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Zhejiang lab unveils ‘super’ battery with 5-second charging time
Time: 2017-12-25
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Chinese material and engineering scientists have unveiled a "super" aluminum-graphene battery in a laboratory setting that boasts a superior performance in terms of capacity, charging time and life cycle. Once commercial production begins, the battery could be fully charged in 5 seconds and then last for two hours, domestic news portal thepaper.cn reported on Saturday.

However, an industry expert has cast a dubious eye on these claims.

Material and engineering researchers at East China's Zhejiang University said recently that they have developed a novel aluminum-graphene battery that is more cold-resistant, can work in temperatures ranging from -40 C to 120 C and is less flammable.

The battery, which has a positive pole made up of graphene thin film and a negative pole of aluminum, can retain 91 percent of its capacity even after 250,000 charge/discharge circles, a marked improvement compared with the lithium battery.

If a smartphone uses such a super battery, for example, the battery could last up to 70 years without losing its capacity, even with 10 charges every day, according to the report.

In terms of charging time, the super battery, when used by a smartphone, could be charged in 5 seconds and used as long as two hours, the research team said.

But industry expert Zheng Jiatu, deputy managing director of the China Electric Vehicle Charging Technology and Industry Alliance, said he is doubtful of the results published by the team.

"These figures must be read with some caution," Zheng said, noting that even testing 250,000 charge/discharge cycles would itself take a very long time.

"The announced results are more likely the results of a simulated data model, rather than results from prototype testing," Zheng said.

The team said there is a long way ahead, with many obstacles to overcome before commercialization. They also said that the "super" battery is inferior to the lithium battery in terms of energy intensity.

Zheng noted commercialization requires many things to go right, and many proven and ready technologies have not been commercialized. Key factors include a particular type of battery's energy intensity, cost performance, safety and a mature business model.

(Source: Global Times)

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