We reported last year on a new report from the European Patent Office (EPO) on electricity storage, in particular using batteries. Excluded from that report was hydrogen and its use in electricity storage, which is seen by some as a very useful supplement to batteries, not just in electricity storage but also for applications where batteries may not be appropriate, such as some transport applications.
Increasing focus is being directed to developing Li-ion battery technology, particularly in view of the expected surge in uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in the near to short term. It is not hard to imagine a future where battery powered EVs have replaced many, if not all, of the internal combustion engines on our roads. However, a number of concerns arise when looking towards this battery powered future, and highlight the need for robust recycling practices and technologies.
Last week, the European Patent Office (EPO), together with the International Energy Agency (IEA), released a detailed report on patenting activity in electricity storage between 2000 and 2018. An EPO press release is available on the EPO website along with the full report.
In modern manufacturing and design processes, computer models and simulations play a key and ever expanding role. Whereas previously many different prototypes may have had to be individually machined and then tested, now each design can be tested virtually. This allows optimal designs to be found without incurring any of the expense, or expending any of the time, associated with manufacturing multiple custom prototype components and designs- here we focus on the automotive sector.
Although nearly all commercially available hybrids and battery electric vehicles use Li-ion batteries, there are some concerns regarding energy density and safety of Li-ion batteries, especially in the transport sector.Replacing the liquid electrolyte with a solid electrolyte is being considered as one of the possible ways to both mitigate the safety concerns and to improve the currently limited energy density.