Researchers at the University of California San Diego have devised new algorithms that can cut lithium-ion battery charge times in half, help cells run more efficiently and potentially cut production costs by 25 percent. Rather than tracking battery behavior and health with the traditional technique of monitoring current and voltage, the team’s mathematical models estimate where lithium ions are within cells for more precise data. With the added insight, the team can more accurately gauge battery longevity and control charging efficiency. The group was awarded $460,000 from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E research arm to further develop the algorithm and accompanying tech with automotive firm Bosch and battery manufacturer Cobasys, which both received the remainder of a $9.6 million grant. Wondering if the solution will ever find its way out of the lab? According to co-lead researcher Scott Moura, it’ll see practical use: “This technology is going into products that people will actually use.”
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