Researchers say battery breakthrough could cut costs
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, say they have made a breakthrough that could lead to lower lithium ion battery costs and faster charging times for electric vehicles.
Professor Miroslav Krstic and Scott Moura, a postdoctoral fellow, devised the algorithms, or mathematical procedures, to understand better what goes on in the "complicated world" of lithium ion batteries, Krstic said in an interview.
They will use $415,000 of a $4 million U.S. Department of Energy grant they are sharing with supplier Robert Bosch and battery maker Cobasys to continue their work.
There is still a limited understanding of how lithium ions behave in batteries, so engineers overcompensate by building batteries that are too large, said Krstic, a faculty member of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering.
But applying the algorithms could result in smaller lithium ion batteries and potentially cut costs by 25 percent. Charging times also could end up two times faster, according to the university.
"If one could have a better knowledge or better estimation of what's going on inside, one could [safely] operate closer to the limits of performance, which means that the oversizing and overdesign would be less necessary," Krstic said. "That translates into savings in costs and in weight."
The university says Krstic and Moura will try their algorithms on test beds from Bosch and Cobasys.
You can reach Vince Bond Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org. -- Follow Vince on