One of the biggest challenges in the development and optimization of battery technology is difficulty in observing what’s happening inside of the battery itself.
However, there’s a new ally in the movement toward the future of energy storage – magnetic resonance imaging, also known as MRI. This technology, which commonly conjures up images of medical diagnosing equipment, allows researchers to diagnose any happenings inside of current lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and aids in the development of what may be the battery of the future, sodium batteries.
Lithium-Ion Diagnosis via MRI
As portable technology advances and changes in form factor, new challenges arise in the shape and size of the required Li-ion batteries for these devices. Over the past years, stories have dotted the news about battery malfunctions, including overheating, swelling, and even explosions. Unfortunately, examination and diagnosis of any problems that might be occurring within a battery is almost impossible without destroying the battery in question.
That’s where MRIs come in. The technology is used to measure miniscule alterations in a magnetic field map, which is perfect for analyzing the workings of a battery while it’s in motion.
Using MRIs, researchers are able to determine charge states and an assortment of defective or missing components that might occur during manufacturing. These diagnoses can then be implemented in improving the batteries, reducing failure rates, and improving performance.
Sodium Monitoring with MRI
One of the leading candidates to replace the current Li-ion batteries, sodium batteries, has a promising future in the evolution of alternative energy devices and technology. However, understanding the inner workings of sodium batteries also presents the same problems as diagnosing the processes within Li-ion batteries – you simply can’t observe the innards in motion without destroying the battery.
Fortunately, a process has been developed using MRIs to detect and track the movements of sodium metal ions, allowing researchers to get a look at what’s happening inside of sodium batteries while it’s happening. This observation method offers a way to monitor the interactions between sodium and various anode and cathode materials, as well as the growth of branching structures called dendrites that might cause the battery to fail or even catch fire.
With the interactions within the sodium batteries visible, scientists will be able to detect failures and develop ways to prevent those failures, all while optimizing the capabilities of sodium battery technology.
Battery Technology for Today and Tomorrow
With these relatively recent applications of MRI technology in the fields of energy storage and optimization, new paths for advancement have opened before our very eyes.
Not only does using MRIs for looking into the inner machinations of working batteries allow us to see on a whole new scale, it also allows us to glimpse into the future of energy.
To learn more about how Arbin is supporting that future, visit https://www.arbin.com/.
You may not realize it, but batteries – and the latest innovations in the battery industry – impact nearly every part of your day-to-day life.
Batteries have always helped power the world, but their applications and importance are growing all the time, particularly in the wake of movements for cleaner energy, sustainability, efficiency and more.
Batteries, particularly cutting-edge lithium ion batteries, those used in key grid storage applications, and those that power electric vehicles (EVs) have a pretty high calling. However, they also fuel some of the seemingly small things that bring you comfort and functionality every day.
Let’s take a look.
The Role of Batteries in Powering Everyday Life
Consider your cell phone. It’s often also the alarm clock that begins your day, and it’s probably basically attached to your person at all times, right? It wouldn’t function at all without a battery, and it wouldn’t be capable of such a long lifespan or of so many incredible feats of connectivity without a battery providing fuel for the fire.
As you begin your day and interact with the ever-smarter elements of your likely “smart home,” batteries continue to make previously unheard-of automation and functionality more possible than ever.
Batteries help Internet of Things-enabled devices to communicate with one another, making your life simpler, and power the alarm systems, air purifiers, door controls and digital doorbells, medical devices, and more that keep you healthy and safe.
Even if you don’t drive an EV to work, batteries help your car provide the experience you’ve come to rely on. From digital displays and in-car WiFi and navigation to power windows, batteries are present.
And you don’t need this blog to tell you how critical batteries are in your work life. In fact, you might be reading this blog on a laptop or desktop PC that – you guess it – needs power, either in the form of an actual battery or an uninterruptable power supply.
Finally, on a larger scale, batteries are powering the things that keep you safe. From military and defense applications to construction and logistics that shape the world around us and medical and emergency personnel use cases that literally save lives, batteries play an integral role in the fabric of society. They power radios, robotic artificial limbs, machinery and more.
How Arbin Supports the Battery Industry
At Arbin, we recognize how critical batteries are to our modern way of life – and the future of our society. That’s why we continually support battery research and work diligently to craft innovative battery testing equipment designed to make sure that, when batteries are called upon, they simply work.
To learn more about Arbin’s role in supporting the batteries that power our lives, visit https://www.arbin.com/