News & Events

Batteries are serious business, time for the next level

Battery technology has had a dynamic evolution ever since Alessandro Volta invented the first battery some 200 years ago. Today, there are three main application areas for rechargeable batteries: portable electronics, transportation and stationary application, which is still in the early stages of development.

 

Although rechargeable batteries have come a long way in satisfying our increasingly sophisticated demands for lighter, smaller and fancier portable electronics, better batteries are still needed in order to meet some of the serious challenges we now face such as climate change. We need batteries that can help us decarbonise and electrify the entire transportation sector and increase the share of renewables in the energy mix of our cities.

The battery that is changing the game

Lithium-ion batteries first commercialised in the early nineties and are believed to be a game changer when it comes to accelerating the sustainable energy transition. In fact, lithium-ion batteries have already set a new record for the practical storage of electrical energy, achieving as much as 200 Wh/kg at the cell level.

 

The steady decline in the production price of lithium-ion batteries over the past decade is making them increasingly competitive and for many kinds of applications. Without a shadow of a doubt, our increasing excitement about electric vehicles owes a great deal to lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are also becoming more popular and practical for stationary energy storage purposes— for example, alongside residential solar panels or wind farms.

Research and education

That’s why I’m excited, together with my team at Hasselt University, about the face-to-face technical training that takes place in November and where I’m one of the instructors. The training is a good opportunity to take a trip into the inner world of lithium-ion batteries hand in hand with the battery scientists at EnergyVille. A unique team of battery experts and a fantastic new infrastructure for battery prototyping will unveil to you what happens behind the scenes of lithium-ion battery research and production. I’m glad to be promoting this training course, because we need more and better batteries for a sustainable future.

  

Momo Safari

Associate Professor, Department of Engineering Technology, University of Hasselt