We’ve always had batteries powering our electronic devices but the battery technology has been changing over time to make them smaller and smaller. The battery of choice in this day and age for our smartphones, laptops tablets and even Electric Vehicles is Lithium Ion batteries.
Lithium Ion batteries are made up of solid lithium electrodes set in a chemical electrolyte. We love them because they are small, light and quickly rechargeable. We use them in most of your electronics. But recently there’s a new discussion about a Solid state battery.
What is a Solid State Battery?
In a solid state battery, the liquid(chemical electrolyte) is replaced with solid conductive material so that the whole battery is made of solid components. The solid material could be anything yet. Scientists have not yet come up with the right solid component to replace the liquid inside Lithium Ion batteries.
It takes time and long term testing to come up with the right component and scientists are claiming they’ll have an answer by 2020. I’m happy to wait; I’d hate to see another Galaxy Note 7 scenario in electric cars and smartphones as a result of battery manufacturing errors.
Why Solid state Battery?
Lithium Ion batteries are ‘fine’ for small electronics like smartphones and digital cameras. They’re also currently being used in Electric cars. But there are advantages of going fully solid with these batteries.
Solid state batteries are said to be capable of higher capacity in smaller bodies. As gadgets get thinner every year, this is a welcome innovation. Electric vehicles will also be able to pack batteries with much longer range without making them too big and too chunky.
These solid state batteries discharge slower than the Lithium ion batteries and therefore in the long run will last longer than the Li-On counterparts. Battery Cylcle life of smartphones could increase to 10 years.
There are also other advantages like less battery heating with Solid components than with liquid. This is especially important for electric vehicles. Over heating poses danger like explosion and extra fast discharging. With Solid state batteries, EV manufacturers won’t even have to use too much material on the battery for safety and heat dissipation.
Should You Care?
You should! With the green energy movement going on, In the next 3 decades Electric cars will be the order of the day on our roads. Our children and grand children will be looking at combustion engine vehicles the same way we look at traditional cooking pots right now!
Our smartphones will have higher capacity batteries that won’t need to be charged everyday. Despite the challenges like high cost of manufacture, Solid state batteries are the future. The more you know about them, the better.