Testing is key to the technology development. “Our data scientists correlate the vast amount of data,” he said. “We have thousands of cells in development and each of those produces a lot of data every minute to the cloud so we are using AI and machine learning to see which formulation perform best.”
“Most of our competitors are focussed on increasing the energy density – we are different, we are focussed in the ultra fast charging as the number one parameter. We are compromising 10 to 20 percent in energy density but this opens up a whole new set of opportunities with the ultra fast charging,” he said,
The drone system charges with a constant current (CC) charger at 135A to give a 6.8Ah battery pack a 30 minute mission time with minimal changes to the 4.5kW charger or the drone battery management system. In contrast, an electric car fast charger operates at 200 to 500A.
There is also a tradeoff in battery life. “We can charge in one minute – the technology charges in one minute but you pay in the number of cycles, 150 cycles for 5 minutes, perhaps 30 cycles for one min. This technology can really take all the power in a short amount of time,” he said during the demonstration.
A thousand first generation cells have been produced with 100 to 160 cycle lifetime and a temperature range of -20 to +60 degC and the cost is likely to be two to three times that of current graphite lithium ion cells. “In 18 months we will sample gen 2 in small form factor with slightly higher energy and much better cycle life,” said Myersdorf.
Qualcomm has launched its latest fast charging technology for Andorid phones that can charge a mainstream ltihium ion mobile phone battery to 50 percent in five minutes, again using constant current, but requiring longer for the rest of the battery using constant voltage: QUALCOMM LAUNCHES 100W QUICK CHARGE 5