electric vehicle battery

New approach to battery analysis is providing numerous commercial benefits.

Faster testing, better accuracy, and higher productivity. Those are just some of the operational and commercial benefits that battery developers and recyclers can derive from using a graphene-based sensor to map the performance of battery cells.

Existing methods of measuring current flows in batteries using temperature are slow to perform and fail to provide an accurate picture of what is happening in real time. Graphene Hall Effect Sensors (GHS) measure the magnetic field produced by the current in high resolution, providing improved insight and making the mapping process far more efficient. The sensors can be easily integrated into existing testing systems and produced reliably at scale – providing a cost-effective alternative to existing technologies.

For battery developers and recyclers, the performance of GHS sensors can deliver multiple testing benefits that feed through into the bottom line. These include:

Higher resolution = quicker testing processes

Existing temperature-based mapping of battery cells provides an indirect measurement of current density, which is much slower to reveal potential issues. GHS directly measures the magnetic fields produced by the current with high resolution, detecting even the slightest changes in the cell in a much shorter timeframe. This higher resolution and immediate response mean battery testing can be performed quicker and more efficiently – allowing more tests to be conducted in a shorter timeframe.

Improved insight = more optimised products

With GHS providing higher resolution and more responsive results, battery designers have a much clearer understanding of what is happening inside the cell. Therefore, engineers can tweak and refine cell architecture to pack in more energy should that be required. And accelerate product optimisation. For manufacturers, this equates to batteries that run for longer and charge faster.

More flexible testing = more efficient operations

Existing temperature and current measurement techniques are restrictive because the sensors are bulky and can only be positioned in certain parts of the cell. GHS sensors are far smaller in comparison and they can be placed virtually anywhere in the battery or on the bus bars. In short, if there is a current source, it can be measured. This flexibility of having one sensor that can perform multiple applications will help standardise the testing process. This means fewer changes between set-ups, making test operations simpler and shorter.

Less downtime = greater productivity

Currently, in-line shunt resistors are frequently used to measure current into and out of battery cells. If these resistors fail, the whole testing circuit fails. With GHS, a faulty sensor can be quickly and easily replaced without the needing to shut the entire system down. Adding an extra layer of redundancy into test procedures eliminates disruption and requires less human resource. Ultimately that delivers better productivity and higher profitability.

Enhanced battery design = new market opportunities

More accurate representation of battery cell performance in real-time helps engineers understand how cells degrade over their lifespan. As a result, they can squeeze more performance out of the end-product. This understanding means battery designers and manufacturers can target applications where more power will be required. Meanwhile, battery recyclers can be more confident in the performance of the second-life batteries that they sell, enabling them to tap into more safety-critical and higher-end applications. Better products therefore result in the potential for new applications to be addressed, new revenue streams to be created, and new business models to be explored.

Supply-chain collaboration = product refinement

The performance characteristics of batteries have improved rapidly in recent years. However, rising consumer expectations of electric vehicles mean that further enhancements must be delivered. The use of GHS sensors allows battery makers to determine where dead zones and other cell weaknesses are located. This information can be fed back to suppliers as part of a collaborative effort to overcome any ongoing design challenges.

So, these are six tangible ways that graphene-based sensors can transform battery makers and recyclers’ commercial operations – with other advantages starting to emerge too. Paragraf can reliably produce high-quality graphene, supporting the cost-effective production of sensors in large numbers. GHS sensors represent a scalable and straightforward solution to address existing battery cell mapping challenges that can be adopted quickly and easily, helping the industry create the better performing batteries of tomorrow.

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