It is common knowledge that conventional lithium-ion batteries cannot be rapidly charged at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. And this is a prime issue concerning use of electric vehicles running on lithium ion chargeable batteries in cold regions. However, a team of Penn State engineers has made a battery that can self-heat itself, simultaneously getting rapidly charged. Thus, the battery can provide crucial energy for enabling vehicle functionality, regardless of outdoor low temperatures.
Further Details Regarding the New Chargeable Batteries
According to Xiao-Guang Yang, assistant research professor in mechanical engineering, Penn State, electric vehicles are highly popular along the west coast of United States owing to the conducive weather. However, with the perspective shifting towards the east coast and Canada, using electric vehicles might be problematic. To tackle this issue, the batteries created by the engineers promise to create a revolution in the electric vehicles industry.
A chief property imbued into the batteries by the researchers involves making the devices get rapidly charged in 15 minute intervals, in temperatures as low as minus 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Before achieving this, the researchers had created a battery that could self-heat to avoid below freezing power drain. The same principle was applied for the latter studies.
The self-heating battery uses a thin nickel foil with one end attached to the negative terminal and the other extending outside the cell to create a third terminal. A temperature sensor attached to a switch causes electrons to flow through the nickel foil to complete the circuit, only under room temperature values. This process rapidly heats up the nickel foil through resistance heating and warms the inside of the battery. Once the battery’s internal temperature is above room temperature, the switch turns opens and the electric current flows into the battery to rapidly charge it. Thus, in a way, the battery itself does the heating and then switches to charge automatically.