The more people say we cannot do something or everything is already good enough why change, society goes through a major revolutionary change. This has never been more true than in the 21st century with those that say why change when ICE or internal combustion engines are perfect do we need to change to a different power train design?
The PNW or Pacific Northwest has been a source of disruptive technology for the last 40 years. From Microsoft, Google, Apple to Intel corporation we have seen technology change the way we live. Tesla came on the scene July 1st, 2003 and has been a major disruptor to the auto industry. In mid 2018 Tesla confirmed that they had sustained battery production of 20 GWh, more than any other auto company in the world. They also stated that by 2019 with their partner Panasonic they would be at 35 GWh of battery production. Since then Tesla has announced that by the end of 2021, they will be at 105 GWh of battery cell production with a 150 GWh of total battery pack output.
By now, one would be asking why am I reading about Tesla when I want to know about a 700 mile battery pack? In a word, REVOLUTION using an old technique with a new application. It should come as no surprise that this startup based in Portland Oregon is founded by a well educated PhD team of former Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Citibank and investment capital companies. With PhD in chemical engineering to marketing and finance, this company has been quietly perfecting their battery technology based on using an old tech product that even Intel has moved away from. The 12 inch Silicon Wafer Stack, yes the same thing that was used in 486 / Pentium computers is a perfect medium for energy storage without all the current drawbacks of the current Battery design.
Existing EV battery technology has had the following concerns of overheating, catching fire, degrading through repeated charge/discharge cycles and a major issue is the "dendrite" buildup, which looks like stalactites on the battery cells and leads to failed cells and shorter battery life as to why current EV's only have a 10yr battery life.
Instead of a two-dimensional surface as is found in today's existing EV battery tech, XNRGI's battery tech is able to take advantage of the three-dimensional surface area of the silicon wafer.
Per XNRGI, each silicon disc can have up to 160 million microscopic pores. These wafers are then coated with a non-conductive surface on one side and a conductive metal on the other side to carry the electrical current. The big benefit of what XNRGI is capitalizing on is that the wafer tech, coatings are all taken from existing tech used in the chip industry per President and CEO Dr. Chris D'Couto. To quote Dr. D'Couto, "Each of these little holes is effectively a very tiny battery," allowing a 70 times increase in total surface area for holding power compared to today's existing batteries which equals about a 10 times energy density in comparison to existing lithium-ion battery anodes. The bigger benefit of this battery design is that each pore is separated from its neighbors, eliminating internal short-circuits which results in resisting degradation over time and use. To quote Dr. D'Couto, "When any of those individually fail, the failure doesn't propagate. This architecture makes battery's completely safe by preventing thermal runaway and explosions." In layman's terms this removes the Airplanes refusal to have Lithium Ion batteries in the freight hold of a plane due to potential thermal runaway explosions. End result is that XNRGI Powerchip battery are a safer denser solution for today's demanding electrical designs.
Another key benefit to the XNRGI battery design is life, current auto industry designs from Tesla, GM and Nissan is a 10 year battery life before degradation sets in. This is where the rub is in that some owners of these companies auto's have seen degradation set in, in only 5 years. Existing battery life is affected by not only the "dendrite" issue that can pierce the physical separator between the anode and cathode shorting out the battery on top of the other issues of build up much like plaque on teeth that happens with today's batteries. XNRGI uses a non-conductive coating on the silicon wafer that resists the dendrite formation and plaque build up. This ends up meaning that XNRGI batteries are able to offer three to five times the service life compared to today's existing Lithium-ion battery. This means a 30 to 50 year battery pack.
Safety and density have been addressed by the XNRGI battery design which brings up a final question by many, what about recharge times? XNRGI Powerchip battery is able to discharge and recharge faster than conventional Lithium-ion cells due to its increased surface area. Quoting Dr. D'Couto, the Powerchip battery is able to achieve from empty 80% recharge in only 15 min. This benefit then means we have two options of how to apply this technology. One you can build smaller batteries that reduce weight making everything from small electronics to EVs lighter and more efficient or you can build for range by increasing the density with keeping the existing weight. Think of a pair of ear pods that will last weeks on a single charge or a cell phone that will last 6 to 7 days of heavy use rather than 1 to 2 days or an EV that currently goes 250 miles on the existing battery pack is replaced with an identical sized XNRGI battery pack and you now have 700 miles of range.
Dr. D'Couto states they are working with multiple companies from around the world for including their solid state battery design into various products that will show up in 2020 such as motorbikes, scooters, drones, robots, cell phones and more. XNRGI expects their batteries to show up in EV's that are released in 2022 and 2023 from the auto industry which is due to their extensive testing. Toshiba was one of the first companies to come up with a solid state battery that will be coming out next year in Nissan and Mitsubishi EV products. XNRGI having signed or working on licensing agreements with various companies expects to see their batteries out in products around under limited volume in 2022 with high volume production in 2023 to 2024.
XNRGI has put together this video of their company.