You may have seen reports about SolidEnergy's batteries that use a new type of Li-metal anode which enables a doubling of the energy density of lithium batteries. I looked into it some more and found their first market is going to be drone batteries, this November. The article says "some drones" will be able to use this battery in November. Not sure what that means exactly. I hope "some" includes my Iris+!
On the SolidEnergySystems website, they say:
- Ultra-thin metal anode can double energy density and achieve 1200 Wh/L and 400 Wh/kg.
- Non-flammable and non-volatile, and can safely operate at elevated temperatures.
- Can be manufactured using existing Li-ion infrastructure, and leverage an open ecosystem.
And in the drone batteries PDF:
SolidEnergy ... innovates at the materials level, not the manufacturing level, but the batteries enabled by its materials can be manufactured using existing Li-ion manufacturing capability. This allows it to avoid massive infrastructure investment duplicating what the industry already has, leverage an established ecosystem, and efficiently capture the highest value.
SolidEnergy... acquires and processes raw materials from its strategic partners in chemical and equipment manufacturing. The company develops two key enabling battery materials: the anode, which consists of anode-lyte coating on lithium/copper; and the cathode-lyte (anode-lyte and cathode-lyte are two components of electrolyte), which consists of salts, ionic liquids and other chemicals. These two battery materials are then supplied to the battery manufacturers with a separator and a cathode to form complete batteries. SolidEnergy does not manufacture batteries, instead it provides key enabling battery materials.
I'm hoping this means they'll have no production bottlenecks, they'll be licensing out the technology to all our favorite battery makers, and by Christmas I'll be able to fly my Iris+ for 30 minutes with equipment attached.