TechKAIST scientists unveil next-gen sodium-ion batteries: faster charging, lower costs

KAIST scientists unveil next-gen sodium-ion batteries: faster charging, lower costs

photo by Andreas Haslinger
photo by Andreas Haslinger
Images source: © unsplash.com

10:37 AM EDT, April 25, 2024

The team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has made a significant breakthrough in the development of sodium-ion batteries. Their innovations in design have led to new models that feature higher power and support rapid charging.

While sodium-ion batteries have been around for years, they have recently started to gain more attention. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, these batteries use more abundant materials, resulting in lower production costs. They are also safer, capable of discharging to 0 V without the risk of thermal discharge caused by short circuits.

Previously, the long charging times and limited capacity of sodium-ion batteries hampered their popularity compared to lithium-ion ones. However, this situation is likely to change soon.

Breakthrough in Sodium-Ion Battery Technology

In this new generation of sodium-ion batteries, the KAIST scientists have revamped the cathode and anode construction. This has led to the creation of a high-power sodium-ion hybrid energy storage (SIHES) system. For in-depth information, visit the ScienceDirect website.

Testing indicates that these batteries offer significantly greater power than current lithium-ion models and can be charged in significantly shorter times—discussions point to charging in minutes or even seconds.

Another benefit is their extended lifespan. The developers report a 100% coulombic efficiency, meaning the usable energy matches the energy input during charging.

This advancement could transform the consumer electronics market, including modern smartphones, as well as the automotive industry, particularly electric vehicles, which face challenges with long charging times. Whether this technology will be commercialized and enter mass production remains to be seen in the coming years.

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