attaining next-generation performance must be commercially viable. SiILion’s cell technology, through utilization of lower-cost materials and manufacturing compatibility, will be 30% less costly ($/kWh) than state-of-the-art lithium-ion cells. By approaching the problem from the view of the battery cell system, SiILion achieves its breakthrough energy density and performance.

Promising results

With this philosophy in mind, the team at SiILion has undertaken the task of redesigning the old lithium-ion battery system, and their approach has already revealed some impressive achievements. SiILion has shown that when integrated into its unique system, state-of-the-art ‘nickel-rich’ cathodes and silicon anodes demonstrate a much-improved structural stability and safety, even at high temperatures. Dr Molina Piper also says that “SiILion has created the first viable 80% (by weight) silicon lithium-ion battery anode, capable of integration into standard electrode manufacturing processes.”

In fact, every silicon material that has been implemented into the SiILion system has shown an improvement in performance. “SiILion has worked with over two dozen types of silicon active materials (from over one dozen vendors), all showing marked improvement in capacity retention and coulombic efficiency when used in SiILion’s anode systems, regardless of the size or shape of silicon particles,” says Dr Evans. Of course, the team has its preferred material candidates, based on material stability and availability at scale. This ability to turn so many commercially available silicon materials into effective anodes could send shockwaves through the industry, making the current, over-engineered silicon anodes look overpriced by comparison.

The exact details of SiILion’s battery design remain confidential, but the problematic expansion effects that plague modern silicon anodes appear to have been overcome. As Dr Evans stated, the anodes display a minimal decrease in capacity after hundreds of charging and discharging cycles, and exhibit high ‘coulombic efficiencies’ – meaning that the charge is reversibly and effectively transferred through the system. This efficiency has been tested and proved with a variety of electrolyte materials, including coveted non-flammable electrolytes, which also shows the flexibility of the SiILion system.

Potential applications

The real strength of SiILion’s battery system is its simplicity and its ability to be customized. The SiILion anode design can be employed with conventional electrolyte materials and a range of cathode materials, or with non-flammable electrolytes and next-generation, high-energy cathode materials. Crude, low-cost silicon materials, such as large-particle ‘micron’ silicon materials, can be incorporated, or more exotic anode active materials, such as silicon nano-wires or nano-featured silicon/carbon composites, could be employed when the system requires higher power with faster charging capabilities. SiILion’s major focus lies on pairing its anode designs with ionic liquid electrolyte materials that can be used for applications that need the highest energy density with an emphasis on the utmost degree of safety.

The team at SiILion particularly stresses the high emphasis they put on safety when designing their next-generation lithium-ion batteries. As anyone who is aware of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco can attest, malfunctions involving lithium-ion cells have the potential to be catastrophic. If a faulty battery were scaled-up to the sizes required for electric vehicles, the consequences of malfunctioning would be even greater. With this in mind, SiILion’s use of a non-flammable electrolyte aims to eliminate the stigma that is associated with upscaling lithium-ion batteries to electric vehicle proportions.

In addition to the system’s versatility to accommodate the needs of various applications, the technology was specifically designed by SiILion so that it could be readily integrated into the existing infrastructure that is currently used to mass-produce lithium-ion batteries. This drastically reduces any costs that would be incurred when updating the current hardware, and makes the prospect of using this system commercially all the more attractive.

What the future holds for SiILion

“The SiILion team members have become experts in cell design around high-loading silicon anodes, and this has proved very valuable,” Dr Molina Piper states. “SiILion can integrate a wide range of silicon materials into its anode, to adapt to performance needs, and this also allows the SiILion cell design to realize the improvements that will arise due to new material introduction into the lithium-ion industry.”

So, building on the team’s experience and expertise, SiILion’s next endeavor will be to optimize the material properties in its system, and then scale up the technology to truly demonstrate its value for the needs of electric vehicles and other applications. The company is now manufacturing 2.5Ah prototypes, capable of achieving >300Wh/kg, a pre-requisite step to ensuring that SiILion’s technology is inserted successfully into the markets. SiILion has also worked with its suppliers and manufacturing partners to validate its claims of lower cost, projecting a 25-35% cost saving, on a $/kWh basis, relative to current technologies.

Along the way to enabling vehicle electrification, SiILion is targeting the application of its technology in unmanned vehicles, specialty applications and consumer electronics, with its current generation of prototypes designed to meet the requirements of these markets. With its business development efforts led by Acting CEO Ed Williams, SiILion’s first-generation prototype technology is under evaluation or requested for evaluation by numerous lithium-ion manufacturers and end users active in its target markets. Ultimately, through development projects already underway and in the pipeline, SiILion is targeting a battery prototype that is predicted to deliver roughly 390Wh/kg – far greater than any commercial lithium-ion battery currently available, and tantalizingly close to the energy density stated as optimal for electric vehicle applications.


SilLion’s presentation, ‘Advanced Li-Ion Chemistries that Leverage the Existing Manufacturing Infrastructure’ took place on September 12, 2017, at The Battery Show Conference 2017.