One of the most difficult challenges in developing transformative battery technologies is predicting what combinations of materials will produce the highest performance and cost. To address this challenge, JCESR is using techno-economic models to design virtual batteries on the computer for all three energy storage concepts. The models go well beyond the more common “theoretical energy density” analyses that include the electrochemically active materials only and not the non-active materials such as battery or cell housing, current collectors, and electrode separators and membranes.
The modeling projects the performance and cost of a wide array of promising new battery systems to be used either in electric vehicles or on the grid. Those systems predicted to meet JCESR performance (400 Wh/kg) and cost ($100 per kilowatt-hour) targets can then be tested in the laboratory. Those that show promise in the laboratory can then be prototyped.
The modeling results serve multiple ends:
- Linking battery-system level goals to materials-level properties such as cell voltage, capacity, and diffusion coefficient
- Directing research dollars to the most promising paths forward
- Identifying crucial barriers to transformational advances for the three energy storage concepts
“The beyond lithium-ion space is vast, rich and largely unexplored, with 50-100 distinct battery candidates that might deliver transformative performance and cost. Techno-economic modeling is an essential component in JCESR’s management strategy for directing the research to the most promising candidates and understanding the main challenges and barriers.”
– JCESR Director George Crabtree