Publicado el 15/02/2016
Amid great excitement Grabat yesterday presented in Madrid its graphene batteries whose chemistry, certified by TV and Dekra, is able to achieve an energy density of 1,000 Wh / kg.
Graphene is a nanomaterial with such properties that have led it to be dubbed “the material of God ‘: the thickness of an atom, thermally conductive, harder than diamond, flexible as rubber and transparent.
Technological and environmental benefits: graphene will change the industry
Martin Martinez, CEO of Graphenano, the company that he founded five years ago along with Mario Celdrn, Iigo Resusta and Alejandro Ayala, explained the advantages of graphene batteries compared to lithium, which are currently used in virtually all fields where it is necessary to store energy. Jon Picard, his guru and environmental consultant, reported about the environmental benefits of the new batteries that he considered as the third industrial revolution.
The collaboration with several Spanish universities, among which of great importance is the Univerity of Crdoba that developed the unchanged graphene polymer, has been instrumental to the final product whose manufacture has been escalated and automated by Graphenano to achieve maximum efficiency.
The graphene battery is capable of reaching an energy density of 1,000 Wh / kg certified by two renowned laboratories: TV and Dekra. This energy density has been tested in cycles of 100% charging and discharging of the battery, instead of the usual cycles carried out with lithium batteries ranging from 20% to 80% aiming at ensuring their safety margins. Up to 400 charge and discharge cycles have been carried out without loss of capacity appreciated.
[Pullquote] The Model S battery of 180 Wh / kg could quadruple its autonomy while maintaining its weight and volume [/ pullquote]
Safety for use in all areas: consumer electronics, home, automotive and aviation
Batteries are completely modular and can be configured in different forms: flat, cylindrical, etc. They can be used in a mobile phone, at home, in aviation or, obviously in the automotive industry. The battery is patented and has received certification for its implementation in any of these industries both for safety and for performance. During the presentation we had the opportunity to see prototypes of batteries for bicycles, motorcycles, drones and home. The latter is expandable through modules of 24 kWh.
The weight of graphene battery is reduced by 75% compared to lithium and volume by 20-30%. Their cell voltage is 2.3 volts and can be mounted in parallel to achieve the desired tension. Their behavior under different temperatures is very stable. It does not heat when short-circuited and afterwards is able to return to normal operation and recharge to 60-70% of capacity, which would be impossible for a lithium battery as it would be in unusable conditions.
Fast and inductive recharge
Graphenano claims that a battery with an autonomy of 800 km could be loaded in 5 minutes, but has not specified the necessary voltage and current for the load. They claim that their high energy density is the most important feature so that fast recharging may not be as necessary. It also intends to incorporate inductive charging technology thinking particularly of its use in pacemakers.
The price that the battery will be sold, according to Martin Martinez, is very similar to the current price of the lithium, although Graphenano says it is able to lower these prices.
Graphene is a material that can be used in other applications such as a component for industrial coatings, an additive for concrete for building or as membranes for electronics.
Application in electric cars
Martin Martinez said he already has signed agreements with several manufacturers of electric cars to provide them these batteries. He did not reveal the brand names to protect them before their current suppliers.
In terms of the autonomy that they can reach it depends on the manufacturer requirements. In each case they would study its design and implementation to meet these requirements. Not all electric cars will require the same autonomy. So a commuter car will require a little battery to get around while a large sedan may need a larger one allowing it to travel as a combustion engine car.
A strategic partner: CHINT
Graphenano has CHINT, whose president, Nan Cunhui, attended the presentation, as a strategic partner. The company, one of the leading manufacturers of electrical equipment, has been the investing partner that has definitely helped to launch the project. But the entry of CHINT is important not only for the economic aspect. Its great industrial capacity can help scale production and it is also the leading distributor in the Chinese market.
The production of the battery is planned in two phases. First a plant in Yecla, Murcia, will be built accounting for an investment of 30 million euro and whose first production line will be ready by the end of this month. The five lines that comprise the plant will be operational by late summer. The factory will be capable of producing up to 86 million cells per year. The second phase will consist of an even larger factory, which will have an investment of 350 million euro and will be capable to create 7,000 jobs and generate a turnover between 3,000 and 4,000 million euro a year.
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