New Self-monitoring Battery Cells supersede Conventional ones

In battery technology, instability and volatility are the two drawbacks that impair its reliability and safety. However, the active monitoring of thermal and chemical state of battery cells over time could help to find changes that may cause malfunctions or incidents, giving users a chance to intervene before onset of the problem.

In a bid to address this, a team of researchers have recently designed a new sodium-ion battery. This battery can monitor its own thermal and chemical state via a line of optical sensors combined in its cells. Published in a paper in Nature Energy, this unique self-monitoring battery could provide greater safety and more sustained efficiency over conventional battery technologies.

Improvement of Reliability and Safety focus of research for New Battery Technology

“The idea for a self-monitoring battery technology struck about three to four years ago,” said one of the researchers involved in the study. Meanwhile, a review of previous studies revealed that the ratio between the cost and performance of lithium-ion batteries has improved much over the past few years. Since the ratio is more than satisfactory, the researcher decided to focus future research on trying to improve the safety and reliability of batteries.

Previously, during conduct of some research, the researcher started considering the possibility of creating an intelligent battery with self-healing and sensing capabilities. The researcher hypothesized that deviation from the design of classical battery technology and including a sensing component within a battery could ultimately improve its lifetime or give a second life. Resultantly, this would decrease the battery technology’s carbon footprint.

To fabricate this battery, the team of researchers combined optical fiber Bragg grating sensors into commercial sodium, lithium-ion cells. Function-wise, the sensors act as wavelength-selective mirror.