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Page 66


www.us-tech.com


September, 2021


Battery Development: Saving Today’s Energy for Tomorrow’s Tech


By Cindy Millsaps, CEO, Energy Assurance A


cornerstone of technology develop- ment, batteries are ubiquitous, though often unseen. Americans alone pur-


chase nearly three billion dry-cell batteries annually, and nearly 100 million wet-cell batteries are produced each year. This industry is anything but stagnant,


and yesterday’s battery solutions won’t power the future in the way they powered the past. Battery technology is moving rapidly forward, and better batteries are both emerg- ing and emergent.


30 MW grid energy storage facility in San Diego.


Four major ways in which the battery


industry is changing and improving include device miniaturization, charging speed, grid storage, and overall production capacity.


Smaller Size, Greater Power Many of today’s most popular consumer


technologies require small but powerful bat- tery solutions. That’s why battery developers are investing heavily in order to fit their bat- tery technology in an ever-shrinking package without reducing output or performance. In fact, a recent Gartner


anal ysis found that battery improvements are al ready driving consumer spending on wearables, increasing spending on smart- watches by nearly 20 percent last year.


At the same time, many car


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companies have publicly an - nounced an ambitious transition to all-electric vehicle production in the near future. To this end, as a Wall Street Journal headline succinctly described, “the key to electric cars is batteries.” In other words, smaller and more capable batteries will power this automotive transition, allowing car manufacturers to create elec- tric vehicles (EVs) that will go farther and faster. As an example of the bur-


geoning popularity of electric vehicles, Maia Research, an international market consulting company, predicts that the global automotive battery-testing mar- ket could exceed $2 billion by 2027, with automotive battery testing expected to grow by 29 percent annually between 2021 and 2027. At the same time, developers


Overlap check of


lithium-ion battery anodes scanned by YXLON FF85 CT


also continue to experiment with new battery chemistries, allow- ing companies to produce better, more reliable batteries with mul- tiple use cases across disparate industries — not just automotive. When coupled with the ever-


expanding capabilities of AI and other related technologies, bat- tery technology is improving across the board. Most importantly, these


smal ler, better-constructed batter- ies promise to be safer than their predecessors. At times, electric vehicles


have been plagued by safety con- cerns, forcing auto manufactur- ers to issue recalls that dampen consumer optimism, reduce con- fidence, and hinder electric vehi- cle proliferation. Next generation battery technology includes self- healing lithium batteries and other chemical constructions that help to reduce risk and improve overall safety standards. Taken together, developers, manufacturers, as well as con- sumers can expect smaller, bet- ter, safer batteries that can meet


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