ROME – Making charging electric vehicles as easy as refueling vehicles equipped with internal combustion engines. With this objective, technologies are being developed all over the world capable of approaching this important milestone considered fundamental for the mass electrical transition as soon as possible. On the other hand, it is well known that long charging times represent a real obstacle that prevents many consumers from buying a new electric vehicle.
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A further step towards overcoming this limitation comes from the Idaho National Laboratory researchers who have developed a super-fast charging system based on machine learning (machine learning and artificial intelligence), capable of refueling in about ten minutes. “Fast charging is the key to increasing consumer confidence – explained Eric Dufek, in presenting the work – it would allow times similar to those used in a traditional service station”. Charging the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles, the researchers say, is a delicate balancing act. The ions migrate from the cathode to the anode, but sometimes, with too fast a movement, not all the ions make the transition, which can lead to a build-up of lithium metal and premature battery deterioration.
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The team of scientists then developed a method to customize the charging protocol without causing long-term damage to the battery. Researchers employed machine learning techniques to assess and predict the duration of different types of power by incorporating charging data to create unique protocols. “We have increased the amount of energy that can enter a battery cell in a short amount of time – added Dufek – this approach allows you to charge over 90 percent of the battery in ten minutes, without causing lithium plating or compromising the components “.
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The researchers intend to use their model to develop even better methods and to help design new lithium-ion batteries optimized for fast charging. According to Dufek, the ultimate goal is for electric vehicles to be able to “tell” charging stations how to power their specific batteries quickly and safely. The innovative method has just been illustrated during the annual meeting of the “American Chemical Society Acs Fall 2022”, and represents an approach that could facilitate the achievement of the goal set by American President Joe Biden of making 50% of all electricians vehicles sold by 2030.