Over the last several years Toshiba has been working on a new battery technology that was called the super-charge ion battery (SCiB). The first battery of its kind was shipped in March of 2008. The SCiB battery is touted as a safe, high-performance, long-life, rechargeable battery for a wide array of solutions. The first time we saw it was at the 2007 Consumer Electronic show where Toshiba was displaying it on an electric bike.
Toshiba announced in November of 2009 that they would be building a second production plant to provide for additional capacity as sales ramp up. Also earlier this year rumors surfaced that Toshiba is building a new 13 inch netbook that will incorporate the new SCiB battery. The netbook will weigh in at just over 2 pounds.
The key advantages that an SCiB battery has is:
- Excellent Safety
- Long Life Cycle
- Rapidly Rechargeable
- High Power
The SCiB battery utilizes a new negative-electrode material called lithium titanate that offers a high level of thermal stability and a high flash point electrolyte. The separator is also highly resistant to heat. These features allow for a resistance to internal short circuiting and thermal runaway. This benefit makes the possibility of bursts or combustion very low.
The SCiB battery has capacity loss after 3,000 cycles of rapid charge and discharge is less than 10%. That right after 3000 cycles (lithium ion batteries today taper out after about 500 cycles). Thus the SCiB battery has an excellent long lifecycle, and is able to repeat the charge-discharge cycle over 3,000 times. This means that the SCiB battery can be continuously used for more than 10 years with a once-a-day recharge-discharge cycle. A standard lithium ion battery during that same time period will have to be replaced 3-5 times. Imagine a laptop battery lasting 10 years!
One of the neat features is that the SCiB battery can be recharged to 90% of full capacity in less than ten minutes.
The SCiB also has a input-output performance equivalent to that of an electric double layer capacitor. This makes the SCiB battery suited to high power applications like electric automobiles, fork lifts, motorcycles, and wind and solar power generators.
The SCiB battery has some other really neat features like the ability to perform in very low temperature extremes, but what concerns me is the price point for customers and commercially viable a new device with an SCiB battery will be?
If the device is priced beyond what your everyday consumer would be willing to pay then it will take a long time to be adopted by the marketplace. It is true that new technologies will change the way people live life but right now when people are so price conscience it just might take a few years before the new SCiB battery will be accepted universally.
Until next time, Dan Hagopian – www.batteryship.com
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