Higher Power Density Without That Li-ion Bulge
Solid state batteries, just like fusion power, have been just a few years away for a few decades now but it looks like that is about to end, at least for the batteries. Murata, who usually make ceramic capacitors, also happened to buy out Sony’s battery division in 2017 and that purchase might be about to pay dividends if their timeline is accurate. They have been mass producing solid state batteries and will be shipping them to market this autumn.
Solid state batteries offer several advantages over the current generation of lithium ion batteries, not least of which is that they do not have a liquid electrolyte and so no out gassing to produce the bulge we are all far too familiar with now. This also means they can be charged much faster as you don’t have to worry about a flammable liquid electrolyte and solid state batteries have the potential for higher energy density than can be achieved with current battery technology.
Their first products will be rather small and store between 2 to 25 mAh, perfect for the IoT and wearable markets. If that doesn’t impress you much the energy density of these first batteries is 500 Wh/L, which is already better than Li-ion and only likely to get better. The batteries can also be soldered directly onto a circuit board, another trick traditional batteries are incapable of.
For those of us dreaming of a 1,000-mile range electric car or a 14-kilowatt power drill, the simple fact remains that the technology just isn’t quite there yet. However, Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. has just announced that it plans to ship solid state batteries in the fall, which from a glance at the calendar is just weeks away.