With a potential lifespan of 10 to 20 years, Professor Zhongwei Chen‘s next-generation rechargeable batteries are set to put the Energizer Bunny to shame.
Chen, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Waterloo, is developing next-generation batteries and fuel cells. They are working on two types of batteries that are designed to be both longer lasting and more efficient.
One of these batteries is a rechargeable zinc battery that uses renewable energy, such as solar and wind. Chen’s team is working to make sure their solution is cost effective to enable its widespread adoption and use in future applications.
Chen is also using novel materials to upgrade the traditional battery. He says that the key is to use silicon-based materials, which have an energy density ten times higher than graphite materials, which are the current standard in commercial batteries.
Chen’s silicon-based batteries have a potential 150 percent energy density increase compared to graphite-based lithium batteries, which currently power electric cars and cell phones.
These technologies could become stable and long-lasting energy storage systems for wind and solar power, powering greener cars and devices for a sustainable future.