Quantum sensor: can peek inside the battery to improve battery density

Can quantum technology improve battery performance? It seems to be possible. A project led by researchers at the University of Sussex is using a quantum-based sensor to measure battery behavior, hoping that the resulting data can be used to improve battery technology.

Can quantum technology improve battery performance? It seems to be possible. A project led by researchers at the University of Sussex is using a quantum-based sensor to measure battery behavior, hoping that the resulting data can be used to improve battery technology.

The project has received a cooperative resource fund from the University of Birmingham and the UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing. The project team also includes the University of Strathclyde and the University of Edinburgh.

The project can improve battery energy density, durability and safety, thereby promoting the industrial revolution towards a green ecosystem. In order to achieve these goals, while implementing environmental policies, R&D personnel need to conduct intensive development in these areas.

Peter Kruger, professor of experimental physics research at the University of Sussex, emphasized that batteries seem to be the number one market for quantum battery sensors, because electric vehicles require large battery packs with high storage capacity. Kruger: “This will mean that the first commercial impact of quantum sensors will be profound.”

Battery + Quantum Technology

New electric vehicle control systems, including regenerative braking systems, start and stop functions, and electric motors that drive the wheels, require precise measurement and control of Electronic inputs to optimize performance and avoid catastrophic failures.

An important part of these systems is the battery current measurement sensor, which can measure the charge and discharge level of the battery and its state of health. Some existing technologies can create a good current sensor for car battery monitoring.

At the same time, quantum computing is used to simulate the chemical structure of the battery, so that these algorithms can reproduce the chemical composition of the battery according to different standards, such as weight loss, maximum density, battery assembly, etc. This has accelerated the industrialization process of the battery pack itself.

Quantum sensor: can peek inside the battery to improve battery density

Quantum Magnetometer Technology

The goal of the University of Sussex project is to use quantum magnetometer technology to detect whether the tiny battery current flows accurately. In this way, a rapid assessment of the chemical composition of new batteries and existing batteries will accelerate the creation of battery technology, thereby promoting the evolution of electrification.

A magnetometer is an instrument with a single sensor to measure the magnetic flux density. Quantum magnetometers are based on the spin of subatomic particles. The coupling between the magnetic moment of each particle and the applied field is quantified or limited to a set of discrete values ​​determined by the laws of quantum mechanics.

Kruger pointed out that there have been many cases of lithium battery failure in recent years, such as Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. Monitoring the current can take preventive measures before these battery failures occur. Quantum sensors can provide some intelligent functions for batteries by monitoring battery health and reducing worn-out battery load.

Kruger: “Current battery monitoring solutions are mainly focused on measuring the voltage between batteries. This can well show the remaining power in the battery. By measuring these voltages in the subsequent charge and discharge cycles, you can monitor the charge capacity when the battery is degraded. .”

“Although these measurements are useful for monitoring battery health, they do not tell us what is happening inside the battery. The quantum system being developed can measure the magnetic field generated by the battery and use it to infer the current flowing through the battery. This system is like a The “magnetic camera” can look inside the battery.

The goal of the research team is to develop small, low-power, portable devices that do not require infrastructure and the lowest operating costs, so that they can be mass-produced.

To achieve their goals. These scholars will also work closely with CDO2, Magnetic Shields and QinetiQ. Magnetic Shields will provide the noise-free magnetic environment required to enable sensor technology to be tested with unprecedented sensitivity.

Kruger: “In the field of research, battery manufacturers can test different chemical compositions and battery geometries. Sensors can send diagnostic information to the on-board computer of an electric car, since manual inspections are no longer required and service intervals can be reduced. We are developing A new type of renewable energy storage technology, this technology can be used in the breeding factory system, while monitoring the health of the battery.”

The biggest challenge at this stage is to increase the battery capacity. “In terms of technology, sensors are not only sensitive to the magnetic field of the battery, but also sensitive to all ferromagnetic materials. Most of our work is on sensor design and studying how to protect them from external magnetic sources. In addition, we need What is considered is how the system will filter out the magnetic field generated by the electric motor of the car, or when each car passes the sensor from another direction, about a ton of metal passes through the sensor, and the magnetic field will change rapidly. This is necessary Establish a complete supply chain of all relevant components. We are achieving this goal through the industrial strategic funds provided.

Batteries are the key to decarbonization, but the chemistry and boundary technology need to be improved. Lithium-ion batteries are still the gold standard technology in this field and have made considerable progress. Checking each battery is a need to consider many factors, such as leaks and defects, which will adversely affect the performance of the entire system, whether it is an electric car or a simple consumer device.

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