Will the Next Reduction in Battery Production Cost Come from Smart 3D Battery Design?
As the world moves towards electrification, how can it be powered efficiently and sustainably? Better performing batteries. Though this might sound fairly straightforward, these batteries need to be produced in extremely large quantities. Additionally, they must consist of a combination of characteristics to achieve inexpensive manufacturing on a mass scale and enable decarbonization.
Over the past few years, the price of a lithium-ion battery pack fell by 89% from more than $1,100/kWh in 2010 to $137/kWh in 2020, with the trend originally due to continue in this direction. However, due to current supply chain issues and material costs, this trend may be halted and even reversed. With lowering battery prices one of the biggest focuses for car manufacturers, these predicted increasing prices could cause chaos in the industry. Advanced battery design technology combines being a drop-in solution, having an AI-integrated manufacturing process, 3D design, and overall scalability across the battery market to achieve cost reduction. Some of the main advantages demonstrated through Addionics’ technology include:
A Drop-In Solution
Compared to other solutions, Addionics’ can be integrated into any battery assembly line and doesn’t require expensive integration or any additional factories built. While it’s a new structure with substantially different characteristics, the 3D electrodes can replace the existing 2D foil in a 1:1 replacement. Addionics uses a conventional manufacturing process without any additional tooling or steps. As a result, no new capital equipment is required nor are additional tooling or steps needed.
AI-Integrated Manufacturing Process
To accelerate the process, Addionics integrates AI into the manufacturing of 3D structures. This optimizes the fundamental battery structure for performance, helps to predict and determine the best structure depending on application requirements, and can unlock useful combinations of materials which may not have otherwise been considered. Furthermore, this solution enables the collection of data and emphasizes structure behavior, permitting better and faster development, in addition to the reduction of overall costs.
Enabling Cost Reduction with 3D Design
Reducing Layers and Material Costs
With 3D structures in place, a given energy density can be achieved by using fewer electrode layers. This translates to fewer pairs of anodes and cathodes, and the separators required for each pair. While the cost of separators amounts to about 7.3% of the total cell cost, Addionics 3D batteries have fewer layers, leading to a direct cost saving.
Manufacturing costs are also reduced as fewer layers means that coating, drying, calendering and slitting need to be done less times. Indeed, each layer has a certain amount of yield loss, and more layers result in more yield loss. By having fewer layers, production yield is increased, leading to cost reductions on a per kWh basis. Additionally, thanks to porous electrodes, less metals are used and the amounts of copper and aluminum are reduced, leading to savings on the cost of materials.
Savings from Binder Materials
With their 3D structure design and better adhesion between the electrode material and the current collector, Addionics cells require less binder material and can use cheaper binders.
As Addionics cells have higher energy density than traditional ones, fewer battery cells are needed to achieve a given capacity and the total cost of the pack is reduced. Similarly, the weight of the pack is also reduced, decreasing costs and creating indirect benefits throughout the system. Moreover, with better heat dissipation and a more uniform temperature distribution, Addionics uses lower-cost, simplified cooling and management systems. The flexible cell design also allows for customized structures and optimized form factors, which save space in end products.
Scalability Across the Battery Market
Addionics’ technology focuses on an AI-based, novel, cost-effective, market-competitive at reduced levels of production, and scalable manufacturing process that can lower the costs of the battery when at high-volume manufacturing. By manufacturing these advanced 3D electrodes and having the option to do so at scale, these can be integrated at the high volumes necessary for gigafactories, allowing battery costs to be reduced.
By being chemistry agnostic, Addionics’ solution has the potential to have a wide impact on the entire industry in a variety of applications and reduce the price of any battery chemistry. Indeed, Addionics’ technology can be combined with any battery chemistry, new or existing, and integrated into any battery assembly line, allowing this technology to potentially have such an important impact.