The Israeli battery developer StoreDot says it is working on a technology for “self-repairing” cells. The company, which actually specialises in extremely fast-charging cells, wants to improve the service life and performance of electric car batteries.
A new patented technology of the company identifies underperforming cells and temporarily disables them. The system, which includes a series of software algorithms with corresponding hardware, allows battery cells to regenerate during operation through a “seamless background repair mechanism”. It is not clear when the solution will be offered in series production.
The fact that individual cells are deactivated by the battery management system (BMS) is nothing new; for example, if the voltage in a cell drops too much or it overheats. However, such a deactivation is usually permanent until the corresponding cell or the entire module is replaced in the workshop.
StoreDot’s newly developed system comprises “a series of software algorithms with corresponding hardware”. A schematic drawing shows that in addition to a ‘Charge Mode’ and ‘Discharge Mode’, the battery management system also contains a ‘Diagnostic Mode’ and the ‘Recovery Mode’. The system is supposed to be able to temporarily deactivate individual cells or a cell string “in order to proactively recondition them back to 100% performance”. The driver should not notice anything, not even a loss of power.
StoreDot does not specify how exactly the repair or reconditioning is to take place. However, the company has recently been granted a patent for this called “Recovering defective branches and/or cells of battery packs by deep discharges”, which describes the methods.
“This approach is truly transformative with huge real-world benefits for electric vehicle owners, improving performance, safety and the longevity of their vehicles,” says Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot. “It also plays a crucial role in eradicating range anxiety, which remains the main barrier to electric vehicle ownership.”
StoreDot is known to be aiming to bring its XFC cell technology to market by 2024 – in cooperation with Chinese manufacturer Eve Energy, among others. The cells, which have a silicon-dominant anode, are said to reduce charging time by 50 per cent at the same cost. StoreDot is also working on solid-state cells (called XED by the company), which are to go into mass production by 2028.
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