Huawei is mainly known for its smartphones, but is also one of the world’s leading manufacturers of telecommunications equipment, including base stations for mobile networks, each of which requires batteries backup that often must withstand high temperatures. To solve this problem, the Watt Laboratory Chinese company has designed the first lithium-ion battery with sheets of graphene .
The standard lithium-ion battery has a very short life if they are to operate at very high temperatures, such as when exposed to direct sunlight. The Huawei researchers have achieved a battery capable of resisting exposure to a 60 degrees temperature 10 degrees more than the current limit. Moreover, their duration is equal to double capacity. This allows to use it even in hostile environments, without the need for air conditioning. The important result was obtained using three technologies.
The first novelty is the addition of a special additive to the electrolyte that eliminates the traces of water, avoiding its evaporation at high temperatures. They were also used single crystals NMC (Nickel, Manganese, Cobalt) for the cathode, so as to improve thermal stability. Finally it was added graphene to facilitate heat dissipation. Tests performed by Huawei showed that lithium ions “graphene-assisted” are colder than 5 degrees than regular batteries. The ability to remain 70% after 2,000 cycles of charging at 60 degrees and less than 13% capacity is lost after 200 days. The life of such batteries longer than four years.
In addition to the base stations it would be possible to use them in order to increase the autonomy of electric vehicles and drones. For these last applications you will have to wait a few more years.