Why is there a trend for sodium-ion batteries to replace lithium-ion batteries?

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Why is there a trend for sodium-ion batteries to replace lithium-ion batteries?

Posted Date: 2024-01-16

With the rapid development of new energy technology, batteries, as their core energy storage components, have received widespread attention and research. Among many battery systems, lithium-ion batteries are widely used due to their advantages such as high energy density and long cycle life. However, the scarcity and uneven distribution of lithium resources have led people to look for other alternative battery systems, and sodium-ion batteries are one of them.

A sodium-ion battery, as the name suggests, is a battery that uses sodium ions (Na+) as a charge carrier. Its working principle is similar to that of lithium-ion batteries, which achieves the storage and release of electrical energy through the migration of ions between the positive and negative electrodes. Compared with lithium, sodium has abundant reserves in the earth's crust, is widely distributed, and has lower cost, which gives sodium-ion batteries obvious advantages in resource sustainability.

However, sodium-ion batteries also face some challenges in the process of practical application. For example, the large size of sodium ions causes their migration speed in the electrode material to be slow, which in turn affects the rate performance and power density of the battery. In addition, the cycle life and energy density of sodium-ion batteries are currently difficult to reach the level of lithium-ion batteries.

Despite this, sodium-ion batteries have received widespread attention as a potential alternative technology. To ensure the safety and reliability of sodium-ion batteries, a series of safety and environmental tests are required before they can be commercialized.

Safety test:

1. Thermal abuse test:

This test simulates the performance of the battery in environments with high temperatures, even exceeding its normal operating temperature. By placing the battery in a high-temperature environment, observe whether it will undergo dangerous situations such as thermal runaway, fire or explosion. This helps evaluate the thermal stability and safety of the battery.

2. Mechanical abuse test:

Squeeze test: Apply pressure to the battery through mechanical equipment to simulate the safety of the battery when it is squeezed from the outside. This helps assess the battery's risk of internal short circuits and thermal runaway under physical deformation.

Acupuncture test: Use a sharp object to pierce the battery to simulate an internal short circuit and observe whether the battery will catch fire or explode.

Impact test: Evaluate the structural integrity and safety of the battery by simulating the impact of the battery, such as being dropped from a height.

3. Electrical abuse test:

Overcharge test: Charge the battery beyond its nominal voltage to check whether it can prevent the hazards caused by overcharging, such as battery expansion, thermal runaway, etc.

Over-discharge test: Discharge the battery below its minimum operating voltage to evaluate the effectiveness of its over-discharge protection mechanism.

Short circuit test: Directly contact the positive and negative electrodes of the battery through external means to simulate an internal short circuit and observe the safety response of the battery.

4. Environmental abuse test:

This includes simulating battery operation in conditions such as extreme temperatures, humidity, altitude, and more. For example, the battery is exposed to extremely low or high temperatures to observe its performance changes and safety; the low-pressure environment is simulated at high altitudes to evaluate the performance stability of the battery.

Environmental testing:

1. Temperature cycle test:

Conduct multiple charge and discharge cycles within a certain temperature range (such as -40°C to 85°C) to evaluate the performance attenuation and safety of the battery under different temperature conditions.

2. Humidity test:

Place the battery in a high-humidity environment (such as relative humidity above 95%) and observe whether there is moisture intrusion, performance degradation or safety hazards. This helps evaluate the battery's ability to withstand moisture and long-term stability.

3. Corrosive gas test:

Simulate the long-term stability of the battery in an environment containing corrosive gases (such as hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, etc.). By exposing them to these gases, the battery materials are observed to see if corrosion, performance degradation, or safety issues occur.

4. Biological toxicity test:

Evaluate the potential toxic effects of battery materials and electrolytes on the environment and living organisms. This often includes toxicity testing to aquatic and soil organisms to ensure the battery does not cause long-term harm to the environment after disposal.

Through these tests, the safety and environmental adaptability of sodium-ion batteries can be comprehensively evaluated, providing strong support for their commercial applications. With the deepening of research and the advancement of technology, we have reason to believe that sodium-ion batteries will play an increasingly important role in the new energy field in the future.

About Bell:

Guangdong Bell Testing Equipment Co., Ltd. is a high-tech enterprise dedicated to the research and development, manufacturing and sales of environmental reliability testing equipment, battery safety testing equipment and vehicle testing equipment. Cases can be found in major research institutes, schools, testing institutions, enterprises, laboratories, etc. across the country. It has mature experience and installation capabilities in designing and manufacturing large-scale non-standard complex test equipment, and can provide first-class solutions for customers' product testing.

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