Researchers at the University of California San Diego have come up with algorithms that can reduce the time taken to charge a lithium-ion battery, the mainstay of today’s portable devices, by half.
Instead of keeping track of voltage and current, the researchers are using an algorithm that “…can estimate what is physically going on inside the lithium-ion battery”. One of the researchers, Professor Miroslav Krstic, said “We have the unique ability to address the difficulties in estimating the battery’s state of charge heads-on, at the electrochemical level.”
The algorithms are definitely intended for commercial usage, as they could potentially reduce the cost of fabricating lithium-ion batteries in addition to reducing the time they take to charge.
The research group, based at the university’s Jacobs School of Engineering, is sharing a $9.6 million grant that will “..allow researchers to refine the algorithms and to test them on actual batteries on testbeds developed by Bosch and Cobasys.” Bosch and Cobasys are the other recipients of the grant from the ARPA-E division of the US Department of Energy. The Jacobs School of Engineering’s portion of funding totals $460,000.