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Will Glass Battery Tech be a game changer?

Just what is a Glass Battery?

The glass battery is a type of solid-state battery. It uses a glass electrolyte and lithium or sodium metal electrodes. The battery was invented by John B. Goodenough, inventor of the lithium cobalt oxide and lithium iron phosphate electrode materials used in the lithium-ion battery (Li-ion), and Maria H. Braga, an associate professor at the University of Porto and a senior research fellow at Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas.  The paper describing the battery was published in Energy & Environmental Science in December 2016. Read it here

Braga and Goodenough stated they expect the battery to have an energy density many times higher than current lithium-ion batteries, as well as an operating temperature range down to −20 °C (−4 °F); much lower than current solid-state batteries.  The electrolyte is also stated to have a wide electrochemical window. The battery's design is safer than lithium-ion batteries, as the use of a flammable liquid electrolyte is avoided. The battery can also be made using low-cost sodium instead of lithium. 

The authors claim the battery has a much shorter charging time than Li-ion batteries - in minutes rather than hours. The authors also state they tested the stability of the alkali metal/electrolyte interface over 1,200 charge cycles with low cell resistance; the specification for Li-ion batteries is usually less than a thousand.

The US Department of Energy announced its 2019 fiscal year award funds for what it calls "advanced vehicle technologies research" and both General Motors and Ford received healthy sums of cash. It appears auto makers are interested this this tech, but can you imagine if these batteries ever get to market and are cheaper, faster charging and longer lasting between charges than current battery tech, we may see small gas powered motor tools and equipment moving to electric motors. I will be one of the first to investigate it's use as an alternative for off-the-grid applications. Solar recharging applications? With the hope of charging 5x faster and more storage, even today's solar tech will be efficient enough to charge those batteries. Imagine with better future solars tech how well a battery operated off grid system would work.


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