Dal professor making waves in Lithium-ion battery research
Jeff Dahn, professor and researcher in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, knows the importance of long-lasting batteries. He’s dedicated years of research focused on finding long-lasting Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries – rechargeable batteries that can store around twice the energy per unit mass of traditional batteries. Li-ion batteries can be used for electric vehicles, grid energy storage and implantable medical devices. In other words, batteries that have a significant impact on our everyday lives.
Dr. Dahn and his team built the world’s only high precision charger and automated storage system used for testing Li-ion batteries thanks to $120,000 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS). The unit was complete in November 2009. Since then, high precision charger has been making big waves.
Dr. Dahn is recognized worldwide as one of the pioneering developers of the Li-ion battery.
Coulombic efficiency is the ratio of the number of electrons delivered by the battery during discharge to those stored during recharge. Since building the charger in 2009, Dr. Dahn and his students have been able to identify changes to Li-ion battery chemistry that improve coulombic efficiency, and do experiments that show increases in coulombic efficiency translate to increases in battery life.
Dr. Dahn has assembled a group of industrial partners including: General Motors, producer of electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt; Magna E-Car systems, producer of Li-ion batteries for automotive applications; Nova Scotia Power; Medtronic Energy and Component Centre, producer of Li-ion batteries for implantable medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators; and 3M Co., Li-ion battery materials producer.
Dr. Dahn and these partners have applied for major project funding from the NSERC Automotive Partnership Canada program and from Canada Foundation for Innovation. This funding will allow three additional state-of-the-art labs to be constructed in the Dunn Building and increase the number of students working in this exciting area.
“We need to know whether a Li-ion battery is going to last two years, 10 years, or 15 years. To do this, we constructed a 60 channel high precision charger to explore the usefulness of high precision coulombic efficiency measurements.” -Dr. Jeff Dahn, professor and researcher in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University.
"A perfect Li-ion cell would have a coulombic efficiency of exactly 1.000000 – this is a battery that would last forever. Unfortunately, on every charge/discharge cycle, about 0.1 per cent of charge is lost due to parasitic reactions within the Li-ion battery cell, which reduces the life cycle of the battery. Such a Li-ion battery would have a coulombic efficiency of 99.9 per cent." -Dr. Jeff Dahn, professor and researcher in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University.
"Like in most research experiments, precision is key: a more precise measurement of colombic efficiency means that the lifetimes of the batteries can be projected, often in only a few weeks of testing under actual conditions. This is incredibly exciting to battery companies, many of whom are used to doing testing that takes years." --Dr. Jeff Dahn, professor and researcher in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University.
|High Precision Charger Lab|
|High Precision Charger Lab|
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