The latest research from the Battery Research Institute, the largest battery research body in the world, shows that there is little doubt that the world’s car batteries are becoming increasingly unreliable and susceptible to catastrophic damage.
The battery research group has analysed more than 1,200 new and used battery chargings, and found that more than half of all chargers have “high” or “very high” levels of corrosion.
In the first of a three-part series, Al Jazeera’s Aliza Foa and the BBC’s Nick Robinson discuss the latest research.
What is corrosion?
The term “corrosion” is commonly used to describe the damage caused by exposure to high levels of moisture and salt, especially when it comes to batteries.
“The battery has two electrodes, which are made of silicon carbide (SiC), and an electrolyte, which is made of nickel-metal hydride (NiMH).”
The electrolyte can’t be corroded and can absorb a lot of water and ions, and the metal can corrode as well.
How do batteries get damaged?”
As it becomes corroded, it is more prone to damage.”
How do batteries get damaged?
In the past, batteries have typically been designed to have a high discharge rate and a high charge rate.
However, as the battery’s charge rate slows, the discharge rate gradually drops, leading to lower and lower battery capacities.
“As the discharge increases, the battery becomes more vulnerable to corrosion, and as the corrosion is more frequent and it becomes more difficult to remove, the overall quality of the battery is adversely affected,” said Alisa Foa, the research director of the Battery Institute.
In recent years, a number of researchers have tried to develop better lithium-ion batteries.
These include a lithium-polymer battery that can store up to a 100 times more energy than conventional lithium-air batteries.
The first of these batteries was released in 2014 by Lithium Ion, and it is widely used in electric cars.
“But there are a number other battery chemistries that are being investigated,” Foa said.
“These are in the realm of rechargeable lithium-cobalt batteries.
Lithium-cubic batteries can store more energy, have more capacity and can store a higher discharge rate.”
In the next couple of years, we will have a range of battery chemists that are exploring this area.
“The research group says that the batteries used in modern electric vehicles are more than 100 times less corrosion-prone than they were in the past.
What’s the difference between a lithium ion battery and a lithium polymer battery?
The Lithium ion batteries have been around for years, but their power density has been improving over time, Foa told Al Jazeera.”
It is the lithium ion batteries that have really been a breakthrough technology in the battery world.
“They have been able to get their power densities up to 40 times higher than any other battery.”
So what’s the big difference between lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries?
If you look at lithium-on-battery systems, you see that lithium-iron batteries, which you can use in electric vehicles, have higher energy densities and are better for driving.””
But we also think lithium ion is more stable, because the polymer is more durable.”
If you look at lithium-on-battery systems, you see that lithium-iron batteries, which you can use in electric vehicles, have higher energy densities and are better for driving.
But why is there a problem with the batteries?”
If you have a small battery that’s only a few metres long, you will need a long road car to travel the length of that road.”
But why is there a problem with the batteries?
Some researchers are concerned about the batteries’ capacity, because they may be prone to overheating.
“People have reported that they have had batteries that started to overheat in their car,” Fua said.
“This is because they used the battery charger too much and the battery didn’t have enough voltage, which could cause the batteries to over-heat.”
Also, lithium polymer and lithium ion are not compatible because they do not have the same electrical properties as the other batteries.
“In the future, we are hoping to use lithium polymer or lithium ion as the material of choice for battery charger, but that will have to be made up over time.”
What do we do about battery over-heating?
In 2017, the US government set out a proposal to regulate the lithium-in-polymers (LiPOs) market.
“This proposal is to regulate LiPOs in the US in the form of a carbon-fiber-plastic-composite standard,” Foca said.
According to the proposal, LiPO manufacturers will have “minimum requirements” for battery protection, including “capacitive coating”, which will be required in most cases.
“A very large percentage of the LiPO