Future Energy - Energia Przyszłości - The energy conscious technology

Renewable energy projects and the increase in demand for electric cars are helping to push new development s in battery technology.

Energy that is generated needs to be stored, and electric vehicles need energy  sources that are powerful, lightweight, and that operate under extreme conditions. Lithium-ion batteries are state-of-the-art, but there have been a number of highly publicized incidents where battery failures led to fires. Recently, re searchers at Stanford University announced they have created  a way for batteries to alert users ahead of time that failure may be imminent. Lithium batteries operate by exchanging ions between two electrodes (anode and cathode) that are separated by a barrier or membrane, the barrier must allow ions to pass through freely, but if it is breached and the electrodes come into direct contact, the battery can short and even burst into flames. The Stanford team found that battery failures occur when ions pile up on one another on the anode, creating a bridge that crosses the membrane to the cathode. By adding a thin copper layer on one side of membrane, researchers were able to create a sensor that alerted them to when ions bridges were forming  and beginning to penetrate the barrier. The scientists say this discovery should lead to safer batteries in the future.

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