The key to the spiral wound battery is the current collector that links the spiral-wound discs, improving performance and lowering resistance.The Achilles heel of the electric v" />

Issue: Jan 2004


Charging Ahead



Improved battery technology makes for more efficient electric transportation.

by John Peter






 
The key to the spiral wound battery is the current collector that links the spiral-wound discs, improving performance and lowering resistance.
The Achilles heel of the electric vehicle has always been the battery.
 
If we had a battery that was good enough, says Richard Schaum, vice president and general manager of vehicle systems for WaveCrest Laboratories, wed probably all be driving electric cars.

WaveCrest has purchased the patents to further develop spiralwound battery technology. On all the hybrids I worked on at Chrysler, Schaum says, the battery internal resistance was the bottleneck. There was plenty more energy that could go in if only the battery would take it.

The cells are manufactured in a spiral-wound stack instead of the usual cylindrical structure. The heart of the technology is a patented current collector that enables power to pass through the body of the wound cell, directly from one cell to the next producing multiple efficiencies and most of all, reducing resistance.

Schaum says the batteries have shown 92 percent peak efficiency with about 87 percent average efficiency.

The goal, says Schaum, and I believe were going to make it in the next generation, is 90 percent efficiency over 90 percent of its operating range.

Increased efficiency extends the range of pure EV vehicles and the lower resistance enables rapid recharging.

A plus for the technology is that it works with any type of battery chemistry and the batteries can be manufactured in existing facilities without a significant increase in capital investment.

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