Lithium batteries are the key to making electric vehicles (EVs) a viable option for consumers.
The majority of vehicles and electronic devices’ power today comes from lithium batteries. These batteries, which are also referred to as “Li-ion” or “Li-pol” batteries, are much lighter than their acid-based predecessors, making them perfect for use in electric vehicles (EVs).
Lithium batteries also have a higher energy capacity than lead-acid batteries of equal weight, implying that EVs have a longer travel range per charge than lead-acid battery-powered ones.
Lithium batteries are more durable than lead-acid batteries, which means they can handle more charging and discharging cycles. As EVs typically require charging more frequently than conventional vehicles, this is a significant aspect. They are perfect for “plug-in” hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
The advantages of lithium batteries have made them the technology of choice for electric vehicle manufacturers. However, the high price of lithium batteries has prevented EVs from being used more widely.
Lithium batteries are expected to become more readily accessible as production rises. Since mass production of lithium batteries is already making significant progress, the price of EVs is very likely to drop.
The development of lithium batteries
The first lithium batteries were created in the 1970s, but they weren’t used commercially until the 1990s. The first lithium-ion battery was utilized in an electric vehicle (EV) in 1996, and by the early 2000s, the majority of EV manufacturers were utilizing them. Today, most electric vehicles (EVs) on the market use lithium batteries.
Vacuum technology is critical for the production of lithium batteries
Due to its numerous advantages, vacuum technology is essential for the creation of high-performance lithium batteries.
- Better performance: by creating a vacuum environment, manufacturers can control the presence of impurities, ensure a more consistent battery composition, and improve overall battery performance.
- No contaminations: Vacuum technology has the ability to increase lithium battery production’s efficiency. There is less chance for contaminants to enter the battery during production thanks to a cleaner environment. This can lower overall manufacturing costs while raising the level of quality of the finished product.
- Higher battery tolerance: vacuum technology can also aid in improving the performance of lithium batteries. It is possible to produce batteries with increased power density and improved efficiency.
Vacuum technology is an essential player in the lithium battery manufacturing process. Manufacturers can enhance the quality and performance of the finished product by controlling the battery’s environment and chemical composition. Battery performance, longevity, and overall efficiency are significantly impacted by the quality of the production line.
Who is Agilent
Agilent is a manufacturer of vacuum equipment, accessories and parts. As the demand for electric vehicles and energy storage systems grows, so does the demand for high-quality, dependable batteries. Agilent vacuum experts have long given the lithium-ion battery industry specialized equipment and technological research for production, quality control, and safety monitoring. They now play a significant role in the manufacturing process, as more than half of the stages in battery production use their vacuum and leak detection technology.
- Agilent provides solutions to help in the manufacture of batteries, ensuring their performance and safety.
- More than half of the stages in the production of batteries involve its vacuum and leak detection technology equipment.
- While maintaining product quality, Agilent works to reduce process time and maximize resource usage.
- The company has long supported the production of lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium batteries: the current production method
The process of creating lithium batteries is divided into three phases: electrode manufacturing, cell assembly, and battery pack finishing and testing . Each of these phases is made up of four subphases. The majority of the process strongly benefitted from vacuum conditions or with the assistance of leak detection technology. Here are the steps that are carried out with vacuum technology:
Base material mixing and vacuum drying
The first step in creating lithium-ion batteries is blending the components. To achieve the desired homogeneity, viscosity, and purity, active material, binder and conductive agents are combined together. Air bubbles are removed with the use of a vacuum, allowing for enhanced electrical performance.
Laminated lithium-ion electrodes are then dried under vacuum to remove any last traces of moisture. The precise and careful drying procedure is specifically designed to protect the electrode microstructure.
Assembling the cell
On the laminated and dried electrode surface, there are still air pockets that must be removed via vacuum treatment to achieve optimal electrical performance. Agilent’s dry scroll pumps are an example of a powerful vacuum technology that can be used for this purpose. https://www.agilent.com/en/product/vacuum-technologies/dry-scroll-pumps
Battery pack finishing and testing
Battery electrolyte filling
A battery is filled under a vacuum, which is crucial for the effectiveness and longevity of the battery. It ensures electrode wetting, distributes electrolytes uniformly within the cell, and prevents inefficiencies brought on by gas bubbles that become trapped. For this procedure, Agilent vacuum pumps must be resistant to electrolyte residues.
Because of its importance for weight, engine and transmission integration, and crash safety, battery housing is a crucial part of electric vehicles. Housings, of course, also protect the batteries and must be able to withstand extreme temperatures, be corrosion-resistant, and be electromagnetically protected. The aluminum die-cast battery casing is checked for airtightness using helium leak detectors.
Battery technology has advanced to the point where there are now many different types of batteries available to meet the changing needs of vehicle manufacturers. Li-ion battery cells can have a hard cover in the shape of a cylinder or square cell or a soft cover in the form of a pouch cell. The battery module and the final battery assembly need to be leak-tight in order to maintain high-quality standards and ensure the longevity, performance, and safety of the battery. Agilent dry pumps and leak detectors deliver state-of-the-art performance in locating potentially harmful leaks during the battery manufacturing process.
A bright future for lithium batteries and electric vehicles
Customer demand for EVs is rising, as proven by the sharp rise in EV sales over the past few years. The key to making electric vehicles (EVs) an interesting option for consumers is, along with their sustainability, the continued cost decline of lithium batteries. As the demand for electric vehicles and energy storage systems grows, so does the demand for high-quality, dependable batteries. Agilent is committed to providing cutting-edge vacuum equipment, leak detection systems, accessories, and parts to support this transition.
Article Submitted By Community Writer