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Toshiba launches high-energy, high-power rechargeable lithium-ion battery | E&T Magazine


Toshiba has announced the commercial availability of its new rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which the Japanese company claims solves traditional challenges associated with delivering both high energy and high power at the same time.

Key innovations claimed by Toshiba for its new 20Ah-HP SCiB rechargeable lithium-ion battery cell are heat-generation control, long life and compatibility. The amount of heat generated through battery usage or charging has been reduced, the company says, whilst simultaneously extending the lifespan in the same 20Ah form factor.

This makes it a good candidate for situations where battery cells must suppress heat and operate continuously, such as during the rapid charging of commercial vehicles, regenerative power systems for rolling stock, and industrial equipment. Suitable use cases include electric vehicles, logistics and other types of transport such as hybrid electric trucks.

Toshiba observed that the market is increasingly demanding batteries that deliver both high-energy and high-power characteristics. This has required a trade-off for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. In an EV, for example, a high-energy battery allows the vehicle to drive further on a single charge, but it lowers power input and output and extends charge times. Toshiba has thus developed a device that combines the advantages of both high-energy and high-power products.

The new cell is the same size as Toshiba’s current 20Ah product, allowing existing customers to upgrade to the improved input and output power with the same module pack. Compared to the 20Ah cell, however, the new 20Ah-HP cell delivers 1.7x higher input and 1.6x higher output, realised by an approximately 40 per cent reduction of resistance in the cell, the company says. This improvement efficiently suppresses heat generation when a large current is applied, allowing design of a simpler cooling system. For example, depending on the customer’s system, water cooling can be simplified to forced air cooling and forced air cooling simplified to natural cooling. The lowered resistance also reduces overvoltage, allowing the cell to function in a wider range of state-of-charge (SoC).

The new 20Ah-HP cell also promises a longer life than the current 20Ah cell by suppressing heat during continuous charging and discharging, due to its lower internal resistance. Under Toshiba’s test conditions, the cell maintained almost 100 per cent capacity after 8,000 charge/discharge cycles, while the capacity of the current 20Ah cell decreased by approximately 10 per cent.

Toshiba anticipates the new cell being deployed in automobiles, industrial equipment and storage battery systems. Some examples include drive power supply and emergency power supply for railways; regenerative power supply for harbour cranes; electric ferries; hybrid buses; electric trucks; hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in HEVs (PHEVs); alternatives to lead-acid batteries, and storage battery systems.

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