Shaking up the industry with 3D printed solid state batteries

October 10, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
The pilot line at Sakuú
Nad Karim, co-founder of Sakuú, talks to Nick Flaherty about the roadmap as the company closes its latest runding round for its 3D printed sold state battery technology

Sakuú in California has raised $62m to shake up the battery manufacturing business. While the company still sees a need for the battery gigafactories currently being built, it

The company, formerly called KeraCel, has developed what it believes to be the world’s first true multi-material process additive manufacturing platform for solid state batteries. The first generation solid state battery will be the first in high-volume production in the second half of 2022, but it is the following generations that will shake up the way batteries are built, from electric vehicles to energy storage and consumer systems.

“We have two generations of solid state batteries,” said Nad Karim, co-founder of Sakuu. “The first one is similar to today’s pouch cells in its constructions and that means we don’t need to build huge factories of our own, we can use existing plants but despite this, it’s still solid state and high energy density and won’t catch fire.”

Sakuu has built a pilot plant in San Jose, California, with a capacity of 2.5MWh /year for sampling and used as a learning centre for contract manufacturing partners (CEMs) to bring up the first generation cells in their factories. “This will be the world’s first solid state battery in production” said Karim. The energy density of its first-generation battery has increased from 40Wh/l to 600Wh/l, while increasing the cell layer count from 1 to 30 while growing cell capacity from 2.3mAh to 3000mAh.

Th pilot line uses technology from Honeywell and Relevant Industrial who are taking Sakuu’s proprietary technology and scaling up the lab environment into a fully functioning pilot manufacturing plant for solid state pouch cells.

The company has one partner in Germany, one in Taiwan and some in the US to bring this product to mass production, he says. “That’s in process right now and we expect to be in production 1m 3AH cells by mid 2022. One of our lead customers is Musashi [Seimitsu Industry] in Japan and these products are for electric bikes through a contract manufacturer.”

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Then there is the second generation solid state battery that can be 3D printed with additive manufacturing (AM) process.

Next: 3D printing solid state battery cells 

Picture: 
The solid state battery pilot line at Sakuú

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