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Feb 13, 2022

Big Breakthrough for “Massless” Energy Storage: Structural Battery That Performs 10x Better Than All Previous Versions

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, physics, sustainability, transportation

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have produced a structural battery that performs ten times better than all previous versions. It contains carbon fiber that serves simultaneously as an electrode, conductor, and load-bearing material. Their latest research breakthrough paves the way for essentially ’massless’ energy storage in vehicles and other technology.

The batteries in today’s electric cars constitute a large part of the vehicles’ weight, without fulfilling any load-bearing function. A structural battery, on the other hand, is one that works as both a power source and as part of the structure – for example, in a car body. This is termed ‘massless’ energy storage, because in essence the battery’s weight vanishes when it becomes part of the load-bearing structure. Calculations show that this type of multifunctional battery could greatly reduce the weight of an electric vehicle.

The development of structural batteries at Chalmers University of Technology has proceeded through many years of research, including previous discoveries involving certain types of carbon fiber. In addition to being stiff and strong, they also have a good ability to store electrical energy chemically. This work was named by Physics World as one of 2018’s ten biggest scientific breakthroughs.

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