The nearly ubiquitous rechargeable lithium-ion battery can be found in nearly every portable electronic device we can see, from remote-controlled toys to full-size electric vehicles.
Seeing as lithium-ion battery technology is everywhere around us, it also brings up an interesting question regarding the capacity and lifespan of all these gadgets, especially if you are a smartphone user or an electric vehicle driver. How many of us have gotten down to that last bar when we absolutely need to make a phone call? Similarly, how many electric vehicle drivers have gotten stuck on the side of the road trying to stretch for the next charging station, at the limits of available range?
It might seem obvious that we could use better rechargeable battery technology than lithium-ion, and there has been a lot of trial and error in this field. On the other hand, can anything be done about existing lithium-ion battery technology? Researchers admit they know little about what’s going on, at the molecular or even atomic level, inside a lithium-ion battery to make judgments as to how to improve the technology, but they are making headway in this area.
On the other hand, it doesn’t seem that a whole lot has been researched into the management of lithium-ion battery technology. A father and son team, Nick and Tim Sherstyuk, an electrical engineer and chemistry student, respectively, have effected some encouraging results by better charge management. Using typical lithium-ion batteries that are currently on the market, the Sherstyuks’ management technology is able to effect up to 40% more usable capacity and up to 400% more cycles.
The new company, gBatteries, is seeking industrial partners to put their technology to use in existing or new devices. What’s really interesting and encouraging about gBatteries’ technology is that is requires no battery replacement, simply managing better the existing lithium-ion battery that is already installed. I wonder if we could get a Tesla Model S 85kWh, ranging up to 300 miles, with gBatteries charge management for 420 miles of range on the same 85 kWh lithium-ion battery?
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