Power Electronics

University of Michigan Spin-Out, Sakti3, Doubles Energy Density of Lithium Ion Batteries

Sakti3, Inc. announced that it has produced a battery cell on fully scalable equipment with over 1100 Watt hours per liter (Wh/l) in volumetric energy density.  This translates to more than double the usage time in a wearable device like a smartwatch, from 3.5 h to more than 9 h. It also translates to almost double the range in an EV like the Tesla Model S, from 256 mi to 480 mi.

 "It's clearly a breakthrough - it's a world's best, made on a mass-production platform," said Professor Wei Lu from the University of Michigan, a battery expert knowledgeable about the process. "It's not either/or in cost and performance in batteries anymore - Sakti3 has both. They built a really high performance device on a really low cost platform - like building millions of high end processors in a factory that produces ordinary plastic wrap. It was quite a scientific feat."

Sakti3 reports that it demonstrated over 1000 Wh/l over two years ago, and has since moved to a pilot tool, using all scalable materials and equipment. The technology development was guided by mathematical simulations, starting with materials, and continuing to full scale plant layout to avoid any high cost materials, equipment or processes.

Along with having an ultra-low cost solution, the battery cells are also the safest ever demonstrated because of the all-solid-state construction and materials in the cells. Sakti3 has released a video (http://youtu.be/ICQcj73dMgI) demonstrating an abuse test in which hot solder is dropped into the cycling cell - and it continues to operate normally.

"Our target is to achieve mass production of cells at ~$100/kWh," said Dr. Ann Marie Sastry, CEO of Sakti3. "Our key patents on the technology have been issued, we are up and running on larger tooling, and can now speed up processing. Our first market will be consumer electronics, and after that, we'll move to other sectors."

Sakti3 is commercializing a breakthrough, high performance, low cost and intrinsically safe solid state battery technology. The materials, device designs and manufacturing methodologies were selected and optimized using advanced computational modeling, and lockstep, small-scale prototyping. The company is now scaling its prototypes in pilot production.

Sakti3 has received $30MM in venture funding from Khosla Ventures, GM Ventures, Itochu, and a grant from the State of Michigan.

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