BOSTON, March 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The pandemic infection of COVID-19 led to the lockdown of a considerable number of cities, leading to reduced pollution activity. With the large number of renewable energy sources (RES) employed in the last decades to decarbonise the energy sector, a growing number of energy storage devices have been coupled with RES. As highlighted by Luke Gear, Technology Analyst at IDTechEx, in the report “Batteries for Stationary Energy Storage 2019-2029” the Li-ion batteries are currently dominating the energy storage sector, while other technologies, such as redox flow batteries, are also slowly acquiring their share of the energy storage market, As described in the report “Redox Flow Batteries 2020-2030”.
Li-ion batteries (LIB), since their introduction to the market in 1991, have started to be adopted in a wide range of applications, from the energy storage sector to the automotive, to power electronics like smartphones and tablets.
The great advantage of LIB is given by their higher gravimetric and volumetric energy densities compared to other battery technologies. The high energy content is given by the rocking chair principle of the Lithium ions. The charge battery stores Li-ions into the negative (anode) electrode, usually made of carbon material. During the discharge of the battery, the anode material releases ‘n’ electrons in the external electrical circuit, together with ‘n’ Li-ions which are instead released into the electrolyte. Simultaneously, the cathode electrode accepts ‘n’ electrons, together with ‘n’ Li-ions. During the discharge process, the positive and negative electrode reactions are reversed.
Besides the simple working mechanism, a constant study is required to improve the performances and safety of this technology, together with reducing the cost by adopting low-cost materials.
While initially a cobalt base cathode material was employed, its high cost pushed for the adoption of low-cost materials such as aluminium and nickel and silicon. While the adoption of low-cost materials affects the cost of the battery itself, the large market of Li-ion battery has a strong influence on the economic status of entire countries. A complete analysis of raw materials for LIB is provided by Dr Alex Holland in the report “The Li-Ion Battery Supply Chain 2020-2030”, together with a cost analysis and the demand forecast for the period 2020-2030.
Besides the constant research of cheaper and more performant materials, the complex system of lithium-ion batteries made of electrodes, thermal management systems, and battery management systems is constantly being improved. The report “Li-ion Batteries 2018-2028” analyses all aspects of Li-ion batteries, from the electrode’s components to the battery management system (or BMS), cell design, and the battery production methods. Moreover, their applications and second-life battery are also described. In conclusion, the price forecast and cost analysis are provided.