Superlattice Power, Inc. (SLAT.OB) Weekly Recap 6/27/2008
Superlattice Power, Inc. (SLAT.OB) Embarks on New Lithium Battery Material
Thursday, June 26th, 2008
Superlattice Power, Inc. (OTCBB: SLAT) is a rising leader in the development and marketing of the next generation of lithium-powered batteries worldwide. Recently, the company reported that they worked with Hybrid Technologies to develop their Superlattice battery, which will appear in the highly anticipated electric vehicle submitted by Hybrid Technologies during the xPrize Competition, which is sponsored by Progressive.
Superlattice Power’s new lithium ion polymer battery is made from a more affordable cathode material. Cathode materials can be the most expensive part of lithium ion batteries. Although they are highly priced, cathode materials are found in many different crystalline structures such as spinel structure, olivine structure, and most recently a series of superlattice structures. The superlattice structure will be at the core of Hybrid’s competition entry, and is expected to increase the drive ranges of the vehicles by 30% to 200 miles.
Sony introduced the lithium ion battery back in 1990, using LiCoO2 as cathode material. This specific material is extremely expensive and unsafe, and numerous military applications refused to use the material. At an operating voltage of 4.2 to 2.75V, and during high temperatures, the LiCoO2 shows an exothermic reaction that eventually generates loose oxygen and can cause fire hazards.
The olivine structure, lithium ion phosphate, LiFePO4, is widely used. The disadvantage of this material is that it shows a low operating voltage within the range of 3.4V to 2.9V, and nominal voltage is 3.2V only. The spinel structure is manganese-based oxides, such as LiMn2O4 spinel and LiMnO2, and has been studied very closely. The material shows great potential in that it is abundant in nature, therefore less expensive, and non-toxic. However, there was a major problem in regards to the capacity due to dissolution of manganese in the form of Mn+2, and subsequent fading of power.
The superlattice structure performs the highest in nominal voltage at 3.9V, maximum capacity at 190 (Ah/Kg), operating voltage ranging from 4.4V to 2.0V, and energy density of 741 (Wh/kg). In the superlattice structure, some transition metals are substituted for lithium and this enhances the power density dramatically. Superlattice mixed-oxide synthesis becomes difficult when starting materials are not mixed homogenously. Although this will call for more studies and tests, there are innovative synthesis processes that can be taken to meet large scale production of the superlattice cathode material in the future.
Superlattice Power, Inc. (SLAT.OB) to Power Hybrid Technologies’ Highly Anticipated X Prize Competition Entry Extending Drive Range to 200 Miles
Tuesday, June 24th, 2008
Superlattice Power, Inc. (SLAT.OB) announced that it will develop a superlattice battery specifically for Hybrid Technologies’ (HYBR.OB) vehicle entry into the Automotive X Prize (AXP) competition sponsored by Progressive. Superlattice is an emerging powerhouse in the development and marketing of lithium-powered batteries worldwide.
The AXP judges will be analyzing 64 entrants based upon six factors: fuel economy, design, performance, price, production reality, and technology feasibility. Hybrid’s AXP vehicle is currently being developed at the company’s Mooresville facility. The engineering team’s goal is for the Hybrid entry to reach speeds of 175 mph and a drive range of at least 300 miles per charge.
Superlattice Power’s lithium ion polymer batteries are manufactured with a more affordable cathode material referred to as ‘superlattice structure.’ The batteries’ elements and transitioned metals were selected specifically to make the cathode materials safe, more affordable, and environmentally friendly. These next-generation batteries are manufactured into a hexagonal framework that can accommodate more lithium and can store more energy. The increases in lithium and energy storage result in a 30-percent increase in driving range, which equates to about 200 miles per charge.
A team from Popular Mechanics has already test-driven three of Hybrid Technologies all-electric vehicles—the RUSH sports car, the DASH version of the Mini Cooper and the RYDER motorcycle—and were “very impressed.” All three vehicles already reach speeds of 70 to 120 mph and drive between 100 and 120 miles per charge.
With the combination of the Superlattice battery and the Hybrid team’s new aerodynamic vehicle design, no one can really guess the actual level of speed and distance that Hybrid’s AXP entry will reach. Long-standing members of the vehicle industry should not be surprised if the Hybrid entry drives away with the $10 million AXP prize.
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